Vitiligo can affect anyone. It doesn’t know any age, any gender or any race. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that celebrities could also be affected by the same skin disorder.
Just like any of us, many celebrities have had to deal with vitiligo while living in the public eye. The good news is that many of them maintained a positive outlook and had a successful career. This can only motivate us to do well and disable vitiligo from affecting us professionally (if not personally).
‘Unite For Vitiligo’ applauds these celebrities with vitiligo who in their capacity educated the public about this neglected skin disorder in a much more proactive and positive way. After all, in today’s airbrushed world, it is a breath of fresh air whenever a celeb openly shares his/her vulnerabilities and makes it clear that vitiligo doesn’t have to get in the way of your hopes and dreams.
1. Michael Jackson
Over the years, many wondered why Michael Jackson’s skin color changed drastically as he got older. The ultra-famous pop star had vitiligo over the majority of his body. While many wondered why he was bleaching his skin, autopsy reports done after his death confirmed that he did, in fact, had vitiligo. It is also believed that he suffered from Lupus and vitiligo both. It was Lupus only that aggravated his vitiligo and he turned whiter sooner than most.
Needless to say, modern artistry and music would sound completely different without Michael’s groundbreaking contributions. Like any other inspiring figure on the list, Michael exhibited that vitiligo need not derail one’s hopes or dreams. Read Michael Jackson and his Vitiligo Story here.
2. Winnie Harlow
The list of celebrities with vitiligo is incomplete without Winnie Harlow. The woman you see in the most of vitiligo treatment websites, informational catalogs, and YouTube video thumbnails was a contestant on America’s Next Top Model (2014). After gaining popularity on the show, Winnie walked runways across the world and continued a successful career as a supermodel.
Since Winnie does have vitiligo more prominently on her body, it has made the chronic skin disorder a conversation. She indeed proved that vitiligo is no barrier to success in the fashion business. Winnie has been featured in magazines like Vogue and Cosmopolitan.
3. Dean Edwards
Being a chef on TV channel means you are constantly putting yourself in the spotlight. But, Dean Edwards never used skin camouflage make-up to hide his vitiligo. He has been raising awareness about the disorder by talking about it on public platforms. In fact, the blog post he wrote opened up a lot of doors for him in regards to spreading a positive message about vitiligo. Dean rose to prominence as a contestant on the BBC cookery show Masterchef.
4. Graham Norton
An Irish actor, comedian and a columnist, Graham he is the host of comedy chat show The Graham Norton Show. Known for his flamboyant presentation style, he is a five time recipient of the BAFTA TV Award for Best Entertainment Performance. Initially unaware of his vitiligo, he never lets his skin disorder affect his career. As he meets the most intimidating film stars every week, you see him smiling and laughing.
5. Thomas Lennon
A director, comedian, producer, screenwriter and the Star of Reno 911!, Thomas Lennon has vitiligo on his face, hands, and hips. Pretty much active in the movie business, he has many popular movies to his credit, including The Dark Knight Rises, Momento and Night at the Museum.
6. Lee Thomas
An Emmy-award winning broadcaster, Lee is currently a weekday morning show anchor. Also an author and motivational speaker, Lee revealed that he had widespread vitiligo in 2005 and published a memoir titled Turning White. He became a willing advocate for vitiligo fighters, starting a support group. Lee continues to travel the world to share his story so that people are challenged to live their life to the full in the face of adversity.
7. Jon Hamm
An American actor and director, Hamm rose to fame with the AMC drama series Mad Men. As confirmed by him, the stress of shooting pilot episode of Mad Men landed Jon his first white patch. Soon, vitiligo affected his hands. However, this did not worry him much. He went on winning many Golden Globe and 10 Emmy nominations for his portrayal of Don Draper.
8. Chandra Babu Naidu
Ex-chief minister of Andhra Pradesh (India), Naidu brought glory to the state and excelled in the field of regional politics. Never worrying about his vitiligo, Naidu is a recipient of IT Indian of the Millennium (from India Today), Business Person of the Year (by The Economic Times) and South Asian of the Year (by Time Asia) awards.
