5 Fun Celebrity Quirks That Are Really Medical Conditions

The secret to Emma Stone’s success is suffering, from when she three months old
5 Fun Celebrity Quirks That Are Really Medical Conditions

Did you know that Sylvester Stallone’s trademark face, complete with a permanent snarl, comes from facial paralysis, following nerve damage that he sustained during a messy birth? Suddenly, you might feel weird making jokes about his look, or even from taking any pleasure at looking at him.

On the other hand, maybe you shouldn’t feel weird about it after all. Sure, maybe his quirk began as a medical condition, but he rode it to big success and it’s now as ripe for appreciation as any other part of him. Same deal when you learn that...

Emma Stone’s Husky Voice Came From Colic As A Baby

If we were to ever interview Emma Stone, we’re not sure we would ask her the question, “So, about the voice?” Seems like kind of a weird thing to demand, especially if we were asking this in 2011, before her Oscar win for a musical made it clear no one’s saying she has a bad voice. But that was the question posed to her in an interview 13 years ago, and it turned out to have an actual answer.

Emma Stone Poor Things

Searchlight Pictures

First a joke answer, about her smoking as a toddler, but then an actual answer.

Stone had colic as a baby. The poor thing screamed so hard for her first six months that her vocal cords grew nodules, and these calluses remained her whole life. Essentially, her vocal cords turned to stone. That made her voice raspy now and leaves her easily losing her voice after any kind of screaming, so be sure to schedule a few weeks for recovery the next time you write screams into one of her movies. 

DJ Qualls Got That Face Thanks to Cancer

You might recognize DJ Qualls from his one-episode roles in Breaking Bad, Lost or Scrubs. You also might know him from the movie Road Trip or from his lead role in The New Guy, which is surely the best movie to currently have a 7 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes.

That last part wasn’t meant as a backhanded compliment. It really is a funny film, and we don’t know why it has a score that low. Was every reviewer just in a really bad mood that day? 

Anyway, it’s one of many parts that capitalized on Qualls’ signature look, which could be summarized as “skinny guy with funny face.” 

DJ Qualls The New Guy

Columbia Pictures

“Probably doesn’t have much luck with girls,” said casting agents. By the way, Qualls is gay. 

He had that thin look, and the hollowed-out face, from his time as a kid with Hodgkin’s disease. The chemotherapy killed his fast-growing cells, he’d later explain, keeping his bones from widening much. Some years after those biggest parts, his face would fill out a bit, alternately through eating or through facial hair. Regardless, cancer is a very serious illness, almost as serious as the condition initially suffered by his New Guy character, which was a fractured penis. The movie actually gets better after the penis-breaking scene, we swear. 

Columbo’s Trademark Stare Was from a Glass Eye

When Columbo actor Peter Falk was three, he had a retinoblastoma, a cancer of the eye. Even today, the condition is most common in toddlers, and today, it’s not terribly bad, as cancers go. You can freeze the malignant cells away or blast them with radiation, and that might take care of it just fine. When Falk was a kid, only one treatment existed: full removal of the eyeball.

Can you spot which of his eyes was glass?

Peter Falk Columbo


It’s ol’ righty, of course. Lefty sparkles with life.

If you don’t know the eye is glass, it just looks like he’s squinting at you, which can be quite unnerving if you committed a murder two days ago and are hoping to get away with it. We might assume that the character Columbo has a glass eye just like the actor does, though the show never made a big deal of it. There was one episode, though, where he welcomes a partner, saying “Three eyes are better than one.” 

Danny DeVito’s Shortness Is an Actual Disease

And that disease is not “dwarfism.” Dwarfism is not a disease but just an umbrella term that covers various different conditions that could leave someone with a extremely short stature. The most common of these conditions is called achondroplasia — and that’s not the one Danny DeVito has. 

DeVito has Fairbank’s disease. It’s the second condition we’re covering today that affects growth, but this one keeps bones from elongating rather than from thickening. It makes for a childhood that involves a fair amount of physical pain.

Penguin Batman Returns

Warner Bros.

Particularly if the child is forced to live in the sewers. 

We trust it’s no longer impeding his life all that much, because the man turns 80 this year, and at that age, you’re going to be feeling a fair amount of pain every day even if you don’t have any kind of skeletal dysplasia. 

Ozzy Osborne Has a Mutation That Makes Him a Super Drug User

In 2010, a Massachusetts gene sequencing company named Knome got its hands on Ozzy Osborne’s DNA. Osborne had shown signs of Parkinson’s, so the company found some insight in searching for gene variants related to Parkinson’s. But the really interesting part came when they looked for genes related to what they termed Ozzy’s “active lifestyle.”

In particular, they looked for stuff in his genome related to meth, and this was what came up:


Looking at this also simulates the feeling of being on meth. 

Every genome the company had previously studied contained a certain gene related to how to body handles meth. Not only did every human genome contain it — every chimpanzee, every cow, every rat and every zebrafish did as well. But Ozzy did not. He has some unnamed mutation that uniquely relates to how he responds to drugs. It certainly hasn’t kept him from all the bad consequences of addiction, but it may have kept him alive.

Knome also discovered that Osbourne has signs of Neanderthal DNA. You’re probably expecting us to joke that this is what makes him so unevolved. But given that Neanderthals had bigger brains us, maybe this instead explains his musical genius. 

Follow Ryan Menezes on Twitter for more stuff no one should see.

Scroll down for the next article
Forgot Password?