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Sly does it. So does Burt. Even Arnold has lumbered into the plastic surgeon’s 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, it’s unthinkable.

The truth is that male actors—especially successful ones—are 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 counterparts—close-ups, sex scenes, and eagle-eyed paparazzi—and the same pressure to retain their good looks into middle and even old age. There’s 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, we’ve all seen Peter Pan a few too many times. We don’t 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.” That’s why so many older male stars end up with faces that look like they’ve 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, it’s 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.) Here’s a rundown on the most common procedures and the stars who submitted to them.

The Vain Gang

Burt Reynolds
The former football star’s formerly football-shaped face has been streamlined and stretched across a newly pinched nose into a vaguely Asian look. And could that be …an unreceding hairline?
Don Johnson
The blue peepers that matched Sonny Crockett’s baby blue T-shirt-and-blazer combos on Miami Vice look even younger now that Johnson, 47, has moved west to Nash Bridges. Word is he got himself a good ol’ tinseltown eye tuck. (You might head for the scalpel, too, if your long-time babe ran off with Antonio Banderas.)
Jack Lemmon
First he was a grumpy old man and then a grumpier old man. Now, judging by this odd couple above, he may get even grumpier: Surgeons say that the acclaimed 72-year-old actor, had a not-so-great facelift that makes his eyes pop out at the audience. Next up: A 3-D movie?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Bulking down for non-musclehead roles (Kindergarten Cop, Junior, Twins) and Kennedy cocktail parties, Arnold, 49, has had his eyes artificially opened and used genioplasty to move back his proud Hapsburg superjaw to a more civilized level. Now, he looks more like…Maria Shriver?
Warren Beatty
All that winking was apparently rough on legendary lady-killer Beatty’s brows, so he had the surgeon give him a more eye-opening look. (All that wandering through the hot, dry desert during Ishtar—and all the tears after the reviews came out—couldn’t have helped matters.)
Rod Stewart
Every Picture Tells a Story, Rod has sang, and these two tell the tale of a new schnozz, and some lifting and tucking. At least these days—thanks to the knife— the 52-year-old doesn’t look quite so much like wife Rachel Hunter’s randy ol’ father.
Nick Nolte
The Mirror Has Two Faces—and one ain’t so pretty. Nolte, 57, has a tighter kisser these days (now if they could just do something about Barbra’s nose).
Michael Douglas
Romancing the bone: Goodbye fleshy-faced squirrel-jowls, hello svelte streamlining. As Michael’s tinkering takes him farther from his dad’s signature chin, the result is a nondescript face and bugg-ey eyes.
Michael Jackson
Brother from another planet: It almost seems too cruel to go into…ah, what the hell. Michael, 38, is the poster boy for radical plastic surgery at its worst, having traded in a perfectly serviceable mug for this dainty-nostriled, street-mime look.
Elton John
He sings that he was “Made in England” but we think Beverly Hills is the origin of his current look, which includes a hair weave. The 50-year-old chose the knife, but he could’ve just kept sporting that humongo eyewear.
John Goodman
Having bumped bellies with plastic surgery-happy Roseanne in sitcomland for years, 44-year-old Goodman has gotten in on the act: He reportedly drops by for gut-lipo when his clothes start to get tight.
Paul Hogan
The craggy outback look that worked so well in Crocodile Dundee started to fade by Dundee II. We can’t help but wonder how many crocodile handbags his lift could’ve given birth to.

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 Beatty’s quoted him as saying about his buddy Nicholson, “but I can’t do that.”

Not all saw the improvements they hoped for. Michael Douglas, 52, has had his eyes done—along with several other parts of his body—only 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 he’s certainly not alone. “Poor old Jack Lemmon,” laments one cosmetic surgeon. “I loved his wonderfully mobile comic face. Now he looks like he’s been electrocuted.” Seventy-two-year-old Lemmon’s 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. It’s 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. “He’s had his jaw moved back — it’s called genioplasty,” says a prominent Los Angeles surgeon. “He used to have that jutting Hapsburg jaw but it’s all gone. He’s 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 days—having recaptured his “Maggie May” era mug with help from the surgeon.

But some doctors say surgery can erase much of the personality from an actor’s face. Paul Hogan, 57, traded in his rugged, complexion for a smoother, blander version after Crocodile Dundee, and hasn’t 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 hasn’t had his kisser lifted but he’d be an ideal patient. “You get better results if you’re working with a very bony face,” says Dr. Bernard Koire, who’s adjusted famous faces in Hollywood for 40 years. “Eastwood would be a terrific candidate for a face lift, but he hasn’t 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 he’d been nipped in the bud). True fatties, though, are more common customers. Kenny Rogers, who’s 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 don’t think I’d 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 don’t fit him he just gets a little more lipo.”

When you see a star who looks like he’s had his skin buffed along with his Range Rover, chances are he’s 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 doesn’t 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. “There’s 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 small—one or two hairs at a time. It’s tedious but in the end you can have a great head of hair.”

Schell’s 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 they’re 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 doesn’t come cheap—normal 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 isn’t enough. Enter Michael Jackson—a plastic surgery junkie with a rapidly disintegrating face and an amputated nose that’s 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 won’t talk about his patient specifically, insists, “The people I’ve 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 you’re a guy on the relaxing side of the big screen on Saturday nights—scarfing down popcorn and having your arm squeezed to pieces by a woman with real breasts—rather 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.

Sally Ogle Davis. Blade Runners. Maxim [Print + Kindle] . September 1997.


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