10 Celebs Who ‘Improved’ Their Appearance And Became Unrecognizable

Drew Carey attending CBS benefit October 2013__1400855759_74.64.52.85

(Photo: FayesVision / WENN.com)

Happy birthday to Drew Carey, who turns fifty-six today! You remember Drew, right? He was that pudgy guy who had his own show and also ran Whose Line Is It Anyway? He was always a roundish guy with glasses, until one day he deflated and I could barely even recognize him anymore.

It’s great for Drew that he decided to make health a priority and lose some weight, and even greater that he’s been able to keep it off so successfully…I’m mostly just marveling at how very different he looks. When you’re a celebrity, your appearance figures in very closely with your fame, and sometimes a small change ends up in a big difference, y’know? After all, if you don’t look like the same person, it’s hard to go on having the same career.

Here are some people who tried to tweak a little something about their appearance and ended up with pretty much an entirely different face.

1. Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers Heller Awards Beverly Hills California September 20 2013

(Photo: WENN.com)

Joan is hardly an example of a person who ‘just tried to tweak a little something’, but things may have started out that way. I’ve heard that plastic surgery is like tattoos, in that as soon as you get your first one, you’re barely out of the shop before you’re planning your next one. I have to assume that that’s what went on here, because not only is Joan unrecognizable as herself, she’s unrecognizable as a human being.

2. Jennifer Grey

Jennifer Grey attending Los Angeles premiere May 2014__1400856547_74.64.52.85(Photo: FayesVision / WENN.com)

Probably the classic example of someone who intended to change just one little thing…and ended up completely sidelining her own career. After making her name on movies like Dirty Dancing and Ferris Bueller’s Day OffJennifer underwent two rhinoplasty procedures in the early 1990s to make her nose a little less distinctive and GUESS WHAT. She succeeded. She ended up looking so different that even close friends didn’t recognize her, and said the change in public awareness was like ‘being in the witness protection program’.

3. Michael Jackson

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(Photo: WENN.com)

I mean, duh. He began his life as a young black man and ended it as a white alien, essentially. At my high school graduation in 2005, someone made a reference to ‘back when Michael Jackson was still black’ and my mom LITERALLY WAS NOT AWARE THAT HE EVER WAS. That’s an extreme example, but still.

4. Courteney Cox

Courteney Cox attending Los Angeles Museum opening night party May 2013(Photo: Ryan / WENN.com)

Courteney got famous on Friendsand she seems determined to hang onto the skin she had during those years forever, even if it means stretching it so tightly over her cheekbones  that she becomes a macabre specter of her past self. It’s way more distracting than if she had let herself age naturally.

5. Renee Zellweger

Renee Zellweger Armani One Night Only October 24 2013 New York City

(Photo: WENN.com)

I don’t know if you guys have noticed this, but I’m pretty sure Renee got something done to her eyelids recently. Previously, her squintiness was one of the quirkiest, most distinctive things about her, but now she’s wandering around with disconcertingly open eyes, and she looks totally different.

6. Heidi Montag

Heidi Montag at book signing in London February 2013__1400857760_74.64.52.85Oh Heidi. Coming from reality TV, she didn’t have much of a career to start with when she decided to get ten surgeries at the same time in 2010, but she definitely hasn’t had one after. Probably on account of looking like an aging thirty-five year old when she’s only twenty-seven. Great plastic surgery can make you look younger, but if it’s even a little bit off, I feel like you just automatically look forty. Not quite worth the risk to take when you’re only twenty-three, but what do I know?

7. Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan in New York City April 2014(Photo: Araya Diaz / Getty Images Entertainment)

Rarely do I feel like plastic surgery is necessary for a young star, but Lindsay is a prime example for when it absolutely is. She got herself so beat up by her lifestyle choices (whatever they may have been — we may never know) that there was certain restoration work that had to be done to keep her looking like a human. Just…not quite the same human who started her career. And she’s also only twenty-seven!

8. Mickey Rourke

Mickey Rourke at PHO in Beverly Hills September 2013__1400858457_74.64.52.85(Photo: Josiah True / WENN.com)

It’s rare for there to be a guy on this list, because there’s so much less pressure for guys to look in tip top shape, but welcome aboard, Mickey! Not being a doctor or an authority on hamburger meats, I can’t tell you specifically what’s happened to Mickey’s face, but it’s a lot. Luckily, there’s a much larger market (read: any market at all) for broke-down dudes than there is for broke-down ladies, so Mickey is still getting work while someone like Nicole Kidman is on the bench just because she finally started looking just ten years younger than her age instead of twenty.

9. Lara Flynn Boyle

Lara Flynn Boyle attending Wayne's World reunion April 2013__1400858792_74.64.52.85(Photo: FayesVision / WENN.com)

For a long time, Lara looked exactly the same — skinny, drop dead gorgeous Hollywood star. But as age naturally started to creep up on her, she seems to have overreacted and gotten some pretty intense work done on her lips that completely changed the layout of her face. I understand the impulse to stay young, but it honestly breaks my heart how many actresses make rash, desperate decisions to try to stay young-looking that have long-lasting consequences for their appearance. Lara is only forty-four!

10. Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian attending Arby's Sports Award Show November 2006__1400859120_74.64.52.85(Photo: Nikki Nelson / WENN.com)

There’s young Kim in 2006, before she’d learned the magic of plumping and stretching and air-brushing away every distinguishing facial feature. Crazy, right? You can vaguely tell it’s the same person, but only barely. Someone should show Kanye West this picture and ask him if he still believes she’s never had work done.

Share This Post:
    • guest

      Michael Jackson did have a lot of surgery, but I’m pretty sure the autopsy confirmed that his skin pigment change was the result of vitiligo, which is pretty sad

    • J_Doe5686

      All these people were gorgeous. Vanity kills beauty.

    • Vera

      I understand trying to improve your face when you’re older; between natural sagging and artificial stretchiness — it’s the devil’s choice here.
      But these people messed up their absolutely young, pretty faces. Guys, I’d love to look like “Before Kim”… but you couldn’t pay me enough to look like “Kim After”.

    • SynthiaAvallone

      Some celebrity are showing a good beauty .
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    • Elizabeth Aspen

      I never ever comment on anyone’s looks and I think articles like this are low-class and unnecessary. It’s an awful industry these people are a part of, riddled with insecure people whose insecurities are made worse by insults others make about their appearances. I like to think I have too much high self-esteem to ever do anything drastic like plastic surgery, but I don’t have paparrazi following me 24/7 and tabloids writing horrible stories about my looks or body. I can’t even imagine dealing with the pressure to conform that these celebrities have to go through on a daily basis. I’m sure that’s a huge reason why they do these things to their faces.

    • Ria

      Kenny Rogers definitely should be on this list.

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