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.”
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.
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.
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.
Jonah Hill, the star of 21 Jump Street and The Wolf Of Wall Street, reveals the origin of the mysterious, angry scar on his right arm that spiders past his elbow, too big and deep to hide. It looks like his arm was torn in half and then pulled back together, which is more or less what happened. “This is one of the biggest things ever in my life,” says Hill. When Hill was in middle school, his mom was battling cancer. Convinced that she was going to die, he started acting out (she’s since made a full recovery). He took up skateboarding and started smoking weed. His grades were bad. “I was, like, not a good kid,” he says. Hill was 15 when it all came to a head. He and a friend snuck out one night in an SUV. Hill stuck his elbow out the open window as they headed into the night, and his friend started turning the wheel back and forth, joking around. The car flipped over, skidded along the road and dragged Hill’s arm with it. Hill woke up in the hospital, and he heard two doctors discussing whether or not to amputate his arm. At the same time, he saw his dad and ailing mom crying. “I said to myself, ‘I’ll never let them down ever again.’ I said, ‘I’m going to be successful. I’m going to resurrect what I put these people through by being a little as*hole.’ So I look at this scar every day. That reminds me to work hard.” Hill also has other, less-visible scars from the accident.