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Release: Immediate

Release: Immediate

Vannier, head of radiology at UIHC, is Simon look-alike winner

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Michael Vannier, head of the radiology department at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and professor in the UI College of Medicine, is the winner in the Neil Simon look-alike contest, sponsored by Iowa Summer Rep. Iowa Summer Rep is presenting a festival of Simon's plays through July 27 in the UI Theatre Building.

Vannier's likeness was entered three times -- twice by work-mates in radiology and once anonymously. But Vannier says although his resemblance to America's most popular playwright obviously occurred to several acquaintances, he has never been mistaken for Simon. "You'll have to ask Mr. Simon if anyone has confused him with me," Vannier said.

Although at nearly 70 years of age, Simon is old enough to be his father, Vannier acknowledges that the two have much in common. "The parallels between the two of us are striking," Vannier said. "We're both handsome, suave, debonair and clever. And modest! "

As winner of the contest, Vannier received two tickets to Iowa Summer Rep and a copy of Simon's book "Rewrites: A Memoir."

Judging was done by the University of Iowa Community Credit Union, the major corporate sponsor of Iowa Summer Rep.