Like the title of Hollywood idol Tom’s latest movie, Tony’s wild lifestyle was also propelling him towards Oblivion – and a brush with death
Five rampant girls were hunkered around Tom Cruise lookalike Tony Stowell on the bed, tearing off his white naval uniform copied from A Few Good Men.
Within seconds he was naked. And an hour later, high on champagne from yet another personal appearance as the Hollywood star’s spitting image, he passed out.
When Tony awoke the girls were asleep around him in a hotel room littered with empty bubbly bottles.
His body was covered in scratches. He supposed they must have all had sex with him, but the lad from Hull – catapulted into the beds of hundreds of women because of his striking resemblance to the Top Gun star – couldn’t remember in his drunken haze.
"Lust-crazy women would just throw themselves at me because of who I looked like,” says Tony.
“I was partying with the stars, earning a fortune and having sex everywhere.”
But, like the title of Hollywood idol Tom’s latest movie, Tony’s wild lifestyle was also propelling him towards Oblivion – and a brush with death.
Tony, now 44 and a father of two, was a teenager when his uncanny resemblance to Tom was spotted by a model agency.
He joined the books of music mogul Nigel Martin-Smith, the man who discovered Take That, shortly after Cruise’s 1986 smash hit movie Top Gun transformed him into a global heart-throb.
And Tony’s life was transformed too. He reveals: “Overnight I went from being Mr Nobody walking the streets of Hull to this figure of lust for hundreds of women.
“I suddenly found myself earning up to a £1,000 a night doing personal appearances in nightclubs, which was a fortune back in the late 80s, early 90s.
“I was partying in all the top London clubs like String-fellows and the Hippodrome with stars like Robbie Williams and Martin Kemp.
"I spent thousands on booze.”
Dedicated Tony went all out to match everything about Tom’s appearance.
“It was everything,” he says. “Right down to the famous Aviator sunglasses which I wore 24/7 come rain or shine.
“Girls threw themselves at me, often offering me sex just minutes after meeting them.
"I’ve had sex in nightclub toilets, fire escapes, the back of taxis... everywhere.”
Tony travelled the world first class, opening everything from supermarkets to shopping malls and cinemas.
The six-in-a-bed night stands out in his memory.
“I was in London and I ended up back at my hotel with five girls after doing a personal appearance in Cruise’s most famous outfit – the white naval officer’s uniform he wore in A Few Good Men.
“We all fell onto the bed in a drunken heap and they tore my outfit off. I was so drunk I must have passed out after an hour.
"I can’t even remember if I’d actually had sex but when I woke up I had scratch marks all over my body.
"The girls were all asleep on the bed surrounded by empty champagne bottles which I had paid for.
“Most of the girls I slept with were in their 20s but I had women of all ages wanting to sleep with me including a mother and daughter who approached me after a personal appearance in Newcastle.
"They started arguing about who was going to have me first. For once I got cold feet and legged it through the nearest exit.”
While the number of conquests rose, Tony struggled to keep count. “I must have easily slept with over 500 women,” he recalls.
“Lust-crazy girls would try to pick me up in supermarkets and gyms where I worked out to keep my body muscled up like Tom’s.
“Looking back I think my behaviour was disgusting but at the time I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong.
"I was happy to fulfil ladies’ fantasies that they were actually sleeping with Tom.
“For each new film of Tom’s that came out I’d change my look to match his. When Mission Impossible was released in 1996, I cropped my hair and began wearing tight black T-shirts and leather jackets like Tom.
“That was another successful period when women couldn’t resist me. Some even offered me money to sleep with them but I always refused.
“Once a very famous actress wanted to sleep with me but I turned her down because she wanted her husband to watch as we made love so they could play up to the fantasy that she was having sex with Tom Cruise.”
But while Tony was leading his debauched lifestyle away from home he kept one big secret from his fans – he was married.
In his early 20s, at the height of his lookalike work, Tony married Icelander Jona , then 23, after a whirlwind romance.
“It didn’t change my ways one bit and I carried on living my life as if I was a single man. Thinking about it now I feel ashamed of my behaviour.
"Eventually Jona got sick of me never being home and finding phone numbers of girls stuffed into my jacket.
We split up after 18 months on the grounds of irreconcilable differences.
“Basically I was too immature and selfish to change my ways. Jona, who is a champion bodybuilder, returned to Iceland after we divorced.”
After his marriage collapsed Tony’s party lifestyle continued at full speed but his fast living eventually caught up with him when he suffered a stroke at just 25.
He said: “My body was running on empty from all the booze, late nights, fast food and travelling. I was never into drugs, even though cocaine was always available, but I’d drink like a fish when I was out partying.
“Looking like Tom meant I never had to buy a drink, which was another big plus. Some nights I’d wash down bottles of bubbly with white wine and soda and lose count of what I had drunk.
“One day I collapsed at my mum’s house and was rushed into Hull Royal Infirmary. Medical tests later revealed I had had a stroke.
“I lost part of my memory, my vision went and I lost some mobility. It took me months to recover and from that moment I realised I couldn’t carry on as I was.”
Tony, now a qualified psychologist and part-time model, has transformed his life thanks to new partner Chantal Stephenson, 44.
Together they have two children – daughter Indie,13, and son Rio,12.
Tony says: “I might not have Tom’s money or fame but I am far happier now with what I have – a partner I love and two beautiful children. That old lifestyle is behind me for good now.
“I still get stopped in the street saying I look like Tom but now I just laugh it off.
“I’m just happy being plain Mr Stowell from now on.”