Many celebrities have had to deal with having vitiligo while living in the public eye, maintaining a positive outlook, and having a successful career. Here are a few courageous famous people who face vitiligo in the public eye:
Top model, Winnie Harlow (photo, right) from Toronto, Canada, and one of contestants of America's Next Top Model 2014 TV show. She's walked Toronto Fashion Week's runways and has many editorials to her name, including Vogue and Cosmopolitan. Her journey to one of the most sought-after platforms in the American fashion industry was at best a perilous and bumpy ride.
- Michael Jackson, the King of Pop (1958-2009). Pop music and dance sound and look completely different if not for the groundbreaking contributions Michael Jackson gifted to the world. Jackson has won hundreds of awards, making him the most-awarded recording artist in the history of popular music.
- Lee Thomas, 4x Emmy Award Nominee. He is currently a weekday morning show anchor and entertainment "guru" at WJBK Fox 2 Detroit. He is also an author and motivational speaker that travels the world sharing his story while challenging people to live their best life no matter what the circumstances.
- Big Krizz Kaliko (Samuel W.C. Watson), an American rapper and singer. He used the name of the disease he suffers from as the title for his debut album that peaked at number 19 on the Top Independent Albums and number 167 on the Billboard 200 in May 2008. His fourth studio album, titled Kickin' and Screamin' reached number 43 on the Billboard in 2012.
- Yvette Fielding, an English broadcaster, producer and actress. She is best known for being the presenter of the TV shows Blue Peter, Most Haunted, Most Haunted Live!, and Ghosthunting With... With her husband Karl Beattie she launched the Paranormal Channel in the UK in 2008. This is the first TV channel in the world dedicated to the paranormal.
- Rasheed Abdul Wallace, a retired American professional basketball player who currently serves as an assistant coach for the Detroit Pistons, and is an honorable member of the NBA All-Star team. Wallace popularized the phrase "Ball don't lie." He is also known for his community support in homeland Detroit.
- Eddie “Among Ed” Tongol Panlilio, a very dedicated and beloved Roman Catholic priest and governor of the province of Pampanga in the Philippines. Panlilio was named "Filipino of the Year" by the Philippine Daily Inquirer in 2007 when he won over his two leading competitors without backing from any political party.
- Graham Norton, an Irish comic presenter. Based in the United Kingdom, he is the host of comedy chat show The Graham Norton Show. Norton is known for his innuendo-laden dialogue and flamboyant presentation style, and has won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Entertainment Performance on five occasions.
- Holly Marie Combs, an American actress and television producer. Landing print ads and a number of commercials by the age of 10, Combs quickly followed up with a number of successful roles in films and TV shows. On the smash hit show "Charmed" Combs served as a producer for four seasons, and landed another regular series after that.
- Amitabh Bacchan, who needs no introduction in India or even abroad. He first gained popularity in the early 1970s as the "angry young man" of Bollywood, and has since appeared in over 180 Indian films in a career spanning more than four decades. Bachchan is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential actors in the history of Indian cinema.
- Richard Mark Hammond is a British presenter, radio host, writer and journalist. Richard is most widely recognized for his work on two British television programs; "Top Gear" and "Brainiac: Science Abuse." A motoring enthusiast, he had survived a serious crash while driving a jet-powered racing car on a show at 288 MPH and returned on his show.
- Hedvig Lindahl, a soccer goalkeeper who plays for Kristianstads DFF. At the age of 13 Lindahl decided to focus on becoming a professional soccer player. Since making her international debut in 2002, Lindahl has accrued over 90 caps for the Sweden women's national football team. Three times she the was named a Swedish women's goalkeeper of the year.
- Eric Arthur Hammer, better known by his nom de plume Doc Hammer, is an American artist. He is best recognized for his role in creation of animated program "The Venture Bros" for the Cartoon Network. Although he played in several gothic rock bands, Doc Hammer's most absolute passion is painting and he has become successful with his artwork.
