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Jeannette Charles Dies: Queen Elizabeth II Lookalike In ‘The Naked Gun’, ‘European Vacation’ & Austin Powers Sequel ‘Goldmember’ Was 96

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Jeannette Charles, an actress whose uncanny resemblance to Queen Elizabeth II launched a movie career that included scene-stealing moments in National Lampoon’s European Vacation, The Naked Gun, and Austin Powers sequel Goldmember, died June 2 at a care home in Great Beddow in Essex, England.

She was 96. Her death was announced by daughter Carol Christophi to UK publications The Mirror and The Standard. “Mum was a real character and a force of nature,” Christophi said in a statement. “She had an amazing life.” In an interview with UK radio station LBC, Christophi said, “She was always respectful of the Queen and adored the Royal Family.

We will miss her dearly.” In a 2022 essay for The Guardian, Charles explained how she began her career as a lookalike. “Before I had children,” she wrote, “I’d worked as an au pair and a typist, but I’d always wanted to act.

I’d been in amateur productions, had elocution lessons and even passed an audition for Rada. But the fees were too expensive, plus my looks counted against me – no matter what role I took on, I’d hear comments from the audience, and sometimes even laughter.” Realizing she could turn a disadvantage to an advantage, Charles determined to make her resemblance to the Queen work in her favor. “Over the next 40 years,” she wrote, “I appeared on TV chatshows, opened supermarkets, assisted magicians and shot adverts all over the world.

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