American Horror Story is the groundbreaking horror anthology series that scares the bejeezus out of audiences each season. Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk created the series that first premiered in 2011. Each season features its self-contained story with its own characters and settings. Six seasons have aired with the seventh season set to air. The first season, Murder House, debuted on October 5, 2011. The upcoming season, Cult, will be airing on September 5, 2017. Some seasons have been universally praised while others were considered a disappointment. However, overall, the series is very popular and has been nominated for several awards. The series has been praised for the directing and cinematography. However, the true highlight of the horror series is the outstanding ensemble cast. The cast has been praised for their critically-acclaimed performances.
The cast changes each season with a few actors appearing in multiple seasons. The nature of the anthology series gives the actors the chance to portray completely different characters. The series often features odd, disturbing, and terrifying characters. Some are a hideous and horrifying nightmare come to life. However, despite their appearance, several of these ugly characters are actually portrayed by some of the most beautiful people alive. It takes hours of makeup and prosthetics to turn these gorgeous Hollywood stars into the freakish horror characters they portray. Here is a look at 15 Ugly American Horror Story Characters That Are Attractive In Real Life.
15 Robin Weigert – Mama Polk
The sick and twisted Mama Polk is the leader of the disturbed Polk family. She is cruel, crude, and vile. For two hundred years, the Polk family has been providing The Butcher with victims. Mama Polk sometimes behaves like an animal and participates in cannibalism. Despite her behavior and unsightly appearance, she cares deeply about her children, although the relationship might be incestuous. Robin Weigert portrays Mama Polk in the sixth season of American Horror Story: Roanoke. She also appeared as Cynthia Potter in season 2, Asylum. Clearly, Robin isn’t the wild and dirty-looking monster she plays. She had her big break with her role as Calamity Jane in the HBO series Deadwood. She currently has a recurring role in the police procedural Chicago PD. Additionally, she landed some big roles in several popular TV series, including Sons of Anarchy, Jessica Jones, and Big Little Lies.
14 Lorraine Harvey – Rebecca Wisocky
After realizing that her husband planned to leave for another woman, Lorraine Harvey snapped and set fire to her home. In the process, she burned and killed herself as well as her children. The horribly burned and disfigured spirits of Lorraine and her children haunt the murder house. Rebecca Wisocky portrayed Lorraine Harvey in the first season of American Horror Story: Murder House. Rebecca began her career in theatre. Later, she landed minor roles in numerous popular series, such as S*x & the City, The Sopranos, and Big Love. Additionally, she landed a role on ABC’s Desperate Housewives. She later appeared in the Lifetime series Devious Maids and received praise for her performance.
13 Grace Gummer – Penny
It takes hours of makeup to transformer actress Grace Gummer into the gruesome Penny. The disgusting and revolting monster Penny appears in the third season of American Horror Story: Freak Show. She is a member of Fraulein Elsa’s Cabinet of Curiosities and was driven to join because of troublesome past. Initially, she was living with her intensely strict father. She runs away from home to join the circus because of her overbearing father and the way he mistreats her. Her father is responsible for her becoming a creepy-looking monster when he has her face tattooed. As a hideous monster, Penny fits right in with the freak show and the other “curiosities” in Elsa’s Cabinet. Despite appearing grotesque and horrifying, Penny is portrayed by the gorgeous Grace Gummer. Additionally, Grace portrayed Millie in the third season, Coven. She’s also appeared in Mr. Robot and The Newsroom.
12 Lily Rabe – Aileen Wuornos
The beautiful and stunning Lily Rabe has appeared in the first 6 seasons of American Horror Story. Throughout the series, she’s portrayed a debutante, a nun, a witch, and a yoga teacher. However, her most impressive transformation was in the fifth season, Hotel. During the season, Lily drastically changed her look to portray real-life serial killer Aileen Wuornos. Aileen had killed seven men between 1989-1990 and was later convicted and executed. Aileen had a distinctive and unattractive appearance. Lily did an incredible job with her performance that season. She was able to capture the essence and physical appearance of Aileen. She follows in the footsteps of Charlize Theron who won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Aileen in the critically-acclaimed film Monster. Additionally, Rabe has appeared in several TV series, such as Law & Order, The Good Wife, and has starred in the short-lived series The Whispers.
