Celebrities Born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Reese Witherspoon

Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is one of many disorders that are the direct result of a newborn whose mother consumed alcoholic beverages during the timing of her pregnancy. Among children who have been diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome, or any of its variants, encounter at least one of the symptoms associated with the condition such as abnormal physical appearances, behavioral issues, hearing and visual impairments, learning impairments, lack of coordination, and lower than normal body weight. People born with FAS tend to have greater difficulty in school, as well as avoiding getting into trouble with the law. They’re also more vulnerable to developing an addiction to alcohol and narcotics. According to a number of surveys, approximately thirty percent of pregnant American women have consumed some amount of alcohol during the time they had an unborn child in her womb. Studies among these women in the same nation also revealed over three percent of them were confirmed as alcoholics. Among all these women, the risk of the child she’s carrying developing FAS depends greatly on how much alcohol she has consumed while pregnant. This, combined with the woman’s age, dietary choices, and other habits such as drug abuse and smoking, all play factors in how much damage will the unborn child receive by the time it is born. Even as little as one alcoholic beverage is enough to infect the child with some kind of condition they have to contend with during their entire lifespan from the day they are born. There is also a connection of FAS upon time of conception, even if the woman is perfectly sober but the man has traces of alcohol in his own bloodstream.

The most common condition among victims of FAS is psychological function. Alcohol directly affects the blood and the brain and begins the impairment process. The more alcohol is consumed, the more infected the blood and the brain become. When a woman is carrying an unborn child, the alcohol she’s consuming is, directly and indirectly, affecting the fetus that is developing within her own womb. While ancestral genetics do serve as contributing factors to how immune or vulnerable a person is, the environmental conditions and lifestyle choices make up the majority of what happens to a person’s overall health. For women who are pregnant, this is the same math that is applied to their unborn child. Whatever lifestyle choices the woman makes, she’s forcing that child to contend with those as well. Even during the process of conception, this is enough for the womb to serve as a breeding ground that will infect the child the second it is conceived. The alcohol is already in the woman’s system, which is the first thing the fetus will absorb the second the process of becoming a newborn begins. FAS is a permanent condition, one which has up to five percent of the American and Western European population infected. In South Africa, the percentage is higher at nine. There’s also evidence where FAS has affected people even among ancient civilizations but this is a condition that wasn’t officially named 1973.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in Celebrities

People are people, including celebrities. Even among the population that seems to come across as larger-than-life, they are not immune to the consequences inflicted upon them by their own mothers and fathers who made a bad judgment call when it came to consuming alcohol shortly before and during pregnancy. Among some of the celebrities mentioned, evidence of FAS is obvious while others seem to do a much better job dealing with their condition. According to Captions Viral Today, and the list of celebrities provided, there are stories and observances that all fit the pattern of someone who has the likelihood of being a victim of FAS. However, with the subject as controversial as it is, plus the reliance on a perfect image set by Hollywood’s standards, not everyone is going to come clean, or even know for certain, they have FAS.

Bernie Sanders

20. Bernie Sanders

Democratic politician, Bernie Sanders, is among a few celebrities mentioned by Press Room VIP as someone that is pinpointed to have FAS. This is pointed out as an explanation behind his often erratic behavior. He has used his political influence to address greater awareness of FAS, which has been included in his electoral campaigns and open support of organizations and treatment centers that recognize FAS as a serious medical condition that needs help, not scrutiny.

Daniel Radcliffe

19. Daniel Radcliffe

Despite being cast as the lead character to the Harry Potter films, Daniel Radcliffe is among scores of actors in the industry that has to contend with fetal alcohol syndrome. While in school, he was diagnosed with partial dyslexia as an explanation behind his learning disabilities. This is a common condition among FAS victims, one which Radcliffe himself admits disappointment in his mother for not checking herself into a luxury alcohol treatment center before he was born. Today, he supports alcohol treatment centers and FAS organizations, raising awareness and funds for their cause.

Joaquin Phoenix

18. Joaquin Phoenix

Believe it or not, a smile can determine whether or not a full-grown celebrity exhibit evidence that they were born with fetal alcohol syndrome. When Joaquin Phoenix first appeared in film and television, one of the first observances made is certain facial deformities. The lack of groove between the nose and lip is the result of a smooth philtrum that has a direct link to FAS and how it causes appearance abnormalities. Not only is this physical observation made evident with Phoenix, but the actor has also had issues of his own with behavioral issues and alcoholism that are also well-known symptoms associated with the condition. The scar on his lip is the result of a micro cleft that he was born with. And, yes, that too is connected to fetal alcohol syndrome.

