So you noticed something weird about an actor but have never taken it upon yourself to look it up. What’s up with that guy’s face? You’ve wondered. How come she looks like that? You’ve said. But laziness trumps curiosity, so you’ve been left in the dark, until now. We went out, checked out all the stars, picking the ones that have something physically different about them, physical things we wish to help explain. We’re not talking weird thumbs like Megan Fox or webbed toes like Ashton Kutcher and Dan Aykroyd. We want to look at the things everyone notices, but not many talk about. We’re calling these things deformities. Probably as harsh and politically incorrect a term as we could choose, but we weren’t sure how to possibly classify these all together. We’re sorry for calling your things deformities. Some of these physical oddities are caused by illnesses, rare conditions or diseases, while some are from accidents. Some are hidden well by the actor or the TV shows or films they appear in and others are impossible to hide, becoming just part of who the actor is.
In spite of the term “deformities,” we’re not trying to be mean here. We just want to help explain how or why an actor looks the way they do. Looking like everyone else is the last thing that Hollywood wants to see from actors. The best way to get noticed is to be noticeable. And what’s more noticeable than a deformity, or whatever you want to call it. As we said, looking different is a great characteristic in Hollywood, unless you’re a female, in which case you’re probably going to have a hard time finding work. Sadly, that’s not a joke. That’s also why this list is dominated by men. Without any further delay, let’s look at these very unique individuals. Here are 15 celebrities with physical deformities you noticed but never understood.
15. Seal – Scarred Face
There are two leading theories as to how the singer Seal got his iconic facial scars. One is from Andy Samberg‘s newest film, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, in which Seal fights off wolves calmly. “Don’t worry,” he says, “I’ve been in this situation before. How do you think I got these scars?” While the wolf scar theory is a strong possibility, the other one is more medical and suggests they come from a type of lupus called Discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE), which is a chronic skin condition that leads to lesions appearing on the skin above the neck. The lesions tend to scar and leave markings on the skin, particularly on the gentle skin on one’s face. So it’s up to you which one you believe, but the wolf story is pretty cool.
14. Daryl Hannah, Matthew Perry & Vince Vaughn – Missing Fingertip
Though she’s pretty good at hiding it, actress Daryl Hannah lost the tip of her index finger in a childhood accident. She is said to have got it stuck in a pulley that was attached to a rope in a well. Ouch! Hannah sometimes wears a prosthetic finger tip to hide it, but really, this whole fingerless thing is pretty common in Hollywood. Both Matthew Perry (Friends) and Vince Vaughn (Dodgeball) lost bits of their fingers as youths. Perry had his middle finger bitten off by a door when he was a young child and Vaughn had part of his thumb severed off in a car accident when he was 17. Vaughn calls his thumb his “penis thumb,” which is another interesting tidbit of information for you to carry around and probably never use at any point. Enjoy.
13. James Doohan – Missing Entire Finger
Speaking of severed fingers, actor James Doohan, best known for playing Montgomery “Scotty” Scott on Star Trek, had his right finger amputated after it was shot during World War II. The event is actually pretty nuts. One night, while going between command posts, one of his own men, a Canadian soldier, shot Doohan six times. Four of the bullets hit him in the leg, one hit him in the chest but was stopped by a metal cigarette case and the other went through his finger. He later had it amputated. If you go through and watch Star Trek, there are a few moments when you can see the missing finger, but he was excellent at hiding it. Not from shame but because what type of future would it really be if we can’t replace fingers. Another actor, Walter Emanuel Jones, the original Black Ranger from Power Rangers, also is missing his middle finger. He lost it during an accident when he was four years old, but he never explained it any further.