11 Larry Harvey – Denis O’Hare
In the 1990’s, Larry Harvey lived in the murder house with his wife and two daughters. However, he was madly in love with Constance (Jessica Lange). He was so in love that he even killed her son, Beauregard. He finally decided to leave his wife and move Constance in. Instead, his wife killed herself and their daughters. Later, Constance’s son burned Larry and horribly scarred half of his body. He’s becomes a disfigured presence that makes the other characters feel uncomfortable. Denis O’Hare portrayed Larry Harvey in the first season of American Horror Story: Murder House. Denis has appeared in other AHS seasons, including Coven, Freak Show, Hotel, and Roanoke. He also made appearances in several popular shows, including Law & Order, Brothers & Sisters, and True Blood. He had a recurring role on the critically acclaimed series The Good Wife.
10 Frances Conroy – Myrtle Snow
American Horror Story can take some of the most attractive Hollywood stars and turn them into strange and unsightly characters. Myrtle Snow is the head of the Witches’ Council. She’s traveled the world and has great taste in fashion. Despite that, her appearance is a bit unsettling. She’s not portrayed as grotesque or hideous. However, there is a darkness and bizarre nature to her appearance. Her large red hair and cat-like glasses highlight her strange appearance. She has the power of telekinesis and has a great interest in truth spells. Frances Conroy portrays Myrtle Snow in the third season of American Horror Story: Coven. She also appeared in previous seasons Murder House, Asylum, Freak Show, and Roanoke. She makes her sixth appearance in the upcoming seventh season, Cult. Frances had her first big break as Ruth Fisher in the critically-acclaimed series Six Feet Under. She’s also appeared in ER, Desperate Housewives, and How I Met Your Mother.
9 Mare Winningham – Alicia Spencer
Alicia Spencer might not be has scary-looking as some of the other characters, but she’s very much a monster on the inside. Alicia is Kyle Spencer’s (Evan Peters) mother. She is overbearing and forces him to become the man of the house at a young age. They engage in an improper relationship. Alicia Spencer is just as ugly on the inside as the outside. Mare Winningham portrays Alicia in the third season of American Horror Story: Coven. Mare also appeared in the fourth and fifth seasons Freak Show and Hotel. She’ll be appearing in the upcoming season Cult. Winningham has had a very successful career. She’s appeared in several popular TV series and films, such as St. Elmo’s Fire, Hatfields & McCoys, and Turner and Hooch. Additionally, she was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in the 1995 film Georgia.
8 Kathy Bates – The Butcher
The Butcher is an evil and vile woman that is the leader of the Roanoke Colony. She brutally murders the entire colony, binding their souls to the land. She is ousted from the colony and makes a deal with the evil Scathach. She returns to the colony and kills a majority of those that opposed her. Later, she killed the rest including her own son before sacrificing her soul to Scathach. She is both ugly on the outside and inside. Kathy Bates portrays The Butcher in the sixth season, Roanoke. Bates actually plays the role of actress Agnes Mary Winstead who portrays The Butcher in My Roanoke Nightmare, which is a film within a film. Bates also appeared in other AHS seasons, including Coven, Freak Show, and Hotel. Her breakthrough role was in the 1990 classic Misery. She also appeared in several memorable films, including Fried Green Tomatoes, Titanic, and The Blind Side.
7 Lance Reddick – Papa Legba
Without a doubt, Papa Legba is one of the most frightening characters in American Horror Story. Papa Legba the spirit of Haitian Voodoo and wears a long overcoat. He has white face paint shaped like a skull with dark red eyes. He has long yellow nails and tops off his appearance with a top hat adorned with small skulls. He is the gatekeeper of the spirit world and acquires souls by making deals with certain individuals. He’s one of the scariest and most unattractive characters in American Horror Story. Actor Lance Reddick portrayed Papa Legba in the third season of AHS: Coven. Lance has landed major acting roles throughout his career. He had his big break with his role as Cedric Daniels in The Wire. Additionally, he’s had significant roles on several memorable series, such as Oz, Lost, and Fringe.
6 Chloë Sevigny – Shelley
AHS was even able to take a stunning model and turn her into a disgusting-looking mutant that is impossible to look at. Shelley was an inmate at Briarcliff manor that was committed by her husband for being a nymphomaniac. When she first appears, she is clearly attractive but soon, she is transformed into a bizarre and hideous monster. She is kidnapped and thought to have escaped but, in reality, is being experimented on. She becomes a disfigured and disgusting mutant. Chloë Sevigny portrayed Shelley in the second season of American Horror Story: Asylum. She also appeared in the fifth season, Hotel. Chloë started her career as a model and later landed a role in the controversial independent film Kids. She also appeared in several memorable films, including American Psycho, Party Monster, and Zodiac. She won a Golden Globe for her role in Big Love.
