15Joaquin 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.
Cleft lips are one of the more common birth defects, and in addition to Phoenix, actor Stacy Keach and comedian Cheech Marin were also born with them.