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Celebrities With FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome)

Celebrities With FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome)

Celebrities are often highly regarded in society among those who influence global change through their opinions on critical issues, the environment, health care, and more. However, while celebrities are often placed on social pedestals and deemed perfect by some, they have their own struggles. Several famous people suffer from a range of health issues, which some of them prefer to keep to themselves, and others do not mind sharing with the world. Today, our Chicago rehab is looking at celebrities with FAS (fetal alcohol syndrome) to help spread awareness of the dangers of alcohol abuse, especially in pregnancy.   

Celebrities With Fetal Alcohol Syndrome 

Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a condition that occurs in children due to alcohol exposure during the mother’s pregnancy. FAS causes brain damage and growth problems, along with other issues in intellectual abilities.  

While the effects of fetal alcohol syndrome vary from child to child, the repercussions are irreversible. This means that the FAS effects can persist even in adulthood.   

The most common indicator of fetal alcohol syndrome in adults is FAS facial features and physical features, such as short stature, small head, and a thin upper lip. In childhood, these individuals may have displayed features like small eye sockets, smooth skin between the nose and upper lip (no crease), and flattened cheekbones. 

Additionally, fetal alcohol syndrome can affect the growth and brain development of an unborn child, which can have lasting repercussions. This damage can spread further and impact visible parts of the body like the eyes, lips, fingers, or toes.  

While some of the effects of FAS may not be easily identified or discovered even in close contact with people who have it, the fact remains that there are many celebs with FAS out there. Most of them cope with this condition with the help of medication or surgeries, while others display little to no obvious signs.  

Here, we will reveal some FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) celebrities, some of which you never knew to have this condition. 

Bernie Sanders 

Bernie Sanders is a famous American politician and activist known for his services in the political U.S. sphere. He was the U.S. representative for Vermont from 1991 to 2007 and currently serves as the junior United States Senator.  

Sanders was born on September 8th, 1941, in Brooklyn, New York City. Sanders suffers from various illnesses in addition to fetal alcohol syndrome, including gout, hernias, diverticulitis, and a cyst on his vocal cords.  

His FAS was eventually recognized, due to certain characteristics, such as his lack of impulse control, small eyes, and poor social skills. Sanders is said to have suffered from the disease due to his mother’s excessive alcohol consumption during pregnancy.  

Therefore, Sanders supports FAS organizations and alcohol funds alcohol treatment centers. He is also publicly pleaded with his supporters to receive alcohol addiction treatment if they are pregnant to save their children from fetal alcohol syndrome.  

Joaquin Phoenix 

American actor, producer, and activist Joaquin Phoenix is one of many famous people with fetal alcohol syndrome as well. He was born on October 28th, 1974, to John Lee and Arlyn Bottom. Despite being born into a religious family, he and his four other siblings had a tough upbringing with a mother who struggled with alcohol abuse.  

A closer look at Phoenix’s face will reveal a scar that runs from his lip to his nose. This is an indicator of a microform cleft lip, a facial and oral malformation that occurs in unborn children in early pregnancy. Born into a home impacted by alcoholism, Phoenix is one of the many celebrities with FAS.  

Reese Witherspoon  

While the presence of FAS is less present in this well-known star, Reese Witherspoon also has fetal alcohol syndrome. Known for playing roles in The Man in the Moon and Legally Blonde, no one would ever guess that Witherspoon has FAS based on her performance as an actor.  

Born on March 22nd, 1976, Witherspoon was born to John and Mary Elizabeth Witherspoon. Unfortunately, as is the case with the other celebrities born with fetal alcohol syndrome on our list, Witherspoon’s mother drank heavily while she was pregnant with her.   

The Hollywood star has a thin upper lip, malformed skull, and learning difficulties, all of which are classic signs of FAS. In addition to these physical characteristics, Witherspoon has also been known to struggle with mood swings and lackluster personal hygiene. However, this did not stop her from pursuing her dreams.  

Peter Bowers  

During an interview with BBC, famous DJ Peter Bowers revealed his struggles with learning and loneliness after doctors diagnosed him with fetal alcohol syndrome. Due to his mom’s heavy drinking during pregnancy, Bowers faced learning difficulties while growing up and displays characteristics that are common among those with the condition, such as small eyes and a thin upper lip.1 Despite these issues, Bowers holds no ill will towards his mother, and he has risen above the impact of FAS and was able to be one of the most popular DJs in the world.  

Get Help for Alcohol Abuse Today  

There are many actors with fetal alcohol syndrome out there who do not feel comfortable opening up about their condition, and that is okay! However, if you or a loved one is struggling with drinking or drug use, do not keep it to yourself.  

Banyan offers Chicago alcohol treatment that incorporates various evidenced-based therapy programs and skills to help clients not only recover from drinking but also transition to a sober lifestyle after rehab. No matter how long you have been addicted to drugs or alcohol, we can help.   

Call Banyan Treatment Centers today at 888-280-4763 to learn more about our Chicago PHP and IOP treatment options.  



  1. Daily Record - Mum's heavy drinking left me with fetal alcohol syndrome and learning difficulties 


Related Reading:  

How Much Alcohol Causes Fetal Alcohol Syndrome? 

Does Alcohol Make You Depressed? 

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
Celebrities With FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome)
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