5 Lady Gaga – Scathach
Pop sensation Lady Gaga is known for her unique, eccentric, and provocative image. It only makes sense for her to play an equally unique character in American Horror Story. Lady Gaga portrayed the grotesque immortal witch Scathach in the sixth season, Roanoke. Lady Gaga transforms from a beautiful pop icon to a repulsive monster. She has a terrifying cackle and long dirty hair. She carries animal and human remains around. She’s a bloodthirsty supreme that has been alive for thousands of years. She’s killed and taken the soul of everyone that has crossed her path. She is a violent and cruel monster. Lady Gaga previously portrayed the equally evil Countess in season five, Hotel. Gaga somehow found the time to work acting into her busy career. She’s best known for the hit singles “Just Dance” and “Poker Face.” She’s released several critically acclaimed albums, including The Fame Monster, Born This Way, and Artpop.
4 Ameer Baraka – The Minotaur
The Minotaur is a freakish creature that appears in the third season of American Horror Story: Coven. He is a gruesome sight as he has a bull’s head and half hoofs for hands. In 1834, Bastien (The Minotaur) was the house slave for Delphine LaLaurie and the LaLaurie family. Pauline LaLaurie seduced him and they were caught in a compromising position. He was restrained in the attic and the LaLaurie’s covered his head with a bull’s head. Later, his lover, Marie Laveou (Angela Bassett), shared her supernatural secrets with him and gave him the gift of immortality. Over time, he transformed into the hideous monster. Behind the grotesque monster is the actor Ameer Baraka. Ameer began his career appearing in commercials and music videos. He later landed minor roles on several TV series, such as New Guy, Treme, and ER. His role in Coven was his big breakout performance.
3 Sarah Paulson – Sally McKenna
Sarah Paulson is one of the few actors to appear in every season of American Horror Story. She’s portrayed a medium, a journalist, a witch, and conjoined twins. She completely transformed her look and appearance for the fifth season, Hotel. She portrays Sally McKenna who is a disturbed and manipulative permanent resident of the hotel. Sally is a heroin addict and was a songwriter. She is desperate for attention but is mentally unstable. She isn’t as grotesque as some of the other monsters but it’s still a big change for Sarah. Sally is seen wearing a purple dress with a cheetah print coat. Her makeup is often running because of her constant tears. Sarah has been nominated for several awards for her critically-acclaimed performances. She later starred as Marcia Clark in the critically-acclaimed series The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. Sarah won a Primetime Emmy Award for her performance.
2 Celia Finkelstein – Nurse Gladys
It’s not always a freakish creature that can cause horrible nightmares. A scary clown, creepy kid, and evil nurse can do the trick too. American Horror Story has featured one of these characters at one point in the series. The terrifying Nurse Gladys haunts a bathtub at the murder house. Her fear-inducing spirit will cause nightmares that will leave a scar. Gladys lived in the house but she was brutally murdered in the bathtub. Since then, her horrifying presence haunts the characters of the murder house. Actress Celia Finkelstein is far more attractive than the creepy ghost she portrays. Celia portrayed Nurse Gladys in the first season of AHS: Murder House. Her role might have been small but it was certainly memorable. Additionally, she appeared in several popular TV series and films, including You’re The Worst, Angie Tribeca, and the film Horrible Bosses.
1 Naomi Grossman – Pepper
Pepper is microcephalic and has a distinctive and unique look. She might appear to be ugly but she is actually an innocent and playful person. However, behind the makeup is the incredibly gorgeous Naomi Grossman. Pepper is the first character to appear in multiple seasons. She is first seen in the second season of American Horror Story: Asylum, where she is a patient at Briarcliff Manor. Her character returns in the fourth season, Freak Show, where she was a member of Fraulein Elsa’s Cabinet of Curiosities. The events of Freak Show take place prior to Asylum. Naomi spends countless hours in makeup to get ready to play Pepper. She shaved her head in anticipation of playing Pepper. The transformation is done so well that it’s nearly impossible to mistake Naomi and Pepper. Naomi had very little success early in her career and mostly landed minor roles. Her role as Pepper has been her breakout performance.