Most of the time, celebrities lead enviable lives. They’ve got beauty, money, and success. They drive fancy cars and get star treatment wherever they go. But they’re only human and, as such, they sometimes find themselves in the back of a cop car. Worse yet, their extremely unflattering booking photos are plastered all over the press.
It stands to reason that most people probably aren’t looking their best when they find themselves in trouble with the law. The actors on this list all had a variety of reasons for not nailing that mugshot. Some had cocaine sweats, or were generally rocking that unkempt look. Others couldn’t stop the tears or hide the anger they felt at their situation. In a few cases, they were at the tail end of a breaking point, and that unflattering mugshot had been in the cards for a while. Whatever the case, these celebrities probably wish they could just sweep these embarrassing incidents under the red carpet. Unfortunately for them, the Internet never forgets.
The stars on this list have become cautionary tales. Just walk away from that bar fight. If you’ve been drinking, call a car service. And, most importantly, if you’re enjoying marijuana and a naked drum circle in the privacy of your own home, try to keep it down. Let these 20 celebrity mugshots be a lesson to you!
22 Shia LaBeouf
Former Disney child star Shia LaBeouf has gotten into plenty of trouble since entering adulthood. His first arrest, for public drunkenness at a Walgreens in 2007, left him “embarrassed”, but not enough to keep him from getting a DUI in 2008, and 2 more public drunkenness charges in 2015 and 2017.
This tear-filled mugshot was taken after a 2014 arrest during a Broadway performance of Cabaret. The 28-year-old was reportedly smoking inside the theater, yelling at the actors on stage (including Michelle Williams and Alan Cumming) and swearing at the security guards who had asked him to stop. Police were waiting for him at intermission, and he was formally charged with 2 counts of disorderly conduct and 1 count of criminal trespassing. No word on whether he was crying because of the arrest, or because he was moved by Williams' rendition of “Maybe This Time”.
21 Vince Vaughn
Swingers star Vince Vaughn is known for his confident charisma. But the locals weren’t having it when, in 2001, he was arrested outside Wilmington, NC’s Firebelly Lounge. Vaughn was in town shooting the film Domestic Disturbance and was cutting loose with colleagues, Steve Buscemi, and screenwriter Scott Rosenberg when two locals became enraged at the attention Vaughn was paying to one of their girlfriends.
The men took it outside, channeling the The Warriors until passing police managed to break it up. Sadly, they arrived after Buscemi had been stabbed in four places. Vaughn pleaded no contest to fighting in public and charges were dropped six months later. Though in his mugshot, he appears to have been crying, his puffy eyes are likely due to being maced by the arresting officer. In case you were worried, Buscemi has since recovered from his wounds.
19 Vanilla Ice
Anything less than the best is a felony. But so is a domestic battery charge, which rapper Vanilla Ice was slapped with outside his Florida home in 2008. His wife had called 911 claiming the 40-year-old Cool As Ice star, whose real name is Robert Van Winkle, had kicked and hit her.
He was found on his motorcycle 2 blocks from his residence saying he’d left so they could cool down. He was taken to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, where he brought Smug Frankenstein’s Monster Realness to his mugshot. Van Winkle’s wife of 11 years later changed her story, saying he’d only pushed her. He had also been arrested for domestic battery in 2001, during which he admitted to having pulled his wife’s hair to prevent her from exiting his truck. Both charges were later dropped.
18 Edward Furlong
We’ve all been there. You’re on your way home from the bar with friends and you stop at the store to get some late-night snacks. In 2004, Terminator 2 star Edward Furlong was on just such a mission in Kentucky when he noticed a large tank full of live lobsters. The longtime PETA supporter was affected by their imprisonment, and was compelled to liberate them from their date with garlic butter.
He and his friends began reaching into the tank and pulling out the lobsters in an attempt to free them. The store manager called the cops, and Furlong and co. were arrested for public intoxication. There’s no word on whether or not they planned to give their crustacean pals a ride to the nearest body of water.
16 Hugh Grant
For nearly a decade, Hugh Grant embodied bumbling British charm, stammering his way into audience’s hearts in romantic comedies like Four Weddings and Funeral and Nine Months. Somehow, he also managed to overcome a disgrace that would have ended a lesser talent’s career: his 1995 arrest for soliciting a prostitute.
It helps that he was mortified and remorseful from minute one, delivering heartfelt apologies on a talk show repentance tour. When police caught him in the act with sex worker Divine Brown, he pled guilty to misdemeanor lewd conduct, received 2 years probation, and was ordered to pay a fine. The normally fashionable and dashing actor looks notably awkward in his mugshot, resembling a 5-year-old who has just been busted for drawing on the walls.
15 Nicholas Brendan
Despite often playing the role of comic relief as Xander on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, actor Nicholas Brendon convincingly tapped into the dark side of his defining character. Sadly, Brendon was probably pulling some of that darkness straight out of his own soul.