Kate Hudson

17. Kate Hudson

Not only has the daughter of Goldie Hawn and Bill Hudson displayed enough evidence of someone living with FAS, but even her own actions as a pregnant mother have raised a number of red flags when she was caught consuming the very thing that contributed to her own condition. Repeatedly, Hudson has found herself in hot water for erratic behavior, as well as making a number of questionable decisions that are not a far stretch from the same brand of choices her infamous mother and step-father have also made for themselves. Furthermore, the aloof behavior of Goldie Hawn while carrying Kate Hudson played an instrumental role in what would become a separation, then divorce between herself and Bill Hudson. This is brought up in his interview with UK’s Daily Mail. Also, when Kate was born she almost didn’t make it due to complications at birth that some say is still a miracle she survived.


16. Madonna

Not only does Madonna’s physical appearance exhibit evidence of a woman contending with FAS, but it also shows in her actions. She, along with almost every other celebrity that is known to take their brand of artistic expression to extremes, has also extended this same erratic behavior in her personal life as well. While for the most part, she seems to make this work for her, there is a flurry of documented evidence that the woman’s condition with FAS is there.

Greta Thurnberg

15. Greta Thurnberg

It’s been suspected by a multitude of people who were paying attention to Greta Thurnberg’s environmentally-related activism that she served as the ultimate poster child of someone dealing with fetal alcohol syndrome. Aside from the series of physical abnormalities that were hard to miss, along with a series of behavioral problems, there was also confirmation she had medical issues, such as autism, striking against her that are all linked to being a victim of FAS. Everything about Thurnberg perfectly matches the image presented by one of the official fetal alcohol syndrome charts that are located at many medical facilities worldwide. Those posters were in place long before the public even heard of the activist’s name.

Macauley Culkin

14. Macauley Culkin

The underdeveloped chin serves as a good indication he has FAS. It is also confirmed that alcoholism was very much a part of the Culkin Family, even before he was born. It also showed in his behavior, which is common among many comedians who use comedy is how they learn to steer their energy on something that feels productive.

Gary Burghoff

13. Gary Burghoff

Fans of MASH will remember little Corporal “Radar” O’Reilly, the little clerk that seemed to singlehandedly manage the entire operation of doctors, nurses, and military personnel that seemed to have more mental issues among them than the one guy, Corporal Klinger, who only pretended to have this problem. Burghoff was born with Poland Syndrome, which is theoretically linked to FAS as it is a bone deformity. He also has brachydactyly, which is why he always kept his hand hidden whenever in front of the camera as Radar. It’s a condition where the fingers of the hand are unable to reach their full growth. There have also been links of brachydactyly with FAS, according to a number of medical journals that are connecting the dots, including Cleveland Medical Clinic.

Samuel L. Jackson

12. Samuel L. Jackson

It has been noted Jackson’s own bout against alcoholism had much to do with his upbringing. The actor has been in and out of rehab facilities since the early 1990s and is also noted for certain behavior issues that have all the fingers pointing to the strong likelihood he was born with FAS himself. The facial markings also serve as indicators, at least according to the posters that have been displayed showing what a FAS victim typically looks like. Jackson is also known for some of his extreme behavior that raises questions about what really makes the man tick. Analysts and fans both conclude FAS has something to do with it.

Charlize Theron

11. Charlize Theron

It may seem hard to believe the beautiful Charlize Theron was born with fetal alcohol syndrome. Yet, this seems to be the case with her alcoholic father. While he may not have carried her in his womb, her mother did. While there is no solid confirmation that her mother drank while carrying Theron doesn’t make the actress immune to FAS either. It doesn’t just take the mother to create a baby. The father is involved too, and if the father has enough alcohol in his system and it’s his sperm that enters the woman’s body to create a baby, the odds of the fetus being affected upon conception is possible. This is one of the reasons why physicians highly recommend parents who are looking to make a baby both refrain from alcohol consumption.


10. Eminem

When the rapper’s mother, Debbie Mathers, carried Eminem in her womb, she was already an alcoholic that failed to keep the bottle down and her pills in the bottle. Although the mother and son were very close with each other as she rescued them out of her abusive relationship with his father, there was a time where Eminem blamed his personal problems on his mother’s alcoholism. She responded with a memoir she published in her defense in 2008, which MTV covered in an interview with her. It wasn’t until 2014 Eminem took it upon himself to acknowledge his mother’s alcohol addiction and forgive her for it.

Anthony Hopkins

9. Anthony Hopkins

Although Anthony Hopkins has been clean and sober for over forty years, the earliest days of his acting career saw a very different person. Is this contributed to the possibility of being born with fetal alcohol syndrome? While there is no conclusive evidence this is the case, between the facial abnormalities and a once upon a time highly erratic actor, it is enough to suspect that this is very likely.

