Jack “King” Kirby is inarguably the greatest comic book artist who ever lived — and even though I grew up on his work, to this day, every time I look at a page of Kirby art I feel like I’m staring at something that came from space. However, there’s something a little unsettling about stumbling across actual humans who resemble Kirby’s stylized drawings. Here are my top five actors who look like they walked right out of a Kirby comic.
(Not for nuthin’, but Jack Kirby himself looked like a living Jack Kirby drawing, as you can see in the page below).
#5 Lawrence Tierney
Tough-guy actor Tierney is kind of the gimme on this list, thanks to Freddy Newandyke/Mr. Orange’s observation re: Tierney in Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs: “Motherfucker looks like The Thing.” I’d say that really only applies to Kirby’s early depictions of The Thing, pre- the wildly-protruding rocky eyebrows, but Tierney definitely has the look.
#4 Lainie Kazan
According to Wikipedia (and my buddy Andy Kuhn, artist on Image Comics’ Firebreather) the young Lainie Kazan was reportedly Kirby’s inspiration for Big Barda. I can totally see that.
#3 Dario Argento
Okay, so Italian horror director Argento isn’t really an actor, but he played a paramedic in John Landis’ Innocent Blood and that qualifies him for the list. Back in his pointy-bangs days, Argento was pretty much a dead ringer for Desaad from New Gods.
#2 Nancy Barrett
Barrett played Caroline Stoddard on Dark Shadows, and I don’t know about you, but to me she looks like the living embodiment of Kirby’s Sue Storm — the cheekbones, the blonde hair, even the chin.
#1 Thayer David
The man who gets my vote for The Most Kirby-Looking Human In The History Of Humans is Thayer David — who also appeared on Dark Shadows, by the way. David might be more well-known from his role in Rocky, but to me he’ll always be a living Jack Kirby drawing.
Special thanks to Andy Kuhn and John Howard for help in compiling this list.