Whether looking through the magazine rack at the grocery store, surfing through various celeb gossip sites online or watching the latest episode of TMZ, most people have an obsession with celebrities and their lives. The celebrity world we often see is one filled with money, fashion, feuding, romance and the occasional ‘leaked’ sex-tape. For most of us, the life of a celebrity seems pretty good. Sure you have to put up with paparazzi and intrusive journalists, but the money, fame and overall lifestyle seems pretty good. To us, many celebrities live perfect lives with little or no perceived hardships or challenges. Yet, movie stars, talk show hosts and models don’t live the perfect lives some of us imagine. Like us, they have their own personal shortcomings, limitations and fears. These fears are often ‘normal’ or even expected – the fear of spiders, snakes or failure. Sometimes, however, celebrities reveal fears or phobias that are just plain strange.
In the celebrity world, no one comes near the legendary actor and director Woody Allen when it comes to phobias. Allen spent nearly 40 years undergoing psychoanalysis and has (or has had at one time) a fear of cancer, insects, sunshine, dogs, deer, crowds, heights, bright colors, children and being outside Manhattan. How he managed to even go outside of his house or be so involved in the film industry is beyond us. That said, while he had a long list of phobias, Allen is not alone in the celebrity phobia list. Most celebrities display ‘normal’ fears that many of us non-celebrities have. For instance, Matt Damon is afraid of snakes, Jennifer Love Hewitt is afraid of elevators, Britney Spears is afraid of most reptiles and Johnny Depp is afraid of clowns. Although considering the run of his poor box-office performances, it’s amazing more directors haven’t developed ‘Deppophobia.’
The following list gives 10 celebrities who have phobias which are either downright strange or curious considering the line of work they are in.
10. Roger Moore – Fear of Guns
Probably best known for his role as James Bond, Roger Moore has undertaken numerous film and television roles over his career. It was as the suave and stylish secret agent, however, that he made his mark in the entertainment world. From 1973’s Live and Let Die to 1985’s A View to a Kill, Moore fought a variety of villains, seduced an army of women and employed a bunch of bizarre gadgets. What many fans don’t know is that this secret agent suffered from a fear of guns. It turns out that during his post-World War 2 service in the British Army, Moore had a firearm explode in his hands. The event caused him to become nervous around guns and even uncontrollably blink while holding one. It’s hard to imagine James Bond being too scared to hold his Walther PPK pistol.
9. Lyle Lovett – Fear of Cows
Ok, so he’s not a big celebrity. Some of you have probably never even heard of him. Lovett is an American country singer-songwriter who has appeared or performed for dozens of films and television shows. At one point in the early 1990s he was married to Julia Roberts after the couple met on the set of a film. Lovett had to be included in this list because he suffers from Bovinophobia – a fear of cows. His fear likely developed in 2002 following an incident where a bull rammed Lovett into a fence, breaking his leg. While we can all agree that’s a pretty strange phobia, the fact that a country singer has this specific fear makes it just that much more interesting.
8. Carmen Electra – Fear of Water
Close friends and family know her as Tara Leigh Patrick. We know her better as Carmen Electra. The actress and model gained notoriety in the mid-1990s thanks to Playboy magazine. Electra gained true fame shortly after when she was cast to be on Baywatch as lifeguard Leilani McKenzie from 1997 to 1998 – Running along the beach by the water and saving people who were in the water. She also modeled for Maxim, FHM and Max Factor cosmetics – sometimes having shots taken wearing bathing suits or bikinis in or near a pool or body of water. See where we are going with this? Yes, Electra suffers from hydrophobia, the fear of water. Considering her role on Baywatch or some of the photo shoots she has done, it’s a rather strange situation altogether.
7. Christina Ricci – Fear of Plants
We’re going to venture a guess that the musical and film Little Shop of Horrors is not one of Christina Ricci’s favorites. The American actress is best known for her work in such films as The Addams Family series, Sleepy Hollow and Monster. Ricci has also appeared on television making appearances on such shows as Ally McBeal and Grey’s Anatomy. Ricci reportedly suffers from botanophobia – the fear of plants. More specifically, she is afraid of indoor house plants. Can you blame her? We’ve all seen how that aloe plant sits there, just watching and waiting to strike with its long green tentacles… Anyway, in Ricci’s case, it appears she thinks plants are dirty and unnatural to have inside. We say this is a strange celebrity phobia and that’s why it’s at #7.
