10 Celebrities With Visible Scars & Stories Behind Them

1Queen Latifah

The two-inch scar that sits just under Queen Latifah’s hairline has been there the majority of her life. How did she get the scar? “Playing tag with my brother,” she said. “I tripped over the telephone cord and hit my head on the corner of the bathroom wall. I got three stitches. Then I fell on my grandmother’s steps and busted it open again. I was three. I was a clumsy child. I’d never cover it up, it gives my face character.”


2Parminder Nagra

At the age of seven, Parminder Nagra (star of ER, Alcatraz and The Blacklist) suffered a burn that resulted in the scar shown in her 2002 breakout role in the internationally acclaimed film Bend It Like Beckham. While preparing a meal, a gas stove set her trousers alight. She was taken into the bathroom by an uncle and immersed in cold water. However, when the trouser fabric was removed, it took skin with it, resulting in a large scar on her right leg. The story was included in the film to explain the burn of Parminder’s character. Although finding a decent picture of it online has turned out to be nearly impossible for me.


3Michael K. Williams

Michael K. Williams is an American actor best known for his portrayal of Omar Little on the HBO drama series The Wire, and of Albert “Chalky” White on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. Williams is well known for his large facial scar, which he received during a bar fight. On his 25th birthday, Williams was involved in a bar fight between his friends and another group of men. His face and neck were sliced with a razor and nearly killed him. The scar led to his being offered roles as a thug in music videos. He eventually embraced the scar, citing Seal’s scarred face as an inspiration. His scar became his signature and earned him photo shoots with noted photographers like David LaChapelle.


4Catherine Zeta-Jones

When a little girl, Catherine Zeta-Jones contracted a virus that prevented her from breathing normally, and doctors were forced to perform the tracheotomy surgery. The surgery left a scar on Catherine’s neck. She could have the scar removed with a surgical procedure that involves sanding scar tissue, using a tool that wears the old scar tissue away. It’s a simple procedure, which requires only local anesthesia. But Catherine considers the scar a reminder of a life-changing event. She said, “Makeup artists are always trying to cover it up, but I don’t want to hide it. I wouldn’t be here today if I didn’t have this scar.”


5Padma Lakshmi

Actress and former host of Top Chef Padma Lakshmi has a large scar on her right arm. In 1984, when she was 14 years old, Lakshmi was in a car accident in Malibu, California. Her arm was shattered and her right hip was fractured. The injury to her right arm required surgery, which left a 7-inch scar between her elbow and shoulder. After surgery, she regained use of both her arm and hip. The incident took place on a Sunday afternoon as Lakshmi was being driven home from a Hindu temple in Malibu. She remembers a flash of orange, looking over to see the large car upon her. She describes the event in the April 2001 edition of Vogue, saying, “Being in a car crash was like an exhilarating hallucination, an unbelievable moment that oddly remains one of the most beautiful images in my memory.”, which is a very lovely way to describe something so horrific.


6Sharon Stone

Sharon Stone’s dramatic neck scar is one of the largest to be routinely concealed in publicity pics due to make-up and airbrushing. Nonetheless, the mark on her neck has made her one of the most popular celebrities with scars in Hollywood. Her scar on her neck is from a childhood accident. She was riding a horse and she ran into a taut clothes line which ripped her neck open. It is the only celebrity scar to merit its own website. Although SharonStonesScar.com is no longer online, it had a long life in internet years.


7Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol was an American artist who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture, and advertisement that flourished by the 1960s. On June 3, 1968, American radical feminist Valerie Solanas shot Warhol and Mario Amaya, art critic, and curator, at Warhol’s studio. Earlier on the day of the attack, Solanas had been turned away from the Factory after asking for the return of a script she had given to Warhol. The script had apparently been misplaced. Amaya received only minor injuries. Warhol, however, was seriously wounded by the attack and barely survived: surgeons opened his chest and massaged his heart to help stimulate its movement again. He suffered physical effects for the rest of his life, including being required to wear a surgical corset. The shooting had a profound effect on Warhol’s life and art. Solanas was arrested the day after the assault. By way of explanation, she said that Warhol “had too much control over my life.” She was eventually sentenced to three years under the control of the Department of Corrections. Warhol had this to say about the attack: “Before I was shot, I always thought that I was more half-there than all there. I always suspected that I was watching TV instead of living life. People sometimes say that the way things happen in movies is unreal, but actually, it’s the way things happen in life that’s unreal. The movies make emotions look so strong and real, whereas when things really do happen to you, it’s like watching television—you don’t feel anything. Right when I was being shot and ever since, I knew that I was watching television. The channels switch, but it’s all television.”


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8Steve Buscemi

Slight, bug-eyed actor Steve Buscemi might seem like the last guy to get himself involved in a bar fight. In 2001, while filming the movie Domestic Disturbance in North Carolina, Steve went out to a bar called the Firebelly Lounge with fellow actor Vince Vaughn and screenwriter Scott Rosenberg. A local woman began chatting with Vaughn, sparking a fight with her boyfriend, which deteriorated into a melee involving multiple people. Coming to his friend’s aid, Steve was attacked by 21-year-old Timothy Fogerty, who stabbed him above the eye, in the jaw, the throat, and the arm, injuries that could easily have ended his life. He was left with a deep scar in his cheek that is typically covered by makeup during screen appearances. Police were forced to use pepper spray to halt the brawl. Vaughn and Rosenberg were forbidden by a judge to visit any more local bars and were forced to attend alcohol counseling sessions. Fogerty was charged with assault with a deadly weapon.


9Tommy Flanagan

Tommy Flanagan got his first big break in the 1995 movie Braveheart which starred Mel Gibson. He’s also one of the stars of the TV series Sons of Anarchy, where he plays Chibs. Flanagan grew up in a rough part of Glasgow, Scotland. One night, when leaving a pub, a group of people attacked and tried to rob him. He fought back and was stabbed. The attackers slashed his face from ear to ear, leaving a wound known as a Glasgow Smile. He nearly lost his life, but survived and decided to become an actor.


10Harrison Ford

Almost any Harrison Ford fan can tell that his most famous facial feature is the scar on his chin. It is a trademark (although he never thought about it in that way, we do). How did he get it? “A fast car crash, a real mundane way of earning it”, he says. It happened in 1964. He had a job near Laguna Beach, California. One day while driving to work he tried to put his seat belt on, he lost control of his car and drove into a telephone pole, slamming his face into the steering wheel. He stood by the side of the road bleeding for hours until somebody picked him up and drove him to the hospital. In his movies, it has been explained away in various ways. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade had him cutting his chin with a whip when a kid. Working Girl saw him claim that, when trying to pierce his own ear as a teen, he’d fainted and smashed his chin on the toilet.

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