Saturday, May 7, 2011

What do Napoleon and Lady Gaga have in common?

Saturday, May 7, 2011


By Kitty Bean Yancey, USA TODAY

Well, both are known for being short (Gaga reportedly stands 5-1 out of the sky-high heels she favors; Napoleon was either about that size or 5-foot-6 -- according to some historians who say he wasn't so short and his measurements weren't translated correctly).

But aside from that, both have been favorites at Madame Tussauds wax museums in different eras.

Madame Tussauds, with a dozen locations, is celebrating the 250th anniversary of the birth of its founder, Marie Tussaud. It says top draws in 1802, when Tussaud opened its doors to exhibit wax likenesses, are far different than today. Then, the likes of Napoleon, Marie Antoinette and Ben Franklin were the crowd pleasers. Now, celebs such as Gaga and Twilight's Robert Pattinson are lures. Blame the mass media.

Tussauds archivist Kieran Lancini says in a press release: "Back in 1802, extremely few people had access to newspapers, there were no photographs, and the public got its news through word of mouth. Madame Tussauds connected ordinary people to the big global stories of the day. The mass media has changed the fame game beyond recognition."

Madame Tussauds Hong Kong general manager Kelly Mak says in addition to entertainers, Barack Obama, Spider-Man and David Beckham are "incredibly popular."

In June, the Hong Kong venue will unveil a Robert Pattinson wax figure. Fans will be invited to "marry" the actor in an interactive area. That's almost as creepy as the vampire-themed Twilight sagas. Meanwhile, a Pattinson figure made its debut at the Washington Tussauds April 22. No, you can't wed him there.

Posted May 5 2011 6:00AM

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