9. Steve Martin
A famous comedian, television producer, musician, film producer, and screenwriter, Steve has many popular television shows and movie to his credit. Not letting vitiligo come his way, he has been among the most favorite Oscar hosts ever.
10. Leleti Khumalo
The TV star and producer, who rose to fame for her leading role in Hotel Rwanda, came to know that she had vitiligo at the age of 19. Over the years, Leleti gained confidence and decided not to cover vitiligo, especially considering that she is acting on etv’s latest show – Imbewu. To know more, read Leleti Khumalo to help people embrace their vitiligo.
11. Holly Marie Combs
Holly, who rose to fame with her role in “Pretty Little Liars” has vitiligo on both of her hands. She has been living peacefully with the skin disorder without feeling inferior to anybody. Working in the capacity of an actor, presenter, and TV producer is itself an excellent example of courage.
12. Yvette Fielding
An English broadcaster, producer and, actress, Yvette is well known for being the presenter of successful TV shows like Blue Peter, Most Haunted and Most Haunted Live. Her interest in the ‘other world’, led her to launch the world’s first Paranormal Channel in 2008. The actress did not allow her vitiligo to hamper her successful appearance on the screen.
13. Gautam Singhania
An Indian textile tycoon, Gautam Singhania has extensive vitiligo. But unlike many, he has accepted his uniqueness very gracefully. He is the chairman and managing director of the world’s largest producer of worsted suiting fabric – Raymond Group. Gautam, along with Ninu Galot took part in a vitiligo awareness campaign recently.
14. Rasheed Abdul Wallace
The famous NBA basketball player encountered with vitiligo and dealt with it in the most beautiful form. Rasheed played in the NBA for nearly a decade and popularized the phrase ‘ball don’t lie’. He is known for his community support in his hometown of Detroit.
15. Godavari Dutta
Often referred to as the Grand Old Woman of Madhubani art, Godavari Dutta has universal vitiligo. Recently conferred with Padma Shree Award by the Government of India (the fourth highest civilian awards of the country), Godavari has taken Madhubani art (also known as Mithila art) to unattainable heights.
16. Joan Severance
Best known as 1980’s supermodel, Severance has modeled for international brands like Chanel, Versace, Giorgio Armani, Revlon, and Maybelline. Known for her roles in hit TV shows like American Horror Story and Masters of Sex, Severance was diagnosed with vitiligo when she was 8. She also runs a website – help4vitiligo.org.
17. Joe Rogan
Former martial arts champion, many of us now know Joe now as a famous stand-up comedian. The host, actor, and, writer talks about his skin disorder without any fear or inhibition. Vitiligo may affect his hands and wrists, but it certainly doesn’t affect his courage.
18. Amy Deanna
Amy started losing pigmentation during her teenager. CoverGirl representatives found her on Instagram and noticed how confidently she has been embracing the chronic skin disorder. She became the first model with vitiligo to be featured in the CoverGirl commercial.
19. John Campbell
The Jamaican cricketer made his Test debut for the West Indies against England on 23 January 2019. John is the first cricketer with vitiligo to play at the international level. He has visible white patches on his lips, fingers, hands, and elbows.
20. Santosh Gangwar
At present, Santosh is the incharge of the Ministry of Labour and Employment in the Government of India. The Member of Parliament and a leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party has prominent vitiligo all across his face and hands. Santosh is a self-made politician who didn’t let vitiligo stop him from becoming a seasoned politician.
21. Krizz Kaliko
A rapper and singer, Krizz has vitiligo on the face. He made vitiligo his strength and named his debut album after the skin disorder. The album peaked at number 19 on the Top Independent Albums in May 2008.
22. Scott Jorgensen
An American mixed martial artist, Scott Jorgensen has vitiligo that affects most of his body. Just like any other adventure enthusiasts, Scott enjoys takedowns and dirty boxing. His white vitiligo skin makes his tattoos look colorful and bright.