12. Gaten Matarazzo – Undeveloped Teeth
Gaten Matarazzo, Dustin Henderson, or the kid with the teeth from Stranger Things, has a congenital disorder called cleidocranial dysostosis. It usually affects the bones and the teeth, sometimes even leading to poorly developed or no collarbones at all. There are several other symptoms that one can get, but Matarazzo’s condition is a pretty tame version of the condition, seemingly only affecting his teeth. In Stranger Things, Dustin reveals that he has this condition and it’s made part of his character. In real life, Matarazzo often wears prosthetic teeth which hide his underdeveloped teeth, also making the fact that they chose not to use them in the show all the more revealing about the choices they made and who they wanted the character of Dustin to be.
11. Patricia Heaton – No Belly Button
You might not see her stomach very often, but Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond and The Middle) has a much different stomach than most. She is missing her belly button. What kind of witchcraft is this? You ask. Well, after having four children by C-section which is exactly three too many, Heaton was in a tough place. “I had a big ridge of scar tissue,” she said. “My belly button was herniated. Then there was that skin that hung there. It didn’t work to suck it in. It wouldn’t have mattered if I had done 1,000 sit-ups.” Well that was a disgusting quote, wasn’t it? To fix all this, she had a tummy tuck and a belly button erasure. We’re not sure of the proper medical term for the procedure, but this woman’s belly button is gone.
10. Forest Whitaker – Droopy Eye
Everyone’s noticed that actor Forest Whitaker‘s left eye is not like most eyes. In fact, it’s not even like his right eye. That’s because he has a condition called Ptosis. It’s a hereditary drooping of the upper eyelid. There is a medical procedure to fix the drooping though Whitaker has not received it for some reason. With this condition, eyesight issues can be hindered and worsened over time. Over a prolonged period of time, the condition can hamper vision development. Though Whitaker has said that he has long considered getting the treatment in order to improve his vision, it seems he is not concerned enough. Plus, the trademark eye has made him a very recognizable figure in Hollywood, so maybe there’s more to his delay than meets… the eye.
9. Denzel Washington – Perpendicular Pinky
After breaking his finger as a young boy playing basketball and then dislocating it many a time in his life afterward, acting legend Denzel Washington was left with a pretty mangled finger. As he tells it, whenever he opened his hand too quickly it would get out of place. In fact, he could set it sideways on command. This led to a number of disgusting photographs being taken with his pinky at a 45-degree angle. He did, fairly recently, have the finger fixed, but the memories of that horrifying thing will haunt us forever. He used to play a game with his kids called “the magic finger,” which sounds grosser than it is so bare with us. He would show the disgusting finger to his kids and they would run away. What were you thinking the game was?
8. Tina Fey – Scarred Face
Many stars have scars and they range from “where” to “wow.” Tina Fey‘s falls about halfway between those, but the story behind her scar is pretty crazy. It’s also Tina Fey, so we have to include her physical oddities, even if they’re not that intense looking. Sometimes the scar can be hard to see because Fey tries to limit how often that side of her face is on screen. Whenever possible, Fey will show her “good” side. When she was only five years old, Fey was playing outside of her home in Pennsylvania, when a random creep approached her and cut her face. Let’s give you a recap in case you missed it. Some creep walked up to a five-year old little girl and cut her friggin face with a knife. W. T. F. Mate.
7. Bill Nighy – Permanently Bent Fingers
Bill Nighy has had a wonderfully long and successful career, but many have never noticed that he has an issue with his hands. Well, they noticed it but many believe that it is something that he does on purpose. Nighy has Dupuytren’s contracture or “Viking’s disease,” a condition which causes the fingers (usually the pinky and ring finger) to contract towards the palm. There is a surgery that can hold off these effects, but when Nighy first got the contractures in his 20s, he never got the procedure. Now his fingers have permanently bent in towards the palms of his hands and have become a part of who he is both in real life and on film. You might think he’s doing some sort of rock n roll thing, but it’s that damn Dupuytren’s. Nighy says that it doesn’t hurt, he just gives a freaky handshake.
