Sly does it. So does Burt. Even Arnold has lumbered into the plastic surgeons office. With all this nipping, tucking and fat-sucking, is tinseltown on the verge of spawning a legion of Ken dolls? By now, people are used to the idea that just about every hot actress on the big screen has been surgically enhanced: But we still like to think of our male screen gods as authentic, somehow above the vanity of a Pamela Anderson or a Demi Moore. Arnie fretting over his profile? Sly fussing with body fat? To most fans, its unthinkable.
The truth is that male actorsespecially successful onesare as conscious of their looks as any actress, and most are just as willing to consider a face lift or eye tuck if it means reviving a sagging career. Male stars, after all, face the same terrors as their female counterpartsclose-ups, sex scenes, and eagle-eyed paparazziand the same pressure to retain their good looks into middle and even old age. Theres one difference: women usually get knife happy in their forties, but guy-stars can usually dodge the scalpel (or laser) until they hit their mid-fifties.
The American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery estimates that male cosmetic surgery in 1996 was a $9.5 billion industry nationwide. And why not? If Faye Dunaway feels the need of a facelift every few years or so, why not Michael Douglas or Dustin Hoffman? As Dr. Arnold Klein, Beverly Hills best known celebrity plastic surgeon, observes: Here in Los Angeles, weve all seen Peter Pan a few too many times. We dont ever want to grow up.
Klein, who is known as the King of Collagen for his invention of the now ubiquitous puffed up movie-star mouth, makes no apologies for feeding on all the industry narcissism. If we had movie houses filled with actors and actresses who were ugly, no one would come to the movies, he reasons. The result is that more male stars than ever are trying either to improve on or preserve the looks God gave them, and although cosmetic technology is doing all that it can to keep up, the results remain decidedly mixed.
One reason for this is that men simply present more difficulties than women. The incisions are harder to hide on men because of their hairstyles, says Dr. Pam Lipkin, of Manhattan and Beverly Hills. And that heavy, bearded skin is harder to redrape naturally. Thats why so many older male stars end up with faces that look like theyve been embalmed shiny and pink with small, round eyes. Dr. Mark Berman of Santa Monica, California, says face-lifting men is also tricky because a masculine face is a longer face. When you lift the face you shorten it and round it out, making it look more feminine.
Celebrities also face another threat. As Dr. Robert Cattani, who practices in Manhattan, notes: When you see a famous face walk into your office, its a great temptation to swing for the fences. You want to show off what you can do so you tend to push the envelope a bit too far. With celebrities, the doctor better have his ego in check. (Michael Jackson.) Heres a rundown on the most common procedures and the stars who submitted to them.
Eye area surgery and face lifts have long been favorites for Hollywood actors. Eyeing Emmys and Oscars, or maybe just the spring pilot season, many stars choose to perk up their peepers. Don Johnson, 46; Al Pacino, 56; Dustin Hoffman, 59; Nick Nolte, 57; Arnold Schwarzenegger, 49; Burt Reynolds, 61; and Sylvester Stallone, 50, have all had work done to their eyes to eliminate wrinkles and clean up bags. New Daddy Warren Beatty, 60, once known for his heart-stopping good looks, dodged the knife for years but finally gave in and had a brow lift. Jack can let himself grow fat and old, a friend and colleague of Beattys quoted him as saying about his buddy Nicholson, but I cant do that.
Not all saw the improvements they hoped for. Michael Douglas, 52, has had his eyes donealong with several other parts of his bodyonly to be held up by cosmetic surgeons as an example of how badly some procedures can go. They took too much fat out of his neck so that his jaw is hanging, and they overdid his eyes so they look round and strange, says Lipkin.
Douglas may bear the signs of a bad face lift, but hes certainly not alone. Poor old Jack Lemmon, laments one cosmetic surgeon. I loved his wonderfully mobile comic face. Now he looks like hes been electrocuted. Seventy-two-year-old Lemmons face lift, an unintentionally glaring feature of the 1996 movies Hamlet and My Fellow Americans, left him with bassett hound eyes, too much eye-white showing, and a decided droop to his lower lids. We call that scleral show, says Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Brian Novack, who has one of the largest celebrity patient lists in L.A. It comes from taking out too much skin from the eye area. Its a common complication in older men. Another victims of an unsuccessful face lift: Burt Reynolds, who is now trying to stage a comeback with slightly Asian eyes and eyebrows in places they never were before.
