Society - People
By: - at August 27, 2013

55 Celebrities With Physical Imperfections

Most everyday people love to see the rich and famous brought back down to Earth. This largely has to do with the fact that celebrities are seen as having it all – as being perfect in each and every way, while the everyday person is generally far from perfect.

paparazzi and celebrity

The reality is, however, that celebrities are human just like everyone else. And in some cases, whether it’s due to bad luck, birth defects or horrible accidents, many celebrities (more than one might expect, in fact) have or have had significant physical imperfections.

Individual Celebrities:

1)  Rivers Cuomo – Uneven Leg

Front man for the band Weezer, Rivers Cuomo was born with one of his legs significantly (almost two inches) longer than the other. After his band’s success with the album ‘Weezer’, otherwise known as the “Blue Album”, (1994), Cuomo decided to address the issue. In order to correct the problem, Cuomo endured an excruciating surgical procedure where his leg was intentionally broken and encasing it in a brace that slowly stretched the leg over several months – basically, just think of the sequence in the film ‘Gattaca’ (1997) when Ethan Hawke has to have his legs extended in order to grow taller.

Lead Singer of Weezer - Rivers Cuomo
Lead Singer of Weezer - Rivers Cuomo

On the upside, the experience scarred Cuomo in more ways than one, as it inspired him to write the song “The Good Life” for the album ‘Pinkerton’ (1996). The album cover also featured an x-ray image of Cuomo’s broken leg.

2)  Gerald Green – Missing Finger

Basketball player, Gerald Green was drafted with the 18th pick in the 2005 National Basketball Association (NBA) Draft. Despite his delight at being selected, he made a point to keep his right hand in his pocket, trying to hide the source of his insecurity – his missing finger.

Gerald Green Dunking - Even Missing a Finger
Gerald Green Dunking - Even Missing a Finger

In the sixth grade, a freak accident caused him to lose half of his ring finger. While wearing his mother's class ring, Green tried to dunk on a makeshift basketball ring attached to a doorway. The ring got caught on a nail. His finger was ripped to the bone and amputation was the only option when he sought medical attention. Remarkably, neither the injury itself, nor the subsequent insecurity, impacted Green's athletic ability – even in a sport that revolves around catching, bouncing, holding and shooting a ball. Green even won the NBA’s 2007 Slam Dunk contest and has proved himself a solid competitor in the league.

3)  Tina Fey – Facial Scar

For most of her career, actress and writer, Tina Fey remained silent about the shocking story that left her with the faint scar on the left side of her face. When she was 5, she was out playing in the front yard of her home when a stranger approached her and cut her on her cheek.

Tina Fey - The Scare is Very Difficult to See Now as She Grows Older
Tina Fey - The Scare is Very Difficult to See Now as She Grows Older

Despite the inevitable emotional trauma, Fey made the point to work hard and keep the experience from affecting her. She managed to essentially forget about it – until she was called to perform in front of the camera. Even today – even after her numerous film and television appearances – she is still self-conscious and often filmed from the right side to avoid the barely perceptible scar.

4)  Tony Iommi – Missing Finger Tips

Musician and Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi is missing the tips of some of his fingers. The injury resulted from a sheet metal accident while working prior to his music career in the industrial sector. Iommi was on his final shift at a sheet metal factory when an accident severed fingers on his right hand, taking off the ends of his ring and middle fingers.

Lead Guitarist for Black Sabbath - Tony Iommi
Lead Guitarist for Black Sabbath - Tony Iommi
By Carl Lender (Flickr: Tony Iommi at the New Haven Coliseum) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Being left-handed, Iommi needs his right hand to fret the guitar. He initially tried to teach himself to play the guitar right-handed (using his left hand to fret) without success. Remarkably, Iommi managed to re-string his guitar, using extra-light strings, then developed prosthetic fingertips from plastic covered in leather, which enabled him to continue and allowed his musical career to flourish.