23. Karl Dunbar
A former footballer, Karl was 14 years old when he first noticed a vitiligo patch on his right thumb. After a brief stint as a police officer at the end of his NFL career, Dunbar started coaching and refused to let vitiligo get in the way. He has used his position as an NFL coach to educate people about vitiligo. Karl Dunbar was featured in our Vitiligo Crusaders series.
24. Eddie Panlilio
A beloved Roman Catholic priest and governor of the province of Pampanga in the Philippines, Panlilio was named ‘Filipino of the Year’ in 2007. For 15 years, Panlilio worked with communities displaced by Lahar following the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo.
25. Hedvig Lindahl
A soccer goalkeeper, Lindahl has accrued over 90 caps for the Sweden women’s national football team. She was diagnosed with vitiligo at the age of five. By the time Lindahl turned 20, she had lost all the pigments in her skin. Keeping vitiligo worries at bay, Lindahl decided to focus on becoming a professional soccer player and went on being named a Swedish women’s goalkeeper of the year three times.
26. Eric Arthur Hammer
Writer and voice actor, Eric has vitiligo on his scalp. Best known as Doc Hammer, he is recognized for his role in the creation of “The Venture Bros”, a popular animated program. Though Eric has played in several gothic rock bands, his most outright passion is painting.
27. Kara Tointon
Best known for playing Dawn Swann in EastEnders, Kara is a wonderful actress and a trained dancer. Her dancing moves made her win the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing show in 2010.
28. Bryan Danielson
An independent professional wrestler, Bryan is also known as “American Dragon.” A former head trainer of the ROH Wrestling Academy, Danielson has held the top titles of all 3 promotions (the ROH World Championship, the FIP World Championship, and the PWG World Championship).
29. Michaela DePrince
A rising American ballet star, Michaela was frequently mistreated and labeled as a ‘devil child’ because of her vitiligo. After being adopted by a family, she tracked a successful career in ballet. Often seen on TV, Michaela was named one of Newsweek/The Daily Beast’s “125 Women of Impact” in 2013.
30. Don Alder
Often referred to as the “Hendrix” of Acoustic Guitar, Don is a multi-award winning guitarist for a reason. Blending traditional fingerstyle work with extended techniques, Alder has revolutionized the world of music. Apart from being a vitiligo fighter, Don is also a compassionate friend. He took a break from his music career for 2.5 years to help his friend Rick Hansen tour around the world in a wheelchair.
31. Dudley Moore
A filmmaker, score composer, comedian, musician, film producer and screenwriter, Moore has many shows and movies to his credit. Famous for his acting role in Arthur, Dudley passed away in the year 2002 and lived with vitiligo.
Mark Althavean Andrews, popularly known Sisqo, rose to fame with Thong Song, which made him a household name. The R&B singer and rapper has eczema and vitiligo that both seem to be stress related.
33. Ogo Maduewesi
Every year, on June 25, the world celebrates World Vitiligo Day. Thanks to Ogo Maduewesi, who first brought the day to life in 2011. Together with Steve Haragadon, she finalized the concept behind the World Vitiligo Day, and have secured noticeable interest from the United Nations.
Ogo is also the founder of Vitiligo Support and Awareness Foundation (VITSAF), a not-for-profit organization working into vitiligo research in Nigeria.
34. Marcus Haran
A rising hip-hop sensation, producer, and beatboxer, Marcus is a living reminder that true artistic creativity is unbound by the loss of pigmentation. He is not afraid of showing his white skin as his vitiligo is intricately woven with many talents and abilities.
35. Asifa Bhutto Zardari
Asifa Bhutto is the youngest daughter of late Benazir Bhutto, the former and only lady Prime Minister of Pakistan. Asifa, who is the Brand Ambassador of anti-polio vaccination campaign in Pakistan, has white vitiligo lesions on her face. As a public health champion, Asifa continues to visit schools and hospitals; attend the public gathering and meet local and global officials without any inhibitions. She has accepted vitiligo as a part of her life, not as an obstacle.