On September 30th, 2015, police were called to the 44-year-old actor’s Sarasota Springs, NY hotel room in response to a report of domestic violence. His 33-year-old girlfriend had brought Brendon some of his belongings. He had been drinking and was refusing to let her leave the premises. The actor forcibly confiscated her car keys and mobile phone, throwing the latter in the road. Brendon, who had already been arrested three times earlier that year for public intoxication and destruction of hotel property, was charged with felony third-degree robbery, two counts of criminal mischief, and one misdemeanor count of obstruction of breathing.
14 Gary Coleman
Former child actor Gary Coleman had a rough go of adulthood. In 2010, the 41-year-old Diff’rent Strokes star was arrested in Utah on a 2009 warrant that was rumored to be for domestic assault, but later proven false. The real reason for the warrant was that he missed a court date because he needed an emergency medical procedure.
The haunted man in this photo is a far cry from the chipmunk-cheeked cutie that always wondered what people were talking about. Earlier that year, Coleman’s wife, 23-year-old Shannon Price, had been charged with misdemeanor domestic violence and disorderly conduct when she locked him out of their home and dumped many of his belongings in the front yard. Coleman died later that year of a brain hemorrhage.
13 Mischa Barton
Mischa Barton, who played the troubled Marissa Cooper on the popular teen drama The O.C., was known in real life for her keen fashion sense. But she was having a bit of a casual night in 2007, when she was arrested in Los Angeles on a drunk driving charge.
The 21-year-old was pulled over when police spotted her "straddling two lanes of traffic" and failing to use her turn signal. It was then that they discovered she was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana. More troublingly, they discovered that the reason she was driving without a license is because she’d never gotten one. The West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station set her bail at $10,000, which she posted 7 hours later. She received 36 months probation, 3 months of alcohol education, and a small fine.
12 Rip Torn
In 2010, 78-year-old character actor Elmore “Rip” Torn was arrested in his hometown of Salisbury, CT, when he broke into a bank while intoxicated and armed with a loaded revolver. He slipped in through a back window, but didn’t steal anything because he claimed that he believed he was in his own home.
Torn was charged with carrying a pistol without a permit, carrying a firearm while intoxicated, first-degree burglary, first-degree criminal trespass, and third-degree criminal mischief. Torn had two previous DUIs, having been acquitted by a jury in 2004 and pled guilty to a 2007 charge. Police refused to release a videotape of that incident, which allegedly showed him acting belligerently toward officers, because he was granted special probation.
11 Joyce Dewitt
68-year-old actress Joyce Dewitt is perhaps best known for her role as the sweet and sassy brunette Janet on the 1970s sitcom, Three’s Company, a show famous for it’s misunderstanding-driven plots. But in 2009, Dewitt experienced a real-life wacky misunderstanding when California police charged her with a DUI.
Officers stopped her after she allegedly drove through a barricade when leaving an El Segundo park after a 4th of July fireworks show. We can all relate to the aggravation of being stuck in Independence Day traffic. But cops also uncovered extreme intoxication when she failed several field sobriety tests. She was arrested and booked, posing for the above awkward close-up. She was cited and released a short while later when she posted her own $5000 bail.
10 Paul Reubens
Is Pee Wee Herman a loner and rebel, or just a guy who was bored while visiting his parents? In 1991, Paul Reubens, best known as his be-suited and bowtie-clad alter ego, was on vacation in his hometown of Sarasota, FL when he decided to beat the, ahem, heat while taking in a double feature of adult films, Nurse Nancy and Catalina Tiger Shark.
Unfortunately for the 38-year-old actor, it was also the day that Florida’s Finest decided to crack down on the porno theater patrons that had been menacing their town. An undercover officer arrested Reubens, who pled no contest to misdemeanor indecent exposure. The courts ordered him to pay a fine and also required him to produce an anti-drug public service announcement. His Saturday morning children’s show, Pee Wee’s Playhouse, was swiftly cancelled, and stores purged his toys from the shelves.
9 Heather Locklear
Blonde bombshell Heather Locklear, best known for her role on primetime soap Melrose Place, had perhaps ignored the label on her medication that warned her against operating heavy machinery on a 2008 afternoon. A witness observed the 47-year-old actress having difficulty leaving a Montecito parking lot and called 911. Locklear allegedly revved her engine loudly and repeatedly drove over a pair of sunglasses.
A spokesman for CHP reported they found her “seated inside her vehicle, which was partially blocking the roadway” and that she seemed “disoriented and impaired.” Locklear was taken to the local precinct and cooperatively underwent drug and alcohol tests, all of which were negative. It was later reported that the actress, who had been treated for anxiety and depression, was experiencing a bad reaction to her prescription medication. She was released later that evening on $5000 bail and pleaded no contest to reckless driving. The DUI charges were dropped.
8 Yasmine Bleeth
Former Baywatch beauty Yasmine Bleeth was arrested in Romulus, MI in September 2001 and charged with cocaine possession, after losing control of her car and driving into a median. The 33-year-old actress pleaded guilty to one criminal count and was sentenced to two years probation and 100 hours of community service.
