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The Fears and Phobias of Famous People

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website or at Facebook.

Okay, let's level with each other. Is there anyone out there reading this who isn't afraid of something? Come on, I know it's hard for some of us to be open about stuff like this, but you can be honest. You'd have to think that with all the varied and unique experiences each of us has had in our respective lives, some fears have developed.

Well, don't feel bad about it. I would think having a phobia or two (or three or whatever) is pretty much inevitable. These fears are nothing to laugh at or ridicule. On the contrary, they are pretty much a part of "the human experience." Let's take a look at some major fears, dislikes, and full-out phobias of some well-known people.

Gustave Eiffel, the designer of the famed Eiffel Tower, was terrified of heights.

LSD advocate and guru Timothy Leary was deathly afraid of barbers. He started cutting his own hair at the age of nine. He even refused to enter a barber shop.

Megan Fox hates paper. Megan says it's not a full phobia, it's more like the people who get chills from fingernails scratching on a blackboard. Megan says she has to have a paper cup around to immediately wet her fingers to turn the pages if she is reading a script or a book. She hates dry paper.

Matthew McConaughey is scared of revolving doors. He will not get anywhere near a revolving door. He's also afraid of tunnels. He's not scared of being in a tunnel, but he is scared of the point where you have to enter a tunnel.

Johnny Depp is terrified of clowns. Says Johnny, "There's something about the painted face, the fake smile. There always seems to be a darkness lurking under the surface, a potential for real evil."

Nicole Kidman is afraid of butterflies. Once, bravely, she tried walking through a butterfly exhibit at a museum, but couldn't make it. As a young girl, Nicole wouldn't even enter her home if a butterfly was sitting on the entrance gate.

Christina Ricci can't stand to be around houseplants. She is also deathly afraid of being in a swimming pool alone. She always imagines "a magic door is going to open and a shark is going to come out."

Billy Bob Thornton is deathly afraid of antique furniture. He is not comfortable being in a room with any furniture that goes back before 1850. (It must have been hard to film The Alamo. Almost as tough as it was to watch that movie!)

Roger Moore (James Bond) -yes, agent 007 himself- cannot pick up a gun without uncontrollably blinking.

Alfred Hitchcock was terrified of eggs. The director of Psycho just hated eggs, especially runny ones (who doesn't?).

Yes, irony of ironies, Walt Disney, who gave the world Mickey Mouse, was indeed, afraid of mice.

Composer Fredric Chopin and storyteller Hans Christian Andersen were both very scared of being buried alive. Andersen always kept a sign around whenever he slept, which said he wasn't really dead, he just looked that way, and that he really was sleeping.

Stage fright? Some of the greatest actors and performers in history have been stricken with this phobia, including Marilyn Monroe, Barbra Streisand, Gracie Allen, and even Sir Lawrence Olivier. It is actually a tribute to these great talents that they were able to give such incredible performances under the circumstances.  

Fear of water is Michael Jordan's Achille's heel. A childhood friend of his died in the ocean and his armed locked onto Michael's before Michael could wrest himself free. Ever since, the water scares "Air" Jordan.

According to legend, Stephen Spielberg is afraid of insects.

Donald Trump has a phobia about shaking hands.

Woody Allen was treated by psychoanalysts for 40 years (hmm, didn't seem to help much). "I've been killing spiders since I was 30," says Allen about one of his legion of fears and phobias. He is also deathly afraid of showering in a shower where the drain is in the middle of the tub. Woody's list of fears also includes stage fright, sunshine, children, hotel bathrooms, cancer and other diseases, heights, crowds, and small rooms. Woody also had claustrophobia and agorophobia.

Ailurophobia? What the heck is that one? Fear of cats, for some reason, was suffered by many of history's most dynamic leaders and conquerors, including Julius Caesar, Napolean Bonaparte, Alexander the Great, and Benito Mussolini.  

Fear of flying is a pretty common fear. Tony Curtis tried hypnosis to cure it. Even the great Elvis Presley fought off this one, but he did refuse to fly early in his career. Muhammad Ali, Ronald Reagan, John Madden, Cher, Florence Henderson, Johnny Cash, and sci-fi writer Ray Bradbury were also stricken with fear of flying.

Keanu Reeves is afraid of being left alone in the dark.

Pamela Anderson is (ironically?) afraid of mirrors.

Sheryl Crow is scared of heights.

Okay, let's end this inevitably "endless" list. Bela Lugosi, yes, "Dracula" himself, was afraid of blood!


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