Ever had a birthmark you wanted to cover up with long sleeves? Maybe as a kid you had a pretty floppy ear, or loved to gross out your friends with your double-jointed fingers.
In any case, everyone has his or her own little deformities, and it is part of what makes each person unique. Sometimes, though, one can’t help but feel down because of their wart, weird mole or webbed toes. Do you just so happen to be one of those people?
Fear not, friend, for you are not alone!
Not only do all people have their own unique inconsistencies, but, in a rare case of “Stars: They Really Are Just Like Us,” some celebrities have small but noticeable deformities of their own, which make for great talk show fodder or party tricks. From Academy Award winners to box office greats, Grammy recipients and Shakespeareans alike, they’re all here.
So here’s a toast to all the actors, singers and more who aren’t afraid to show their weird little traits, whatever it may be. How many have you spotted in their combined countless TV and film appearances? Have a little fun and maybe take a closer look the next time you watch one of their projects.
Here are 15 Actors With Deformities You Never Knew About.
15. Joaquin Phoenix – Microform cleft
For anyone who sat through Gladiator, The Master, or Walk the Line, it’s impossible not to notice the scarring indentation between Joaquin Phoenix’s nose and mouth.
Rumors claim that it is the remnant of a surgery to remove a cleft lip and palate, but this is not true. Instead, Phoenix was born with the scar, which is thought to be a microform cleft; a minor version of a cleft that requires no surgery to be corrected. According to the actor himself, his mother felt a sharp pain while pregnant with him, and he was born several months later with the scar.
14. Elizabeth Taylor – Extra set of eyelashes
Academy Award winner and Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor was world renowned for her radiant “violet” eyes and lovely eyelashes – and they might have been the result of a mutation in her genes.
Taylor had an extra line of eyelashes, thought to have come about from the FOXC2 gene, which causes a disorder known as distichiasis that leads to the growth of more eyelashes. According to Hollywood legend, when Taylor’s mother Sara heard that her daughter was going to have the mutation, she said, “Well now, that doesn’t sound so terrible at all.”
13. Denzel Washington – Twisted pinky finger
Those who have seen plenty of films starring Denzel Washington may have noticed something about his right pinky finger – it’s noticeably twisted.
A fan of American football, Washington injured his finger numerous times while playing it as a teenager, and opted not to have it set correctly in the years since, leading to having a permanently twisted pinky on his right hand.
The Academy Award winner mostly hides the finger in his film projects by moving his hands, keeping them busy or holding something. In an interview with Graham Norton, Washington discussed the finger and how his children would ask him to show his “magic finger” to their friends, with some pretty disastrous (and even scary) results.
12. Mila Kunis – Heterochromia
This one is a little different from others, because oftentimes viewers can’t see it, even if they have viewed much of Mila Kunis’ work.
In 2009, the Bad Moms actress suffered from inflammation of the iris, which led to a surgery to save the vision in one of her eyes. Now, she has one brown eye on her right and one green eye on her right, and wears a color contact to make them appear the same color.
The disparate colors are known as heterochromia, often caused by a lack of the pigment melanin to even out eye colors, and it is relatively common.In addition to Kunis, other bearers of different colored eyes in Hollywood include Kiefer Sutherland, Alice Eve, Jane Seymour, and Kate Bosworth.
11. Dan Aykroyd – Webbed toes
Actor and writer Dan Aykroyd has webbed toes, a deformity that is not uncommon. 1 in every 2,000 to 2,500 people has a form of webbed feet, and the Saturday Night Live alumnus is one of them.
Webbed feet are more customary in the feet of birds and animals such as ducks and frogs. When it occurs in humans, it is a form of syndactyly, in which two or more digits on the hands or feet are joined together.
The Blues Brothers and Ghostbusters actor isn’t shy of his feet – he sometimes pulls out his webbed toes to show them off. And he isn’t alone in Hollywood for this; actors Ashton Kutcher (That ’70s Show) and Danielle Panabaker (The Flash) are also known to have webbed toes.
10. Lily Allen – Third nipple
Singer and songwriter Lily Allen has been vocal about being born with a third nipple.
Also known as a “supernumerary” nipple, the third nipple is often found in an area resembling a straight line from the collarbones to the groin. Less than a centimeter in diameter, they are often mistaken for a mole by the untrained eye. Fittingly, when Allen displayed her own third nipple on The Friday Night Project some years ago, it resembled a birthmark.
Third nipples have become common even in fictional characters, with the most notable being Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry) in Friends. Along with Allen, other famous people with third nipples include Mark Wahlberg, Tilda Swinton, Joanne Krupa, Carrie Underwood, and Harry Styles.
9. David Bowie – Permanently dilated pupil
Fans of legendary performer David Bowie know the story behind his infamous dilated left pupil. While still in school, Bowie got into a fight over a girl with classmate George Underwood, and Underwood punched him in the eye. Doctors couldn’t repair the damage, and Bowie had bad depth perception and a dilated pupil as a result.
The damaged eye gave Bowie an otherworldly appearance, one that helped him during his years as alter ego Ziggy Stardust and in the science fiction film The Man Who Fell To Earth, where he played an alien.