6. Elizabeth Taylor – Double Set Of Eyelashes
If you ever thought that Elizabeth Taylor had eyelashes for days, you were on to something. You see, Taylor had a genetic mutation that gave her an additional row of eyelashes. That means that her big blue eyes were accented by not one, but two rows of thick black eyelashes, twice more than we have. You see how this works? Maybe you noticed it but never thought too much about it. My oh my her lashes look thick and full, or however you said it. Who would ever think that there was a mutation behind it all. You thought it was makeup or the magic of the movies but really it she was just a mutant.
5. Matthew McGrory – Gigantism
You probably know Matthew McGrory best as the actor who played Tiny in The Devil’s Rejects or the giant from Big Fish. It’s unclear what form of gigantism McGrory had because he was never properly diagnosed before his death at age 32 in 2005. What is clear is that McGrory was a giant. The guy was 7 ft 6 inches and had size 29.5 shoes. The potential conditions could be many, neurofibromatosis, proteus syndrome or elephantiasis, we just don’t know. McGrory shared features with several other undiagnosed giants, including Siah Khan, big ears, protruding forehead, kyphoscoliosis, retrognatia, slim limbs, knee ankyloses and more. Basically we don’t know anything. We’ve provided you with a list of options, so now it’s up to you to categorize him.
4. Sylvester Stallone – Partial Mouth Paralysis
You noticed it but you didn’t think much of it. Sylvester Stallone has something wrong with his mouth and he slurs his words a bit. He wasn’t just trying to be edgy either. Turns out that when Stallone was born, the doctors used forceps incorrectly to pull him out. This caused some paralysis in the lower left side of his face, including parts of his lips, tongue and chin, also hampering his speech slightly. Similarly, actor Milo Ventimiglia (Gilmore Girls and Heroes) has dead nerves in the left side of his mouth, effectively rendering it immobile. This is also why these two did Rocky Balboa together. It is weird though. In that film, Ventimiglia plays Rocky’s son, implying that the whole mouth thing was passed on. But why would Rocky’s son have better odds of having the nerves around his mouth damaged by forceps? Does Stallone not know what happened to him during birth?
3. DJ Qualls – Attenuated Body
Is being skinny a deformity? No, but DJ Qualls, the slender actor from Road Trip and The New Guy makes the list because people just think he’s naturally skinny. He’s not. When Qualls was 14 years old, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He went into treatment for two years, including chemotherapy, which put the cancer into remission, but there was a cost. Because he had chemotherapy at such an integral stage for his bodily growth, his metabolism was sped up and the rest of his development essentially stopped. This led him to have a very slender frame. It also probably helped him to become an actor and a model because of his incredibly unique look.
2. Michael Berryman – Skin Disorder
You would know him from many different horror films throughout the years, but Michael Berryman is most well-known for his performances in One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest in 1975 and The Hills Have Eyes in 1977. He isn’t just unusual looking because his parents made a person who is unique, he suffers from hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia, which is a rare condition that left him with no sweat glands, hair, fingernails or teeth. We may associate Berryman with a lot of horror films because they do dominate his resume, but he’s done some quality work and should never be considered a novelty actor.
1. Marty Feldman – Bulbous Eyes
You may have thought it was prosthetics or maybe you never thought about it at all, but Marty Feldman, the comedian who played Igor in Young Frankenstein, actually had something wrong with his eyes. They were bulbous and crooked, but what caused it? Though Feldman suffered from Graves’ disease, which does make one’s eyes bulge, it was actually a failed surgery to treat his Graves’ disease that caused Feldman’s eye condition to worsen. Feldman would die in 1982 from a heart attack, potentially attributed to the five packs of cigarettes he would smoke in a day. Despite his different looks, it’s been said that Feldman was considered quite attractive. Hmm. Though there were some exceptions, like the Young Frankenstein role, Feldman didn’t often use his eyes to advance his career. It’s probable that it kept him noticeable and memorable, but he relied on his comic talents to land jobs not his looks.