There isn’t a thing such as perfection, even among celebrities. We all have defects and some of them are born with us. It can be an extra finger or nipple, unusual thumbs, outstanding ears or even eyes with different colors. Is it a bad thing? Not really. Some of those characteristics can make people unique and standout among the crowd.
Can you imagine Joaquin Phoenix without his cleft lip, for example? Some malformation can also highlight the beauty, like the extra pair of eyelashes Elizabeth Taylor was born with or Kate Bosworth’s eyes.
Thousands of people are born with the most different deformities, so it isn’t a surprise that famous actors, musicians, and TV stars also have them. It’s important to highlight that talking about those conditions is not only a curiosity but help people to give visibility to them. As a result, people will be more aware and comfortable to deal with them.
In a first moment, some defects can seem strange for the audience. When a celebrity is open to talking about it, especially if with a sense of humor, it’s a great way clarify the aspects of some birth defects.
We selected a list of 15 celebrities who were born with birth defects. Check it out!
15 Elizabeth Taylor - Born With An Extra Pair Of Eyelashes
Elisabeth Taylor is considered one of the most gorgeous women in the history of cinema. During decades, the world was mesmerized by her talent and unique violet eyes. So it can come as a shock to know that when she was born announced that the Taylor had a genetic mutation, known as distichiasis, an extra pair of eyelashes.
When a 9-year-old Elizabeth Taylor started shooting her first movie “Lassie Come Home”, the director asked the staff to take the girl off the set because she had too much mascara on. What was their surprise after rubbing her eyes, it was not mascara, but a double set of eyelashes.
The condition only gave Taylor a more luxurious look and she didn’t experience any complications that can be caused by distichiasis. Sometimes the second row of hair doesn’t grow straight and are too close to the eye, what can be painful and even damage the vision. In those situations, the treatment involves using contact lenses to protect the cornea or the removing of the extra lashes.
14 Harry Styles - Has Four Nipples
Harry Styles is not a surprising name in the list since he is very comfortable to talk about his four nipples during interviews. ‘I’ve got four nipples. It doesn't look like a cow or anything. I think I must have been a twin, but then the other one went away and left its nipples behind”, said the singer back in 2012.
Although the “vanish twin” is a real thing and the surviving embryo can absorb the dead one, there is a much less cool explanation for Styles’ multiple nipples. The condition is called supernumerary nipple, happens in the mother’s womb when the embryo starts to grow breast tissues. Normally the milk lines disappear by the 9th week, but in some cases, they don’t vanish completely and other breast tissues may appear in other parts of the body.
According to the Office of Rare Diseases, 200.000 people in the United States were born with the condition. Besides Harry Styles other celebrities like Mark Wahlberg, Tilda Swinton, Lily Allen, and Bill Paxton were born with the condition.
13 Kate Bosworth - Two Different Eye Colors
Sometimes a birth defect can become a distinguished feature and make you unique. That is the case of Kate Bosworth, who was born with heterochromia iridium, a condition that gave her eyes two different colors (blue and hazel).
The star of “Superman Returns”, doesn’t seem to have problems with it, but faces some small ‘issues’ in daily life, such as being able to have a perfect makeup.“It's a defect, you know, I actually notice it more when the light is very gray," said during an interview Allure back in 2013.
In another interview for Esquire Magazine, she revealed that she struggles to choose the eye color when she needs to fill in an ID. “I remember when I was getting my license when I was 16, I had that dilemma. I thought, What do I put?" I put blue. And I think that's what's on there now”, said.
12 Andy Garcia - Born A Conjoined Twin
This is the most impressive case on the list. Andy Garcia was born with a twin attached to his body. The malformed brother was the size of a tennis ball and was placed at the actor's shoulder. However, the twin was surgically removed and The Godfather III actor still has a scar on his shoulder to this day.
Conjoined twins is an expression used to define when there is a fusion of identical twin siblings during the pregnancy. It’s a super rare phenomenon and happens in 1 in 49,000 births to 1 in 189,000 births. Half of them are born dead and one-third of them die in the first 24 hours. The cases are more common in Asia and Africa.