36. Rigo Tovar
Rigoberto Tovar García was a musical pioneer who started fusing electric guitars, synthesizers and rock melody with traditional Mexican music. His music gained popularity in the early time of his career. The Mexican singer was diagnosed with vitiligo in his late life. In addition to the chronic skin disorder, Tovar also suffered from Retinitis Pigmentosa and Diabetes. He passed away in March 2005.
37. Countess Vaughn
After spending 30 years on television as a successful actor and singer, Countess Vaughn recently disclosed to a fan that she is living with vitiligo. The actress has been open about her struggles with her weight. However, this was the first time when she revealed a new challenge in her life – vitiligo.
Apart from singing on Star Search in 1988, Vaughn has been part of many iconic productions, including Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper, 227, Moesha, and The Parkers.
38. Weslye Saunders
Weslye, who has a huge fan base on Twitter, recently used the social platform to share that he is part of 1% of the world’s population. He posted a picture of his back, which showcased tiny vitiligo spots. In an interactive tweet, he wrote, “Growing up, I couldn’t wait to get a big tattoo on my back. To cover up my embarrassing skin condition. Then I got older & realized, my skin is the artwork! #Vitiligo #LoveTheSkinYoureIn #Blessed.”
39. Fez Whatley
A talk radio host and comedian, Whatley became famous after being a contributor to The Ron and Ron Show in Florida. Fez had been a flamboyant man on the air for more than 20 years now.
40. Isaac Go
A famous basketball player from Philipines, Isaac Go revealed his vitiligo on World Vitiligo Day 2018. The player from the Ateneo Blue Eagles took to social media to announce that he’s part of a tiny percentage of the world population that has vitiligo. “I’m here to say that there is nothing to be afraid and ashamed about it,” he wrote in a long post.
41. Tamar Braxton
Braxton had to face the allegations of bleaching her skin like Micheal Jackson in 2012. Her first single “Love & War” reached the number one spot on iTunes the same year. The reality television star with vitiligo has been featured in many popular shows like Braxton Family Values, Tamar & Vince, Tiny Tonight (VH1 talk show) and CultureList.
42. Laura Gregory
If you have vitiligo, being comfortable in your own skin isn’t easy. But, for Laura Gregory (Former Miss Continental), it’s a cakewalk. Laura was diagnosed with vitiligo when she was 12. For years, she endured bullying at the hands of her peers until she decided to enter into beauty pageants. The British model who has white patches on her hands, feet, and chest, has also been talking out about the stigma surrounding her condition.
43. Feng Xiaogang
A filmmaker, producer, and actor, Feng Xiaogang is well-known as a commercial phenomenon in China. His comedy films have done consistently well at the box office while. Xiaogang is one of those celebrities with vitiligo who have not sought any vitiligo treatment. He is proud and out with his dappled skin in public.
44. Richard Hammond
A radio host, writer, and journalist and the star of Top Gear has vitiligo on his hands and face. Richard is also most widely recognized for his work on “Brainiac: Science Abuse.”
45. Ninu Galot
An entrepreneur, fitness model and spokesperson for UK’s Vitiligo Society, Ninu noticed her first vitiligo patch when she was 11.
She took part in a fitness competition in London, which got her media’s attention and helped her raise awareness about vitiligo – the skin condition too few people know about. She was also a discussion panelist at World Vitiligo Day 2018 Conference, which was held in Boston.
46. J.D Runnels
A former American football player, J. D. Runnels has vitiligo spread across his eyes and mouth. He has been a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Florida Tuskers, and Cincinnati Bengals.
47. Ashley Soto
Ashley was diagnosed with vitiligo at the age of 12. Today, nearly a decade later, Soto is lauded as a body-positivity social media star, known for turning her vitiligo into body art. The beauty blogger rose to fame after sharing an Instagram post in 2016. Her followers have been multiplying since then.