5)  Megan Fox’s – Stubby Thumbs

Ask most men what they think of actress Megan Fox and they’ll tell you that they consider her near perfect – at least in terms of physical appearance. Not quite, though. Fox had a condition at birth, which caused both her thumbs to be somewhat misshapen.

Megan Fox - Stubby Thumbs Or Not, She is Gorgeous
Megan Fox - Stubby Thumbs Or Not, She is Gorgeous

Her condition is known as, “brachydactyly”. While they both function perfectly fine, her thumbs are short, with a wide nail.

6)  Karolina Kurkova – No Belly Button

While it’s clear she had one, Victoria's Secret model, Karolina Kurkova, no longer has a navel, which was caused by childhood surgery that went wrong.

Model Karolina Kurkova
Model Karolina Kurkova
By David Shankbone (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

7)  Denzel Washington – Misshapen Pinky Finger

During a childhood game of basketball, actor Denzel Washington snapped the little finger of his right hand. It was never corrected and caused the finger to heal in an awkward position.

A Younger Denzel Washington Signing Autographs
A Younger Denzel Washington Signing Autographs
photo by Alan Light [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Even after achieving fame and fortune, Washington never had it fixed. It is still significantly bent and points outwards from his hand.

8)  Daryl Hannah – Missing Finger

Actress Daryl Hannah doesn’t have part of her left index finger. The injury happened when Hannah was 3 years old. She was at her grandmother’s house, when she got too close to a water-well pulley.

Co-Star From The Kill Bill Movies - Daryl Hannah
Co-Star From The Kill Bill Movies - Daryl Hannah
By RavenUEspańol: Cuadrado por Juan Pablo Arancibia MedinaEnglish: Square by Juan Pablo Arancibia Medina [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

As it was the 1960s, doctors didn’t even attempt to restore the finger. Rather, they opted simply to stitch up the wound. Hannah’s missing finger is generally hidden in her films.

9)  Hrithik Roshan – Double Thumb

One of Bollywood's biggest actors, Hrithik Roshan, has an unusual malformed thumb on his right hand. Basically, he has two thumbs. The second is smaller than the main one and curves inwards towards his main thumb.

Hrithik Roshan Being Interviewed On His Birthday
Hrithik Roshan Being Interviewed On His Birthday [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

10)  Vince Vaughn’s – “Penis Thumb”

Actor Vince Vaughn is one actor who has always had a distinct look with a unique, somewhat cartoonist appearance. It’s not just his visage that’s unique, though. When Vaughn was seventeen he was in a car accident that resulted in Vaughn losing the tip of his right thumb.

Star of Movies Like "Old School" and "Wedding Crashers" - Vince Vaughn
Star of Movies Like "Old School" and "Wedding Crashers" - Vince Vaughn
Gage Skidmore [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

While you might struggle to see the misshapen thumb on the big screen, Vaughn is remarkably open about the injury in interviews – often joking that the disfigurement makes the thumb look more like a penis, with a fingernail.

11)  Billy Corgan – Port-Wine Stain

Smashing Pumpkins front man, Billy Corgan was born with Klippel-Trenauney syndrome (KTS), resulting in a large port-wine stain birthmark that covers a significant portion of his left hand.

 Billy Corgan to the right Pictured With Mark Tulin
Billy Corgan to the right Pictured With Mark Tulin
By Carl Johnson [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The mark can be seen in on the cover of his solo album, ‘TheFutureEmbrace’ (2005).

12 – 13)  Randy Foye, Catherine O’Hara – Reversed Organs

Basketball player Randy Foye has a very rare condition known as situs inversus, which means that his internal organs are reversed. That is, while most people’s heart is slightly to the left of their chest, Foye’s is slightly towards the right. His liver is also on his left and his stomach is on his right, while most people have those organs on the opposite sides of their body.

NBA Player Randy Foye
NBA Player Randy Foye
By David Shankbone (David Shankbone) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Basically, Foye’s internal organs are the mirror image of what they should be. As of 2013, he is the first and only professional athlete in the world to have the condition. His condition had little to no real impact on his career. He was selected high in the 2006 NBA Draft as the 7th pick. After entering the league, he’s proved himself to be a solid role player in the league for a number of teams over the years.

