Professional Austin Powers impersonator still hopes for fourth film in franchise

A full-time professional Austin Powers impersonator has said he is still hoping for a fourth installment of the franchise and has no plans to hang up his sideburns any time soon.

There have been no new films in the franchise for 22 years.

Richard Halpern, 61, from New York but now living in Los Angeles, began doing impressions on a radio show in the 1980s and decided to add Mike Myers’ character to his arsenal after seeing the first part of the Austin Powers trilogy.

He tracked down the designer who made Austin Powers’ well-known teeth and got custom-made outfits – even buying stick-on yak hair sideburns to make the character seem as realistic as possible.

In 1999, Richard appeared on stage at a music festival in costume and was mistaken for Myers in a television news report. After that, business started rolling in and to this day he performs at trade shows and parties.

He has made the decision to adapt his routine to fit modern times, asserting he never crosses the line, and is still hoping that a new Austin Powers movie will be released.

Richard was once mistaken for Mike Myres (Collect/PA Real Life)


Richard, who has never been to the UK, plans to impersonate the character as long as he and Canadian actor comedian Myers are “still around” – and said suggestions of an Austin Powers 4 are “very interesting”.

In recent years Myers has said he would be open to making a fourth Austin Powers film, saying on the Tonight Show in 2023: “I would love to do it, of course, it’s fun.”

Richard said: “I’d love for them to make a new movie, and I’m the same age as Mike Myers so I’ll be doing it for as long as he’s still around and I’m still around – I’d love to do it worldwide.

“It would be very interesting to see what the story would be and I’ve heard that it would be more focused on Dr Evil.”

He told PA: “I had the same person, Gary Archer, who made the teeth for the movie make me a pair and found the exact same set of glasses from the film.

“I had a custom-made shirt with the big white puffy collar… and I bought boots and had to have the exact same number of buttons on the blue velvet suit.

“There is no make-up – there’s just teeth, sideburns, glasses.

“I have sideburns that I stick on, they’re made of yak hair, and I have the purple-looking suit too.

“I do have the Union jack underwear but I don’t think people would want to see me in them!”

In 1983, Richard began doing vocal impressions on his local radio station KIIS-FM.

His favourite character was Tootsie, from the 1983 comedy film of the same name, starring Dustin Hoffman and Sydney Pollack.

Richard began doing impressions of Tootsie


Richard began impersonating Austin Powers after the the release of the first movie, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.

“When I first saw the film at a preview screening… I said that it would make a really, really cool Halloween costume, and my friend said the movie was going to be dead and gone by Halloween,” he said.

“All I thought about was, ‘That’s a cool look and character’.

“So I think it kind of took hold of me and I adapted to that world.”

Richard soon developed his go-to quotes from the movie to include in his routine.

He explained: “Most of the presentation is improv because you can’t do an entire event based on some dialogue of a movie, you have to be able to walk and talk.

“I have some little lines in my arsenal, like ‘groovy’, that I use over and over and I always think of more cheesy pick-up lines.”

In 2000, Richard became an Austin Powers impersonator and actor full-time.

His career as a tribute artist soon became successful.

He said: “People were saying I should get in touch with the movie studio because there was going to be this big push to promote the second movie.

“And I did, and I appeared at Dodger Stadium at an event called the Wango Tango which is now iHeart Music Festival.

“Nancy Sinatra was there… and I came on stage and did an impression… and on the Monday morning I was on the morning news and they said Mike Myers showed up but it was actually me!”

Richard before he puts on the Austin outfit


Richard began getting hired for events such as trade shows, and turns up in his 2003 Mini Cooper – similar to the one Austin Powers’ father drove in the movie.

After doing the routine for more than 20 years, Richard, who shares his impressions on Instagram under the handle @austinpowersimpersonator, has changed some of his material to fit modern times.

He said: “Even though some of the material can be a bit misogynistic and potentially insulting to women, I never cross that line – I go almost up to that line, but never cross it.

“I am very protective of the women I work with if they’re hired as go-go girls – there’s tendencies for these women to be harassed and I’m always jumping to their aid, I have a great respect for women and the women I work with.

“I’m always reinventing the situations and the dialogue, in addition to the 60s dialogue and vernacular.

“What makes the character special is that even though he can be perceived as sexist in some of what he says, he actually is just the opposite and he learns from his journey from 1967 to 1997 that there have been changes in the culture.

“He is able to learn the difference and respect the difference between the attitudes of his time in the 1960s to the modern times in the 1990s.”

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