It was a fairly convincing impostor, not American actor Jack Nicholson, who visited Cayman last week, the Cayman Compass learned Friday.
A picture purported to be Nicholson with Tortuga Rum Company President Robert Hamaty which appeared in the Compass Friday editions – unbeknownst to this newspaper or Mr. Hamaty at the time of publication – was actually Jack Bullard, the self-styled “world-renowned” Nicholson impersonator, who has been making look-alike appearances for more than three decades in the United States and elsewhere.
Contacted by phone Friday, Mr. Bullard admitted it was he who visited Grand Cayman on a Carnival Paradise cruise ship last week and he who was pictured in photographs with Mr. Hamaty and members of the Tortuga staff which circulated in the islands.
“Yeah, that happens,” Mr. Bullard, who bears a striking resemblance to Mr. Nicholson, told the Compass. Mr. Bullard said he started the impersonation gig 37 years ago after “about 10 million people telling me I looked like Jack [Nicholson].”
Mr. Bullard admitted he never specified exactly who he was, but rather let Tortuga store personnel, including Mr. Hamaty, presume.
“I didn’t tell them I wasn’t [Jack Nicholson] and I didn’t tell them I was,” Mr. Bullard said.
That’s typical, according to a representative of the promotions company that represents Mr. Bullard, for many celebrity impersonators.
“Because he resembles [Mr. Nicholson] so much, some people jump to conclusions and assume he is the ‘real deal’,” said C.J. Morgan of Shining Star Promotions. “Crowds often form and chaos ensues. Even when Mr. Bullard tries to tell people that he is not who they think he is, they will often look puzzled, then assume it’s the real Nicholson wanting to remain incognito.
“He thoroughly enjoyed his first visit to Cayman and hopes to return someday soon,” Mr. Morgan said.
Mr. Hamaty said the man he took for Mr. Nicholson signed a copy of the Tortuga Rum Fever and Caribbean Cookbook in the store using the name “Jack” and that store personnel actually had a receipt for items he purchased that were to be sent back to the man’s upscale suite on the Carnival Ship. The receipt states the name “Jack Nicholson” on it. However, the receipt was for a cash payment and there is no record indicating who would have entered that name.
“If it’s a look-alike, it must be a very rich look-alike,” Mr. Hamaty said, judging from Mr. Bullard’s cruise ship suite. Mr. Bullard said he now makes about a dozen appearances as Mr. Nicholson each year for various events.
When informed his picture had been circulated around the Cayman Islands as a photograph of Jack Nicholson the actor, Mr. Bullard replied: “Oh dear.”