Actress Catherine O'Hara
Actress Catherine O'Hara
By Jerry Avenaim at en.wikipedia (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0, GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Actress and comedienne, Catherine O'Hara – who is perhaps best known as the mom in ‘Home Alone’ (1990) – also has the condition.

14)  Joaquin Phoenix – Facial Scar

Many have assumed that the scar on actor Joaquin Phoenix’s lip is the result of surgery to correct a cleft palate. He was in fact born with the mark, which was formed while in utero.

Joaquin Phoenix in 2005
Joaquin Phoenix in 2005
By Tony Shek ( [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

It’s the result of a mild form of cleft palate, which is known as microform cleft, which didn’t require any form of surgery whatsoever.

15)  Gerard Butler – Ear Size

Actor, Gerard Butler wasn’t even aware of it himself, until he shaved his head for a movie role, but he has one ear that sticks out significantly more than the other. It’s the result of an ear surgery he’d undergone when he was a child.

Gerard Butler Pictured At Berlin Film Festival in 2011
Gerard Butler Pictured At Berlin Film Festival in 2011
By Siebbi ( [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Butler also suffers from tinnitus in his right ear, resulting in deafness in the ear, which has affected him since he was young.

16)  Jennifer Garner – Overlapping Pinky Toe

Actress Jennifer Garner has brachymetatarsia, which is a condition where one of the five toe bones in the foot is shorter than the others. This results in a shortened toe, which can be overlapped by another toe.

Jennifer Garner
Jennifer Garner
By Tony Shek (Jennifer Garner) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

17 – 18)  Dan Aykroyd & Ashton Kutcher – Webbed Toes

Actor Dan Aykroyd has two toes on each foot that are webbed, extending almost up to the top knuckle. The condition is known as syndactyly.

Dan Aykroyd
Dan Aykroyd

It typically happens between the second and third toes. It is one of the most common congenital hand or foot defects.

Ashton Kutcher
Ashton Kutcher
By David Shankbone (David Shankbone) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Approximately one out of every 2,500 infants is born with the condition. Sometimes it is so severe that surgery is required to separate the fingers or toes. Actor Ashton Kutcher also has the condition.

Aykroyd also has different-colored Eyes.

19)  Seal – Facial Scars

Musician Seal is famous for his facial scars, but for a long time little was known about just how they occurred. It was caused by discoid lupus – an autoimmune disease – which usually affects an individual’s neck and head.

Seal Photographed While Promoting "The Voice" TV Show
Seal Photographed While Promoting "The Voice" TV Show
By Eva Rinaldi from Sydney Australia (SealUploaded by russavia) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Around half of those affected by the disease end up with “butterfly rash” over their cheeks and the bridge of their nose – as Seal does. It usually affects people 20 to 40 years old. However, Seal suffered from the condition when he was in his teens.

20)  Stephen Colbert – Ear

As a child Stephen Colbert had dreamed of growing up and becoming a marine biologist, but that dream was shattered when he had to undergo an operation to remove a tumor in his ear at the age of 10. He was left without an eardrum in his right ear.

Stephen Colbert
Stephen Colbert
By David Shankbone (attribution required) (David Shankbone) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

This effectively dashed his ambition, as healthy eardrums are crucial for scuba diving. Fortunately, when Colbert grew up, he managed to find work as one of the greatest comedic television hosts in the history of television.

21)  Padma Lakshmi – Arm Scar

Actress Padma Lakshmi possesses a significant scar on one arm. The injury to her right arm was caused by car crash at the age of fourteen. Her right arm and right hip were shattered.

Padma Laskmi
Padma Laskmi
By David Shankbone (David Shankbone) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

After surgery, she was fortunate enough to regain the use of both her arm and hip, though she was left with the scar on her arm.

22)  DJ Paul – Malformed Arm

Rapper, DJ Paul of Three Six Mafia has Erb-Duchenne palsy, which resulted in him having a malformed (baby-like) arm. Due to nerve damage to his arm in his youth, his arm never developed properly. He refers to it as his “baby arm”.

