No Target on This Guy’s Back

Published:June 6, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe

It’s a wonder so many people want to impersonate Thomas Jefferson, says this George Washington impersonator.

“Washington is received almost universally with acclamation and roaring applause,” Dean Malissa says. “My friends who portray Thomas Jefferson walk around with a target on their back. People are just ripe for all kinds of mischief with Jefferson. Same with Colonel Hamilton. These guys don’t have quite as easy a road.”

Of course, Malissa would know: The 59-year-old may be the greatest living George Washington impersonator (the proper term in his line of work is “historical interpretive actor,” in case you were wondering). And he’s also the only one allowed to step foot on the grounds of Mount Vernon.

 IMAGES: George Washington at Dorchester Heights by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze; Dean Malissa