6. Pamela Anderson – Fear of Mirrors
Another Baywatch star, Pamela Anderson gained fame quickly in the 1990s as a Playboy model and actress on Home Improvement. In addition to her string of romances with rock stars such as Tommy Lee, Kid Rock and Bret Michaels, the Canadian-born actress is also known for being an animal rights activist with the organization PETA. In terms of phobias, the blonde bombshell suffers from spectrophobia – the fear of mirrors. This phobia extends to seeing her reflection on other surfaces as well, with Anderson even saying she doesn’t like to watch past performances. Does that fear extend to amateur home-movies?
5. Megan Fox – Fear of Dry Paper
Megan Fox rose to fame thanks in large part to her role in the Transformer movies alongside Shia LaBeouf. Appearance in magazines like FHM, Rolling Stone, GQ and Maxim only increased her popularity and status as a sex symbol. Her acting future took a hit when she compared director Michael Bay to Adolf Hitler – a move which caused Steven Spielberg to demand her removal from the Transformer series. That said, she still acts and most recently appeared in the comedy This is 40. In terms of strange fears and phobias, Fox is afraid of dry paper and dreads handling anything that is not laminated. The 28 year old even keeps water nearby so she can wet her fingers when handling or flipping pages.
On top of that, she’s also admitted to being afraid of the dark.
4. Billy Bob Thornton – Fear of Silverware and Antique Furniture
Billy Bob Thornton is a well-established American actor and musician who is best known for appearances in films such as Sling Blade, Armageddon and Monster’s Ball. In addition to the success of his acting career, Thornton is known for his short-term marriage to actress Angelina Jolie. In addition to suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder, he also has the fear of silverware and antique furniture. Thornton has said that reports of his antique fears are greatly exaggerated. That’s right. He’s not afraid of all antiques, just the old English, Scottish and French furniture that would have been used by Kings and Queens, hundreds of years ago. Well, after that explanation it doesn’t seem that strange anymore.
3. Matthew McConaughey – Fear of Being Trapped and Blind Spots
From Dazed and Confused to Dallas Buyers Club, Matthew McConaughey has enjoyed a very successful acting career. He is also a model and is usually named on various annual ‘sexiest’ or ‘influential’ lists. Initially we all thought McConaughey suffered from vestiphobia, the fear of clothing. After all, in almost every magazine the poor guy almost never has a shirt on. A little research shows that he actually suffers from a fear of being trapped (cleithrophobia) and a fear of blind spots (scotomaphobia). This has manifested itself into a fear of revolving doors and tunnel entrances. Strange? Yes. However, it’s nothing to lose your shirt over.
2. Kyra Sedgwick – Fear of Talking Food
Kyra Sedgwick is an American-born actress who has appeared in many television and movie productions over her career. The 48 year old has appeared in such movies as Born on the Fourth of July and Secondhand Lions and also had a starring role in the hit television series The Closer. Sedgwick definitely has one of the strangest celebrity fears – talking food. Now, we here at The Richest advise you to get off the drugs or buy some fresher produce if you notice your carrots trying to start a conversation with you about Justin Bieber’s latest legal issues. In all seriousness, Sedgwick’s fear is so great that she even needs to leave the room if a commercial has talking animated vegetables or fruit. Strange indeed!
1. Oprah Winfrey – Fear of Chewing Gum
Media mogul, producer, talk show host, actress and philanthropist, Oprah Winfrey is one of the most recognized names in the celebrity world. Since her beginnings as a talk show host in 1986, she has amassed a staggering level of wealth and influence. Her production company, Harpo, has produced a dozen shows including The Dr. Oz Show, Rachael Ray, Dr. Phil and The Oprah Winfrey Show. With so much success what could Oprah possibly fear? The answer is chewing gum. It turns out that Oprah’s grandmother used to stick used chewing gum all over the furniture and even saved it up. Over time, Oprah started to hate the sound of chewing gum and the way people would play with it or pull it from their mouths. It even got to the point where she banned it from the building where her shows are recorded.