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Photos: Awards presented for best celebrity impersonators

Frank Marino celebrates with his Divas Las Vegas cast at Imperial Palace on Sept. 30, 2010.
Photo: Scott Roeben

Robin Leach's Vegas DeLuxe

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2011 Celebrity Impersonators Awards Red Carpet

The weeklong 20th Annual Production of The Reel Awards and the 11th Annual Celebrity Impersonators Convention wrapped Thursday downtown at the Golden Nugget with look-alikes and sound-alikes from all over North America and Europe. Many Las Vegas impersonators walked away with awards, and contributing photographer Scott Harrison was on duty to capture the parodies, spoofs, tributes and homages for a photo gallery.

More than 60 impersonators took part in the awards with 16 categories of excellence. The winners were Best Actor, Steve Weber as Forrest Gump (Hamilton, Mont.); Best Actress, Bettina Williams as Whoopi Goldberg (San Antonio, Texas); Bea Fogelman Lifetime Achievement: Heidi Thompson as Cher (Las Vegas); Comedy, Marcel Forestieri as Jay Leno (Las Vegas); News Hound, Deborah Smith Ford as Trinity from The Matrix (Ft. Myers, Fla.); Peter Banks Humanitarian, Sheri Rae Parker as Bette Midler (Las Vegas); Tribute Band, Danny D as Rod Stewart & The Vagabonds (Detroit); and Print Media: Frank Marino as Joan Rivers and Divas Las Vegas (Las Vegas).

Also, Rising Star, Shannon Michaels Taylor as Brett Michaels (Toledo, Ohio); Country’s Hottest Hitter, Richard Hampton as Kenny Rogers (Las Vegas); Pop ’N’ Rock for Reel, Michael Firestone as Michael Jackson (Las Vegas); R&B Feelin’ Good, Garry Moore as Little Richard (Honolulu); Classic Crooner, Troy Anderson as Louis Armstrong (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.); Impersonator I Love to Work With, Bettina Williams as Whoopi Goldberg; Gene Greytak Most Professional Impersonator, Hollie Vest as Tina Turner (Las Vegas); and Director/Producer, Bernhard Kurz and Paul Langley for Stars in Concert (Berlin, Germany).

During the five-day convention, the 2nd Annual Las Vegas Tribute Idol competition also was held. Five winners, who were selected by a panel of judges, each received a trophy, a cash prize and performance opportunities. The winners were Troy Anderson as Louis Armstrong, followed by Jason Scott as Neil Diamond (Cranbrook, B.C.), Steve Weber as Forrest Gump, Joe Manuella as Robert De Niro (Glen Rock, N.J.) and William “Bill” Johnson as Bob Hope (Las Vegas).

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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