8. Kesha – Tail
Pop singer and songwriter Kesha claims to have been born with a tail. According to the singer, the tail grew to be “a quarter of an inch” before being surgically removed.
While tails in humans are exceedingly rare, a case like this isn’t unheard of: some infants are born with partial tails, mostly as a result of the tail of an embryo not absorbing into the body of the fetus.
Then again, this might not be the most shocking thing the public has learned about the “TiK ToK” and “Die Young” performer. Among the gossipy legends about Kesha are claims that she drinks her own urine, received a near perfect score on her SATs in high school, and that she broke into Prince’s house as a teenager.
7. Forest Whitaker – Lazy eye
Those who have seen Forest Whitaker in films like Last King of Scotland and Lee Daniels’ The Butler might notice that his left eyelid has a droop. According to Whitaker himself, this is the result of a condition known as ptosis, also known as having a lazy eye.
Ptosis has a number of causes, but among the most common is a weakness in the muscles that help to raise the eyelid when it is not blinking. Sometimes, including in Whitaker’s case, ptosis can be hereditary. In this instance, Whitaker’s father also had it.
Nevertheless, Whitaker says he “doesn’t think about [this] eye.” The actor told Esquire that he has considered having surgery to correct it, as it does affect his eyesight, but decided against it.
6. Megan Fox – Clubbed thumbs
Actress and model Megan Fox may be best known for her striking beauty, but in an interview with Jay Leno on The Tonight Show some years ago, she admitted that her least favorite body parts were her thumbs.
The thumbs are a symptom of the condition brachydactyly, which means that her thumbs and their nails are shorter than normal. Similar to a clubbed foot, these deformed digits can be known in layman’s terms as “stub thumbs,” “potter’s thumbs,” or, more commonly, “clubbed thumbs.”
While the thumbs could be passed down as a hereditary condition, Fox said in the same interview that her mother ate tuna every day while pregnant with her, apparently oblivious to its mercury content. In addition to Fox, actors Malin Akerman and Ashley Tesoro are also assumed to have clubbed thumbs.
5. Bill Nighy – Permanently bent fingers
Renowned theater and film actor Bill Nighy is often recognized for his impressive performances, but some viewers take note of his unusual hands, on which the ring and pinky fingers are permanently bent.
Nighy has spoken often of his Dupuytren’s contracture, which causes the ring and pinky fingers on each hand to be bent inward toward the palm. The disorder kept him from his previous career choice of being a journalist, but did drive him to consider acting.
Now, after Love Actually, two Pirates of the Caribbean films, Underworld, and its host of sequels, a pair of Best Exotic Marigold Hotels and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the two bent fingers are most likely the last thing an audience member would notice on a man like Nighy.
4. Shailene Woodley – Scoliosis
The Descendants and Divergent actress Shailene Woodley suffered from scoliosis as a teenager.
Common in those between ten and twenty years old, scoliosis is a condition that sees a person’s spine curve sideways. While the causes are generally regarded to be unknown, either due to certain issues of genetics or environment, there are already three well-regarded treatment options for those who have the disease: observation, surgery, and, more commonly, back braces.
Woodley was no exception to the braces. As part of her treatment, Woodley told Us Weekly, she had to wear a back brace for 18 hours a day. She lamented that it was similar to “wearing a corset” and that she had to give up cross-country running, but in the end, doctors allowed it to be removed after two years of treatment.
3. Mark Hamill – Damaged nose
Even Luke Skywalker is not immune to injury. Toward the end of production on the first Star Wars in early 1977, Mark Hamill was involved in a car accident that damaged his face.
Thankfully, he was brought into surgery that resulted in a few scars. Some of the scars are visible in the opening scene of The Empire Strikes Back, and Hamill and costar Carrie Fisher claimed that the scene where Luke is attacked by a Wampa was written to explain them, complete with makeup artists being asked to accentuate his existing scars.
2. Tina Fey – Scar on chin
In an interview with Maureen Dowd in Vanity Fair, writer and actress Tina Fey explained the origin of a faint scar above her chin. When Fey was five years old, a stranger approached her in her front yard and cut her left cheek with a knife. According to her husband, composer Jeff Richmond, the young Fey thought that he was marking her with a pen. The scar has healed over time, but can still be seen in pictures of Fey.
The Emmy winner rarely discusses the ordeal, saying that it’s “impossible to talk about [the slashing incident] without exploiting or glorifying it.” The scar is often cited as the reason why Fey was mainly filmed from the right side in her TV series 30 Rock and films such as Sisters and Baby Mama.
1. Stephen Colbert – Deformed ear
The Late Show and Colbert Report host Stephen Colbert has been open about the reason his right ear sticks out. A surgery he had as a child, meant to correct an issue with his eardrum, instead caused damage to his inner ear. The damage was so bad that he wound up deaf in his right ear.
The condition left him unable to scuba dive, which discouraged him from following an interest in marine biology. Colbert has said that he has opted not to have surgery to correct the deafness, and when taking questions from his live audiences, he turns to have his left ear facing them, in order to hear them better.
Colbert’s experience also gave him a party trick: he can tuck his ear into itself and make it pop back out by winking his right eye. He revealed this in an interview with Late Show predecessor David Letterman.
Are there other celebrity physical quirks that you know about? Share in the comments!
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