- "Fez" Marie Whatley (born Todd Hilliard), an American talk radio host and comedian. Whatley originally became well known after becoming a producer and contributor for The Ron and Ron Show in Florida. Fez had been playing a flamboyant character on the air for more than 20 years. His top movie acting credits include Grand Theft Auto IV.
- Karl Dunbar is an American football, D-line coach for the NY Jets, who stands with his men like a sergeant in the battle. After a brief stint as a police officer at the end of his NFL career, Dunbar started coaching. He refuses to let vitiligo get in the way of his job. Karl uses his platform as an NFL coach to inform people about vitiligo.
- Kara Louise Tointon, is an English actress, best known for playing Dawn Swann in BBC soap opera EastEnders. Not only is she a wonderful actress but she is also highly trained in dance. In 2010 she won the Strictly Come Dancing a series aired on BBC television. Kara Loise is gorgeous and exceedingly bright young girl with a big personality to spare.
- Bryan Danielson, is an American independent professional wrestler, also known as “American Dragon." Danielson has held the top titles of all three promotions (the ROH World Championship, the FIP World Championship, and the PWG World Championship), and is a former head trainer of the ROH Wrestling Academy.
- Scott Jorgensen, an American mixed martial artist currently competing in the flyweight division of the UFC under the Young Guns nickname. Scott enjoys takedowns and dirty boxing, and he will take victory no matter how he has to secure it. Scott's white vitiligo skin makes his famous tatoos look bright and colorful.
- Shante Artis, aka L.U.V. aka the Rapping Housewife began rapping and performing at the early age of 11, and since has become one the most under estimated, underground female artist in the game. A relentless “go getter,” L.U.V. stands alone as a rapper, ghost/song writer and entrepreneur taking the level of hip hop for woman to an ultimate high.
- Jonathan Daniel "Jon" Hamm, an American actor and TV director. Hamm gained wide recognition for playing advertising executive Don Draper in the AMC drama series Mad Men, including winning Golden Globe Award and ten Emmy Award nominations. The stress of shooting Mad Men has landed Jon with a nasty case of vitiligo.
- Michaela DePrince, an American ballet dancer. Named at birth Mabinty Bangura and known as Girl Number 27 at the orphanage in Sierra Leone, where she was abandoned at a young age after her parents were killed by rebels, and frequently malnourished, mistreated, and derided as a "devil's child" because of vitiligo. After being adopted by an American family, she pursued a successful professional career despite encountering instances of racial discrimination. In 2013, she was named one of Newsweek/The Daily Beast’s “125 Women of Impact.”
and many other, including:
- Joe Rogan (actor, presenter, TV producer, screenwriter),
- Tamar Braxton, the R&B singer and over-the-top personality on ‘Braxton Family Values‘,
- Mark Andres, aka Sisqo, a popular actor and R&B singer in Hollywood,
- Jonathan Morris Henson (comedian and TV host),
- Thomas Lennon (actor, comedian, screenwriter and director.)
We love these celebs people who are educating the public about this neglected disease, but our heart still belongs to the King of Pop late Michael Jackson, who was battling a vitiligo since his early childhood. Like those modern stars, he showed that vitiligo need not derail one’s hopes or dreams. And for that inspiration, we thank all these famous people for sharing their stories.
Please note that we have assembled this list from both online and offline sources. If you spot a discrepancy in this list please contact us so we amend the entry.
Why Is It Important
There are a lot of people who don't want you to stand up for your rights and demand a cure. They say vitiligo is not life threatening and not contagious, and you must embrace a life of a pariah, hiding yourself from sunlight and from the society.
Vitiligo is an under-researched disease resulting in milky white skin patches on the skin. The breadth and complexity of the disease require international collaboration in therapy development. The severity of the disease calls for national healthcare support.
So, speak up for your condition and your rights. Sign the letter to tell the UN Secretary-General that you want recognition and support. It would be appreciated if you could give every member of your family or group an opportunity for signing.
We have collected 502173 signatures of the target 500000 (100.43%). Now let’s get 1 million signatures!