48. Manuel Gutierrez
Manuel Gutierrez, a make-up artist, YouTuber, and beauty blogger, is best known as Manny MUA among his fans. The artist was diagnosed with vitiligo in 2015 and currently has vitiligo on his hips and fingertips. Manny is the first and only male brand ambassador for the makeup brand Maybelline.
49. Saran Thompson
A rapper and a spoken word performer, Saran (known as S-Wrap) raps in English as well as Japanese. The artist, who started battle rapping when he was 11, strives to make music that promotes positivity and reinforces integrity. Known as Vitiligo Bandit on social media, S-Wrap has carved a niche for himself in a short span of time.
50. Breanne Rice
Breanne was 19 years old when she was diagnosed with vitiligo. In 2015, she was cast on ABC’s ‘The Bachelor (20th season). In order to hide her vitiliginous skin on camera, Rice spent hours in her makeup room every day.
One day, she decided to let go of her insecurity and posted a picture without makeup on Instagram. This image went viral, and Rice, who is a holistic nutritionist now, was afterward featured in a Discovery documentary.
51. Yan Valle
Yan Valle is a writer, vitiligo spokesperson and CEO of Vitiligo Research Foundation. He has written extensively on vitiligo research and care, and peer-reviewed publications, benchmark studies, and reports. Valle has also addressed many dermatological conferences across the United States.
He was diagnosed with vitiligo when he was 6. He is the author of the book – A No-Nonsense Guide To Vitiligo.
52. Adina Laura Achim
Apart from holding a title of a UN Women’s Empower Women Champion for Change (2016-2017), Adina has been known for her political engagement and humanitarian activism. With eight books and numerous reviews to her credit, Adina’s lifestyle articles have been published in L’Officiel, Cosmopolitan, Buro 24/7, Grazia, Society Magazine, Fashion TV, and ZINK Magazine. Her editorial work has been translated into English, Spanish, Slovene, Bulgarian, Armenian, and Russian. Adina was eight years old when she had her first encounter with vitiligo.
53. April Star
Child print and runway model, April Star was diagnosed with the chronic skin disorder when she was 6. She started an Instagram page to show off her natural beauty and got noticed by many kids fashion magazines.
A face for Gap Kids in 2017, April has worked with the online boutique Love My Alannah and Essence magazine. She is featured in the list of 8 Instagram Accounts Vitiligo Fighters should follow.
Other notable mentions
- Waris Pathan (Indian Politician)
- Jonathan Morris Henson (Comedian and TV Host)
- Lauren Elyse (Makeup Artist)
- Darius Vernon (Model)
- Devontae Shuler (Ole Miss Basketball Guard)
- Shankar Jalota (Model)
- Saina Bedi (TV Producer and Director)
- Eva Khyne Sam (Model)
- Shante Artis (Rapper, Songwriter and a Youtuber)
- Alec king (British Model)
Gesata Stella Adriaan (Indonesian Actress)
Sam Gonçalves (Brazilian Model)
- Erika Page (Founder – Living Dappled)
- Bianca Rosemarie (Model)
- Kartiki Bhatnagar (Dual Skin Artist)
- Tarik B (German Fitness Coach)
- Prarthana Jagan (Indian Blogger and YouTuber)
- Kelsey Ketting (Model)
- Lauren Reid (Painter)
- Mariah Perkins (Model and Dancer)
- Aruna Evan (Writer, Blogger, and YouTuber)
- Carlene AJ (Model)
- Perry Whaley aka Vitiligo Man of Action (Vitiligo Awareness Activist)
- Shantanu Gosavi (Textile Engineer and Model)
- Jasmine Abena Colgan (Creator – Tough Skin project)
- Jovan Woods (Model)
- Anshul Singh (Writer and Editor-in-chief, Unite For Vitiligo)
We have curated this list on the basis of many online and offline sources. If you detect any discrepancy, please write to us at reachus@uniteforvitiligo. We will amend the entry.