She later admitted to a cocaine addiction that led to an infection “that had completely eaten out the inside of [her] nose.” As she explained in Glamour Magazine, “Essentially, I had gangrene in my nose." A doctor put her on antibiotics and told her that had she carried on with her drug abuse for another couple of months, the infection would have gone to her brain and killed her. She went to rehab in the nick of time, and in 2015, she made her first public appearance in 10 years, alive and well at a New Years Day Penguin Plunge.
7 Tim Allen
In 1978, he was arrested when he attempted to sell a large amount of cocaine to an undercover police officer at Michigan’s Kalamazoo-Battle Creek International Airport. He subsequently pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and revealed the identities of other dealers in exchange for a sentence of three to seven years, instead of possible life imprisonment (...somehow). Allen, who was 25 at the time, served two years in the Federal Correctional Institution in Sandstone, MN. He later revealed, “It put me in a position of great humility, and I was able to make amends to friends and family and refocus my life on setting and achieving goals.”
6 Michelle Rodriguez
The 27-year-old Lost star was arrested for a DUI in December 2005 while shooting the hit ABC show in Hawaii. Because the arrest was a violation of an existing probation, she was sentenced to 180 days in jail, a 30-day alcohol rehab program, and another 30 days of community service in May 2006. She only ended up serving 17 days of her sentence due to jail overcrowding and good behavior.
But she reportedly wasn’t so well behaved at the time of her booking, telling an officer: “I don’t f***ing belong here! Why don’t you just put a gun to my head and shoot me!” She later attributed her outburst to steroids she’d been taking for allergies since she’d arrived in Hawaii. She also said she’d only just learned to drive for a “racing movie” – presumably 2001’s The Fast and the Furious.
5 Matthew McConaughey
Matthew McConaughey has a fascinating and mellow outlook on life. He loves the feeling of driving a luxury car almost as much as scantily clad public beach yoga and chronic-fueled, clothing-optional house parties.
In 1999, the Dazed and Confused star was arrested outside his Austin, TX home after a neighbor called in a noise complaint. Police found 30-year-old McConaughey naked and playing bongo drums with a friend. He was charged with marijuana possession and resisting transportation, as he allegedly refused the officer’s request to put on pants. The drug charges were eventually dropped, though McConaughey pled guilty to violating Austin's noise ordinance, and paid a $50 fine. He remains regret free, remarking, “what’s wrong with beating on your drums in your birthday suit?” His takeaway: “Shut the window that has the beautiful scent of jasmine blowing in because it’s two in the morning and you might wake a neighbor.”
4 Andy Dick
Actor and comedian Andy Dick has a long history of drug abuse and drug-related arrests. But it was his July 2008 lockup that resulted in him flashing his best Charles Manson smile when he was booked on drug and sexual battery charges.
Dick was picked up in a Buffalo Wild Wings parking lot in Murrieta, CA after allegedly groping a 17-year-old girl and then pulling down her shirt, exposing her breasts. Police searched him and uncovered a small amount of marijuana and a single, un-prescribed Xanax pill. He was reportedly “extremely intoxicated” and booked into the Southwest Detention Center on $5000 bail. He paid $700, received 3 years probation, and was ordered to wear an alcohol monitor for a year.
3 Mike Lookinland
Former child actor Mike Lookinland, best known for playing Bobby on The Brady Bunch, was arrested in November 1997 in Utah for drunk driving after totaling his Ford Bronco. Police found his blood alcohol level was 0.258% - more than 3 times the Utah legal limit.
After being treated for cuts and bruises, the 36-year-old was arrested, channeling his inner Jeffrey Dahmer for his mugshot. He was later released on a $1,550 bail and immediately sought recovery for alcohol abuse. He’s been sober ever since. He later told Oprah, “The problem for me was, I lived my childhood in my 20s…You should really try to live your childhood when you’re a child, because if you do it when you’re 26, it can be dangerous.”
2 Jason London
The 40-year-old actor had been carousing at The Martini Ranch in Scottsdale, AZ when police were called in. London was reportedly beyond belligerent, cursing at the arresting officer and using homophobic slurs. He also told the officer to “look [him] up” because he’s a “rich” and “motherf***ing famous actor”. But the pièce de résistance occurred when London was finally seated in the police cruiser. According to the police report, he remarked, “It smells like s*** in your car and your breath smells like diarrhea." He then “leaned left” and defecated in his pants, saying, "I told you I'm happy as shit."
Police were initially called when London sneezed on a bouncer, and then, instead of apologizing, punched the man in the face.
1 Nick Nolte
It’s hard to believe that the incident that incited Nick Nolte’s legendary 2002 mugshot was a mere DUI. What led to the 61-year-old Prince of Tides looking like Doc Brown on a dystopian tropical vacation?
At that point, Nolte reports that he had been taking GBH daily for 4 years. GHB, whose full name is gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, is a popular "party" drug that is often linked to sexual assaults. Nolte said that he was on his way to an AA meeting but grew sleepy in the parking lot and decided to head home instead. It was then that he fell asleep at the wheel and swerved into the oncoming lane, resulting in police involvement. He was sentenced to 3 years probation and rehab.
Did we miss any crazy celebrity mugshots? Let us know in the comments!