11 Ashton Kutcher - Webbed Toes
Ashton Kutcher was born with webbed toes and has no problems with the small defect. “I have connected toes…They’re slightly webbed. When everything else is this good-looking, something has got to be messed up”, said the confident actor during an interview for the British program BBC One.
The webbed toe is a popular name for Syndactyly and it’s a deformity where two or more toes are fusioned, normally the second and third toes - like Kutcher.
between the second and third toes. It’s relatively common in birds and amphibians, but not so often in humans. Every year, up to 2.500 babies are born with webbed toes.
Although is not that common, Kutcher is not the only Hollywood star with webbed toes. The Ghostbusters actor Dan Aykroyd also has the condition and self-described himself as a “genetic mutant” while showing his toes in a video.
10 Megan Fox - Odd-Shaped Thumbs
When you look at Megan Fox the last thing you notice are her thumbs. But the actress was born with brachydactyly, a condition where the thumbs are clubbed or have a weird shape. During an interview on the Tonight Show, the Transformer star told Jay Leno that she associated her condition with her mother eating tuna every day while he was expecting Megan.
“I was talking to my mom and asked ‘were craving things? Because I am really craving tuna and I can’t eat tuna because of the mercury and she was like ‘Oh, I was eating tuna every day when I was pregnant with you’. Yeah, they didn’t know in the 80’s about that (the dangers of mercury) and I was wondering that’s what maybe happened to my thumbs”, said.
It’s true that eating too much tuna when you are pregnant or breast feeding can damage the baby's developing the nervous system, but brachydactyly is an inherited condition, which makes genetics the main cause.
9 Joaquin Phoenix - Cleft Lip
If you ever gave a closer look at Joaquin Phoenix you probably have noticed a scar that goes from his lip until the nose. The Gladiator star was born with microform cleft lip, a facial and oral malformation that occurs in the first weeks of pregnancy. The condition is the most common birth defect in the United States and occurs in 1 in each 600 births. It can often appear as a small hollow or looks like a scar. A microform cleft doesn’t require a corrective surgery since it doesn’t bring damages.
The small birth defect never held back Phoenix in his career, who collects important prizes such as Golden Globe and Grammy Awards. Other famous people with cleft lip are the actor Cheech Marin and NFL Quarterback Peyton Manning. Scientists also believe that the king of ancient Egypt, Tutankhamun, also had a cleft lip.
8 Taye Diggs - Born With 12 Fingers
The Private Practice was born with 12 fingers that were removed when he was still a small child because his parents were afraid of the teasing of other children. "I remember my mom told me that the doctors asked her if she wanted to let the digit grow or remove it, and they removed it”, revealed the actor during an interview for The Show, on CBS, while showing the small scars in his hands. "But I could have been really handy”, joked.
This condition is called Polydactyly and is a congenital disorder that can happen in humans, cats, and dogs. The defect doesn’t affect the hand function, but most parents - like Diggs’ - choose to remove them because of future social issues and bullying from other children.
7 Milo Ventimiglia - Crooked Mouth
Milo became a household name after playing the bad boy Jess Mariano in Gilmore Girls and Peter Petrelli in Heroes. However, not many people know that the actor was born with dead nerves on the right side of his mouth. As a result, his lower lip remains limp all the time and it became a charming feature.
The defect called the attention of Sylvester Stallone, who cast Ventimiglia to play his son in Rocky Balboa in 2006. “I thought if Rocky and Adrian had a child, Milo would be a perfect offspring. He sort of resembles her and looks like he’d be intimidated by Rocky”, said Stallone.
However, his lip also closed many doors during his career. “They’d be like: ‘Could you stop doing that thing with your mouth where your lip is going down?’ ” he recalls. “And I’d be like: ‘Hey, I was born that way.’ … I mean, look, I can’t get away from it now. It’s who I am, you know? I’ve got a crooked mouth”, said him for People Magazine.
6 Jennifer Garner - Overlapping Toe
You will hardly ever look pay attention to that detail, but Jennifer Garner was born with brachymetatarsia, a condition that causes an abnormal shortening of the metatarsal bone and makes one toe overlap the others. In Jennifer's case, it’s the pinky toe.
