Famous People with Albinism

Introduction

In popular culture, albinism has been portrayed negatively resulting to the reinforcement of societal prejudice and discrimination against albinistic people. Albino people have been represented in films, books, comics, and other works as people with danger, terror, or criminality. They have also been the object of jokes and ridicule and have been described as evil, maladjusted, under socialized, and freaks. Fictional characters in movies and books with albinistic characteristics (pale skin, platinum blonde hair, blue-red eyes, etc.) appear as the villains most of the time. In fact, a total of 68 films depicting “evil albino” has been made from 1960-2006, according to the National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation. Popular movies such as the Da Vinci Code and The Matrix Reloaded have albinistic characters that appear as evil villains.

In real life, albinistic people are not only socially persecuted because of their traits but also physically abused because of folklore, legends, and myths. In Zimbabwe, modern folklore posits that HIV can be treated by having sexual intercourse with an albinistic person. As a result, albinistic women are raped and subsequently infected with the viral disease. In another African country, Tanzania, albinistic people are hunted and killed for their highly priced body parts. Witchdoctors buy limbs, blood, genitals, hair, skin, organs, and other body parts of an albinistic person; they will use this body parts to make potions and concoctions that promise wealth and good luck to any person who will consume them.

Even if albinistic people are socially ridiculed as maladjusted and under socialized people, there are some of them who have gained fame because of showcasing their talents to the public. They are also actively involved in educating the public about the right way of looking at albinism. Below is the list of famous people with albinism.

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Famous Albino People in Films and Television

  • Michael Bowman – American actor starred in Me, Myself & Irene
  • Dennis Hurley – American movie producer, actor, writer, comedian, and singer
  • Victor Varnado – African-American stand-up comedian and actor
  • Redford White – Filipino actor and comedian
  • Darnell Swallow – Contestant of Big Brother 9 UK in 2008

Famous Albino in Fashion Modeling

  • Shaun Ross – First male albinistic model in mainstream fashion industry and appeared in various periodicals
  • Connie Chiu – First female albinistic model in mainstream fashion industry

Famous Albino People in Music

  • Cano Estremera – Puerto Rican salsa musician
  • Winston Foster – a.k.a. “King Yellowman” is a Jamaican dancehall musician
  • G. Harishankar – Carnatic khanjira drummer
  • Krondon – American rapper and hip hop musician
  • Salif Keita – popular Malian musician
  • Malford Milligan – American blues and soul singer
  • Corrie Moodie – a.k.a. “Prince Yellowman” is a Jamaican dancehall musician currently living in Canada
  • Mem Nahadr – African-American performance artist, composer, and jazz vocalist
  • Ali Newman – a.k.a. “Brother Ali” is a hip hop artist from Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Hermeto Pascoal – Jazz musician from Brazil
  • Willie Perryman – American blues musician
  • David Wrench – Welsh-born electronic musician
  • Edgar and Johnny Winter – American blues-rock musician brothers
  • Levan Wee – Lead singer of Ronin, a Singaporean band

Other Famous People with Albinism

  • Stanley Kaoni – Former militant leader  in Solomon Islands; has OCA1b type of albinism
  • Zephanie Kameeta – Namibian religious and political leader
  • William  Archibald Spooner – Anglican priest
  • Seinei – Fifth century Emperor of Japan
  • Zal – Warrior of Ancient Persia (present day Iran); zaal is the Persian term for albinistic people

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References

Famous People with Albinism – Cambridge Encyclopedia

Famous People with Albinism – Wikipedia