Other stars have had better luck. Arnold Schwarzenegger has undergone subtle facial sculpting. Hes had his jaw moved back its called genioplasty, says a prominent Los Angeles surgeon. He used to have that jutting Hapsburg jaw but its all gone. Hes also had his eyes done and he keeps tinkering every few years.
Dustin Hoffman and Paul Newman have likewise emerged from the surgeons in relatively good shape. Hoffman thanks to a face lift, eyework, and a nose job, has moved into middle age looking better than he did when he started his career in The Graduate. The only giveaway is that his chin is more pointed than it used to be, says a Los Angeles doctor. Otherwise, he looks great. Rod Stewart is also giving good face these dayshaving recaptured his Maggie May era mug with help from the surgeon.
But some doctors say surgery can erase much of the personality from an actors face. Paul Hogan, 57, traded in his rugged, complexion for a smoother, blander version after Crocodile Dundee, and hasnt struck gold since. I loved that craggy face, moaned a local surgeon. It looked like a map of the Australian outback. Then he came over here and had it all taken away.
Clint Eastwood, 66, is one Hollywood cowboy who hasnt had his kisser lifted but hed be an ideal patient. You get better results if youre working with a very bony face, says Dr. Bernard Koire, whos adjusted famous faces in Hollywood for 40 years. Eastwood would be a terrific candidate for a face lift, but he hasnt had anything done.
Liposuction is the second most popular procedure among Hollywood men. Tom Cruise is rumored to have had it performed in preparation for his bare butt scene in Far and Away (although his publicist denies hed been nipped in the bud). True fatties, though, are more common customers. Kenny Rogers, whos never come clean about his face-lift, has talked frankly about the multiple liposuctions on his abdomen and love handles, executed by Dr. George Semel of Beverly Hills. If I were a plumber, I dont think Id have cared so much about how I looked, Rogers has said, But to read reviews that called me the portly Kenny Rogers was very painful. According to one Los Angeles doctor, John Goodman uses liposuction to solve shopping dilemmas. He hates to buy new clothes so when his pants dont fit him he just gets a little more lipo.
When you see a star who looks like hes had his skin buffed along with his Range Rover, chances are hes undergone laser resurfacing. This relatively recent innovation removes bumps and lumps from the skin, and is a boon to actors like Brad Pitt, who reportedly had the procedure to remove acne pitting.
Forty million men in America are balding, and being a celebrity doesnt make you immune. But the stars can thank their lucky stars that hair transplants have come a long way since the chunky hedgerow plugs of the 70s and 80s. Theres been a revolution in hair transplanting over the last 5 to 7 years says Seattle plastic surgeon Dr. Barbara Schell. We have much more aesthetic results today. The size of the grafts, which come from the back of the head, is very smallone or two hairs at a time. Its tedious but in the end you can have a great head of hair.
Schells main problem is getting her patients to give up the idea of looking like their sixteen year old selves. They all want a full head of hair with the hair line down to where it was when they were a kid, she says. So you tactfully explain to them that the transplant is permanent. When theyre sixty, all the hair on the sides of their head will have fallen away, leaving a hairline in front down to their eyebrows. I have to persuade them to start further back.
A procedure of this kind doesnt come cheapnormal costs run from $15,000-20,000. But Bruce Willis is among the stars who have weathered the delicate mid transplant stage and should soon be sporting a fuller thatch. Surgeons say the procedure is so popular with stars that you can almost hear all that hair growing in Hollywood. The latest buzz from the left coast is that Kevin Costner and Mel Gibson are heading the same way.
For some stars, subtle remodeling just isnt enough. Enter Michael Jacksona plastic surgery junkie with a rapidly disintegrating face and an amputated nose thats been operated on so much its virtually disappeared off his face. But Dr. Steven Hoefflin, currently the hot celebrity surgeon in Los Angeles, who has done most of Jackson surgeries, while he wont talk about his patient specifically, insists, The people Ive made tremendous visual changes to are extremely happy. Sometimes the changes we give a patient provide a wonderful improvement in their emotional states. That may be, but most people want a nose that looks like a nose.
Jackson and other extreme images of surgery-gone-wrong almost make you glad youre a guy on the relaxing side of the big screen on Saturday nightsscarfing down popcorn and having your arm squeezed to pieces by a woman with real breastsrather than the bigger-than-life actor with a sci-fi face and lipo-ed gut, gunning down the bad guys and rescuing Pamela Anderson. Well, almost.
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