Although it can also be caused by a trauma, most of the brachymetatarsia cases are caused by hereditary and are more often in women than in men. It’s often associated with pain and in severe cases can also cause problems in walking activities. People with brachymetatarsia often complain about finding proper shoes.
Wearing wider shoes can help to avoid pain, since it will reduce the pressure at the toes. In cases that pain become unbearable, surgery is also an option. The procedure cuts the overlapping toe and the recover uses to take three months.
5 Forest Whitaker - Lazy Eye
The prize-winner actor, director, and producer Forest Whitaker was born with Ptosis. Popularly known as ‘lazy eye’, the condition causes the drop of the upper eyelid. Unfortunately, there are countless memes with jokes about Whitaker condition, but it doesn’t seem to bother the star of The Last King of Scotland.
“It's a genetic thing. ... I think maybe for other people, it informs the way they see me. But I don't really think about this eye, other than the times' people talk about it, or when people take photographs of me sometimes they might say stuff about it. I don't think it makes me look bad or anything. It just is”, said the actor during an interview for Esquire Magazine in 2007.
In some cases the condition can be very serious, causing the reduction of vision. It can go away naturally, in some cases, or with surgery.
4 Kesha - Born With A Tail
During an interview in 2013, Kesha took the world by surprise when revealing that she was born with an unusual detail.
"I had a tail when I was born. It was a tiny tail, about a quarter of an inch, then they chopped it off and stole my tail. That was when I was little. I'm really sad about that story”, said the singer during an interview.
During the first 5 weeks of development, the human embryo has a tail that usually disappears completely by the 8th. In some rare cases, like Kesha, the embryo doesn’t absorb the tail and the baby is born with it.
Although the condition doesn’t offer risks, the vestigial tail is removed just after birth in most cases and the surgery has no side-effects. However, in cases that the tail is not that prominent and looks just like a numb, some parents prefer to don’t remove it.
3 Damon Wayans - Clubbed Feet
The My Wife and Kids star was born with clubbed feet, a birth defect that occurs in 1 in each 1000 children born in America and it can happen in one foot or both. He went through surgery to correct his feet when he was a child and used to be teased by other kids because of it.
The actor is the middle child in a family with four children, but in an interview at Fox he talked about his condition and said that he used to get more attention than his brothers because of it. “ I was born with clubbed feet, so I got a lot of love and affection from my mother. She put more time and energy into me, because of guilty.
If not treated, clubfoot can cause many serious problems, such as arthritis, walking problems and the person can also develop a poor self-image.
2 Billy Corgan - Born With KTS
Billy Corgan, Smashing Pumpkins lead singer, never spoke in public about it, but he was born with Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome (KTS). The condition causes malformation of blood vessels, soft tissues, and bones. The most visible sign of the condition on Corgan is a red birthmark, called port-wine stain, that covers most the palm and fingers of his left hand. The mark appears because of the swell of blood vessels near the skin’s surface.
Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome is a rare birth disease and it’s estimated to affect at least 1 in 100,000 people worldwide. According to the National Organization of Rare Disorders ( NORD) , the cause of KTS is the “mutation in primitive cells that form a limb that was destined to become blood and lymphatic vessels, fat, and bones”.
The condition is also linked with many other problems: cataract, glaucoma, microcephaly, macrocephaly, and Hemihypertrophy of the upper limb are a few of them.
1 Gary Burghoff - Three fingers And A Misshapen Hand
You probably will remember him as Radar O’Reilly, his character at the movie and TV Show M.A.S.H. The actor was born with a misshapen left hand and has only three fingers. In many scenes at M.A.S.H. you can see him hiding many scenes behind an object. Some people say that he hides his hand because with this birth condition he would not have been accepted at the army. ( In case you don’t remember, the 70’s movie takes place in the Korean war and shows the like of three doctors at the army).
Burghoff was born with Symbrachydactyly, a condition that causes the baby to be born with small or missing fingers on the hands. Some cases can be more serious and the child is born with a smaller hand or forearm.The exact cause of the deformity is unknown.