Dj Paul and His Little Arm Cast
Dj Paul and His Little Arm Cast

Paul hides the ailment in an elaborate cast for all public appearances. Ironically, while he uses the cast to hide the arm, the cast itself has become somewhat iconic.

23)  Robert David Hall – Amputation and Severe Burns

Actor Robert David Hall – who is perhaps best known as Dr. Albert Robbins, the coroner in television series, ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigators’ (2000 – present) – lost both his legs in 1978. They were amputated, after a car accident, when his vehicle was crushed by an 18-wheeler truck.

Robert David Hall on the Hit Show CSI
Robert David Hall on the Hit Show CSI


David also received burns to 65% of his body when the car’s gas-tank exploded, burning more than 65% of his body. Today, he has mobility through the use of prosthetic limbs.

24)  Gary Burghoff – Hand

Actor Gary Burghoff was born with a congenital deformity of his left hand. Three of his fingers looked more like pinky fingers than regular fingers. Despite the physical set-back, Burghoff became a proficient drummer in his youth.

Actor Gary Burghoff
Actor Gary Burghoff

While he starred in the television series ‘M*A*S*H’ (1972 – 1983) as Eugene “Radar” O’Reilly, his hand was always kept obscured by props – usually a clipboard – while he did everything with his right hand – never the left.

Burghoff was also born with a malformed foot, a condition known as clubfeet.

25)  Paul Stanley – Ear

Musician, Paul Stanley from Kiss was born with a Level 3 Microtia – a congenital deformity of the outer ear. The condition occurs in around 1 in 10,000 births. The result is that there is no ear canal. Stanley is practically deaf on his right side, given there is no way for sound to get through to the inner workings of his ear.

Paul Stanley of Kiss
Paul Stanley of Kiss

Stanley uses an implanted hearing aid to assist him to hear, though he expresses little trouble with how he hears the world even if it’s remarkably different to most people, given that it clearly hasn’t impacted his personal and musical success.

26)  Harold Lloyd – Missing Fingers

Legend of the silent film era, Harold Lloyd (20th April, 1893 – 8th March, 1971) had his right thumb and forefinger blown off in 1919. During a publicity shoot, a real bomb was mistakenly used in place of a prop. Just seconds before it detonated, Lloyd had remarked the “fake” bomb was producing an alarmingly amount of smoke, before Lloyd was blown across the room.

Harold Lloyd in film The Milky Way
Harold Lloyd in film The Milky Way

He was blind for eight months and was scarred around the eyes. Lloyd came to wear a flesh-colored glove for all his following films to hide the injury from the audience.

27 – 28)  Gemma Arterton & Taye Diggs – Extra Fingers

Actress Gemma Arterton, best known as a Bond Girl was born with polydactyly. Arterton had six fingers on each hand at birth. The condition polydactyly impacts approximately one in a thousand children. Arterton suffered from the most typical variety, which involved a boneless digit, next to either little finger.

Gemma Arterton
Gemma Arterton
By Eva Rinaldi from Sydney Australia (Gemma ArtertonUploaded by russavia) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Doctor addressed the issue by tying off the superfluous digits, which eventually fell off. Only small scars remained. Polydactyly ran in her family. She also had a crumpled ear when she was born. It that was later addressed with surgery.

Taye Diggs
Taye Diggs

As a child, actor Taye Diggs also had polydactyly. He had an extra digit on each hand and still has scars from the surgery to remove them.

29)  Jerry Garcia – Missing Finger

Front man for the Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia (1st August, 1942 – 9th August, 1995) lost two-thirds of his right middle finger when he was a child. He had been holding blocks of firewood steady for his father while he was chopping – a similar instance was depicted in the film ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’ (2001). In spite of the injury, Garcia had little trouble playing guitar.

Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead
Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead

In honor of both Garcia’s music but also his achievement despite his injury, a hotel in Portland, Oregon, the Barley Mill Pub (an unofficial museum of Dead memorabilia) has an illustration of Garcia's right hand to encourage everyone to carry on despite any and all set-backs.