Corey Feldman

8. Corey Feldman

American actor, Corey Feldman, has experienced one of the most interesting roller coaster rides, especially coming forward about the horrors of pedophilia that exists in Hollywood, as well as the toxic relationship with his mother, who was no stranger to alcohol and drugs herself. It was also confirmed in the middle of the controversial topic that still spins despite going to the backburner since the pandemic in 2019, that Feldman’s mother drank heavily while he was still in her womb. This explains the physical abnormalities seen on his face, as well as his own struggle with alcohol himself. Furthermore, as a child who also experienced learning difficulty, this makes him easy prey for pedophiles to have their way with him until he learns what was done against him was wrong. This is not uncommon now being told by a growing number of child stars who later grew into adults who often find themselves in the tabloids for drunken, unruly behavior.

Tom Cruise

7. Tom Cruise

Despite the ladies swooning over what they see as good looks from the charismatic actor, actor Tom Cruise serves as another example of a child that was born with FAS and had to contend with the condition throughout their life span. It shows in his face, in his smile, in his eyes, and even in his mannerisms. He has also admitted while in school he was diagnosed with a learning disability known as dyslexia. In order to compensate, he engaged in athletics and in acting. According to New Focus Academy, learning disorders, including dyslexia, have connections to FAS.

Whoopi Goldberg

6. Whoopi Goldberg

She was diagnosed with dyslexia as a child, which is a condition linked to fetal alcohol syndrome. Whoopi Goldberg is also notorious for getting herself into hot water on a number of occasions by saying or doing something most observers find perplexing. She also shares the same facial features in a few key areas that also played a factor in helping her stand out from the crowd. Another connection is the woman’s career choice to enter the entertainment industry as a comedienne. It is usually through an outlet like comedy victims of FAS will use as a means to channel energy that seems to serve as a psychotherapeutic release.

Steven Spielberg

5. Steven Spielberg

Before becoming the legendary film director, Steven Spielberg endured a childhood where he was made to feel inadequate as his learning disability made him a target by school administrators and fellow students. Because of the bullying, this steered Spielberg to channel his energy into a world where nobody could pick on him. He didn’t learn until he was in his 60s that he had dyslexia. However, there was no consideration into the possibility he actually has fetal alcohol syndrome either, which has a direct link to the very condition that caused him so many problems.

Justin Timberlake

4. Justin Timberlake

Despite becoming a highly successful actor, singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur, Justin Timberlake has contended with attention deficit hyper disorder (ADHD), which is a condition directly linked to FAS. While it doesn’t seem he has the physical abnormalities as some FAS victims do, the condition still serves as a reminder that it doesn’t just mess with a person’s looks to make an impact. It can mess with the brain, too.

Henry Winkler

3. Henry Winkler

Before becoming the iconic Arthur Fonzarelli on Happy Days, school life for Henry Winkler was difficult. While this isn’t uncommon for many school children, what should also be noted is a few physical abnormalities he and Hollywood used in his favor to become such an idolized figure during the earliest days of his acting career. When enough makeup is applied and the camera angles do the job they’re designed to do, they can effectively hide the obvious.

Jim Carrey

2. Jim Carrey

Canadian comedian and actor, Jim Carrey, has proven to be every bit as erratic as the characters he’s played in most of his feature films. There is a reason why he strongly supports alcohol treatment centers and why he often speaks up about fetal alcohol syndrome. His mother’s addiction to alcohol played an integral role in why Carrey spent most of his childhood in such an angry state and why he still exhibits these traits in him today. While growing up, life was already difficult for him as his parents experienced financial hardship to the point where the family car was considered their home for a while.

Reese Witherspoon

1. Reese Witherspoon

One wouldn’t know it if it was never publicly revealed, but Reese Witherspoon’s mother endured an alcoholic addiction while carrying the award-winning actress as an unborn fetus. Witherspoon admitted in interviews that she had difficulty learning while in school, which is a common condition shared among children who are victims of FAS. Another common issue shared among victims of FAS is growing up to become alcoholics themselves. This is a condition Witherspoon has contended with that has interfered with her professional career as an actress and producer in Hollywood as she has repeatedly gone in and out of luxury rehab facilities each time her own alcoholism catches up with her.

Calling the Kettles Out

While it’s not fair to judge anybody by appearances alone, it is fair enough to conclude before more information came out about fetal alcohol syndrome that most people didn’t understand the full scope of what alcohol can do to an unborn child. While common sense would suggest a woman expecting shouldn’t consume alcohol of any kind during the term of her pregnancy, most of the time a woman wouldn’t even know she’s pregnant until she’s already about three months in. Until she knows, especially if there was no intention to have a baby, she is not about to make any lifestyle changes. Even with more evidence proving what FAS can do, there are still many men and women who still haven’t clued in yet what it does and that it has been a sad part of society ever since the start of mankind’s timeline.

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