Skinema: Movie Star Scars

Actor Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones

Close-up of chin scar

Some of film's best known actors reveal examples of dermatology in the cinema. Here, Harrison Ford shows a traumatic scar on his chin. In the third installment of the Indiana Jones' trilogy, director Steven Spielberg incorporated this scar into the film's plot. Actor River Phoenix, playing the young Indiana Jones, cut his chin in the exact same location as Ford's scar. Internet sources confirm that Ford sustained this injury in a car accident. He was supposedly trying to fasten his seatbelt while driving. Not a particularly Indianan Jones-style maneuver. Guess that's why they call it acting!
No star has kept the tabloids and gossip columnists busy like Elizabeth Taylor. What would they have done without her extensive list of affairs, husbands, addictions, and catastrophes. Yet for all her glamor, she is a human being with skills and flaws like anyone else. In a publicity photo for her international smash "Cleopatra," a neck scar is clearly visible. When the wind pipe is blocked, a surgical incision is made through the skin of the neck to provide air. Called a tracheotomy, this procedure leaves a characteristic scar. In Taylor's case, it was needed during a double pneumonia in 1960. The "trach" saved her life.
Is Catherine Zeta-Jones' debt to modern medicine is paid in scars?

Catherine Zeta-Jones projects the Hollywood glamour of yesteryear. Yet even movie star perfection can reveal defects. We at may have uncovered a medical vendetta against Zeta Jones. Even while surgery derailed a severe pneumonia and vaccination prevented deadly infections, just look at those scars! And who is the odd fellow tailing her? Here's the low down...

This Welsh actress is often seen wearing a large necklace or ribbon around her neck, hiding a depressed vertical scar. Was this caused by Zorro's blade? Much like screen siren Elizabeth Taylor, Zeta-Jones has said in interviews the scar is a result of a tracheotomy performed when she was a young girl.

 This arm scar is also the result of a life saving medical intervention: vaccination. Though some consider vaccinations controversial, the fact remains that vaccinations, along with antibiotics and proper sanitation, have greatly altered the lives of those with access to them. Ms. Zeta-Jones might not be on-screen entertaining millions if she had developed rubella, diphtheria, rabies, or any of the other infections that vaccines successfully prevent. Of course no one wants a scar, but a vaccine is certainly worth a thousand half-decent movie scripts.


 Call security!!! Vaccines can't prevent against aging, creepy stalkers who dog gorgeous celebs like this fellow peering over Catherine's shoulder. Oops--Our mistake! That's Mr. Zeta-Jones: Catherine's husband Michael Douglas! Perhaps a little Botox treatment for that furrowed forehead will relax the brow and minimize the visible age difference.

More Starlets with Scar-lets

Sandra Bullock

Ms. Bullock's career went into hyperdrive after her action flick, "Speed." Perhaps too fast--resulting in a scar above her left eye? The cause of this defect is unclear, but it clearly has not slowed her progress at the megaplex. Apparently, not even an out to sea disaster like "Speed 2" can slow her down...

Diane Lane

 Lane, an outstanding screen beauty, shows a striking facial scar. Likely due to injury (as opposed to surgery), it is visible even in her paean to pre-teen love, "A Little Romance."

Sharon Stone

Sharon Stone's dramatic neck scar is one of the largest to be routinely concealed in publicity pics. Reportedly due to a taut cord she ran into while riding horseback, it is the only celeb skin condition to merit its own website. When we last checked was still online. Don't those people have anything better to do???


"Bend it Like Beckham"





 Actress Parminder Nagra...

Has a real burn scar.

 Just another link to...

Scarred soccer star David Beckham himself.

 Though this film is a clear cross between "Monsoon Wedding" and any sports movie you've already seen, "Beckham" has a feel good kick that's a welcome antidote for current world events. Central to star Parminder Nagra's struggle is the goal of being true to oneself. This is illustrated early on when she has to reveal a childhood burn scar. Nagra has said in interviews that she became scarred at age seven--the lesion was later worked into the plot. Having this scar brings more similarities to the British soccer star David Beckham than the film makers anticipated. Like many an athlete, he "sports" a facial scar. Neither Nagra nor Beckham seem bent up over these character marks.

What to do with scars? Certain raised scars can be reduced via surgery or injected forms of cortisone. Lasers can reduce the redness and scar revision better hides the defects. Perhaps the knowledge that even the fairest in film are similarly scarred can reassure those bummed by being broken and repaired.

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