30)  James Doohan – Missing Finger

As part of the Royal Canadian Army, actor James Doohan had landed at Normandy on D-Day. Doohan was hit with machine gun fire, with four bullets hitting one leg, one getting him in the chest (though the bullet was miraculously stopped by a metal cigarette case in his shirt), and another bullet amputated his right middle finger.

Star Trek's Scottie - James Doohan
Star Trek's Scottie - James Doohan

Special stunt hands were employed whenever Doohan appeared as Scotty in ‘Star Trek’ (1966 – 1969) and close-ups were required for his hands, though there were times were it could be seen throughout the show. A clear shot of Doohan’s hand can be seen in the movie, ‘Star Trek III: The Search for Spock’ (1984), when he shows Dr. McCoy what he had taken from the Excelsior in order to sabotage it.

31)  Lee Van Cleef – Missing Finger Tip

While building a studio addition to his house actor Lee Van Cleef cut off the tip of his middle finger of his right hand.

Lee Van Cleef
Lee Van Cleef

It would ultimately become somewhat of a trademark for him, when it was prominently depicted during the showdown in the classic Western film ‘The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly’ (1966).

32)  Django Reinhardt – Paralysis

Jean Baptiste "Django" Reinhardt (23rd January, 1910 – 16th May, 1953) was a multi-talented musician. He could play the banjo, the guitar and the violin. He started playing in his childhood. He didn’t achieve fame, however, until he lost a number of fingers.

Django Reinhardt
Django Reinhardt

When he was 18, Django was hurt due to a fire in his and his wife’s caravan. He was paralyzed in his right leg and the fifth and fourth fingers on his left hand (which he used to fret the guitar) were severely burned and partially paralyzed. Django determined to re-learn the guitar. Ultimately, he developed a new playing style and ultimately became a jazz legend.


33 – 36)  Polythelia – (“Third Nipple”)

The condition polythelia is a supernumerary nipple or a “third nipple”. While the condition sounds unusual, it’s far more common than most might think – even among celebrities. Around 3% of the population have an extraneous nipple.

Tilda Swinton
Tilda Swinton

Musician, Lily Allen has been very open about having one. She has shown it off on numerous occasion, during various television appearances and interviews. The condition is a tiny freckle-like mark near her left breast.

Mark Wahlburg
Mark Wahlburg
By SPakhrin (Shooter - Movie premiere) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Other celebrities with the condition include, actress Tilda Swinton, actor Mark Wahlberg, and musician Carrie Underwood, though she had hers removed.

37 – 42)  Heterochromia Iridium – (Different-Colored Eyes)

Heterochromia Iridium is a condition that causes a person to have multi-colored eyes. It’s rare but not so rare that there aren’t quite a few celebrities who have the condition. Actors Kiefer Sutherland and Christopher Walken have it, as does actresses Kate Bosworth, Mila Kunis and Jane Seymour, along with musician David Bowie.

Musician David Bowie
|Musician David Bowie

43 – 55)  Talipes equinovarus (TEV) or (“clubfeet”)

Talipes equinovarus (TEV) or “clubfeet” is a birth defect. The effects are that a foot is twisted in (inverted) and down. It’s fairly common and affects around one in every 1,000 infants. There are a number of causes for it. It is treated with braces to hold the feet in orthodox positions, small splints or serial casting.

Actor and Comedian Damon Wayans
Actor and Comedian Damon Wayans

A number of famous people, in a variety of fields, have or have had the condition. Those affected include, filmmaker David Lynch, comedians Damon Wayans and Dudley Moore. A remarkably high number of professional athletes have dealt overcome clubfeet, including Steven George Gerrard (soccer), Charles Woodson (football), Lawrence Sherry (baseball), Freddy Sanchez (baseball), Jim Mecir (baseball), Mia Hamm (soccer), Kristi Yamaguchi (figure skater), Troy Aikman (football), Pat Summerall (football) and Miguel Riffo (soccer).





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