Everyone knows Howard Hughes was obsessive-compulsive (among other things) and I bet lots of us who grew up on Double Dare shudder to think of the OCD Marc Summers dealing with all of the goo and muck as the host of the messy game show.
Although these celebrities have shared their battles rather publicly, there are a few out there who suffer from OCD quietly. Like who? Read on to find out…
Despite her memorable “hair gel” scene in There’s Something About Mary, Cameron Diaz can’t stand germs and other people’s “fluids”, as she puts it. She says she rubs doorknobs so hard to get them clean before opening them that the paint wears off. She washes her hands and floors “many times” every day and uses her elbows to open doors so she won’t get germs on her hands.
Billy Bob Thornton
Billy Bob Thornton became good friends with neighbor Warren Zevon when Warren saw Billy Bob return to the mailbox three times in the span of a couple of minutes. Warren identified Billy Bob as a fellow obsessive-compulsive and the two of them bonded over their phobias. Among Billy Bob’s is a phobia of antique furniture, which he wrote into a character in Sling Blade. He also fears some kinds of silverware, which shows up in his Monster’s Ball character.
Sure, he’s good looking, talented, funny, has great hair and lots of money, but David Beckham has his struggles, too. He hates odd numbers and is obsessed with symmetry - if there’s three of something, he has to hide the third somewhere out of sight. If something’s slightly askew, he can’t rest until the row has been straightened. Before he can settle into a hotel room, he says he puts all of the books and pamphlets together in a drawer. You have to wonder, though, if his odd number phobia means he and Posh will be adding to their brood – currently three boys – soon.
You know the old saying, “Step on a crack and you’ll break your mother’s back”? Leonardo DiCaprio used to take that little rhyme very seriously. As a kid, he could not step on cracks or other designated spots. He overcame this particular disorder until he played Howard Hughes in The Aviator. He revisited his old ways to try to get into Hughes’ famously phobic character and ended up falling back into the habit – he was frequently late for filming because he had a specific way he had to walk to get to the set and would have to retrace his steps if anything went awry.
Alec Baldwin says he has developed quite the fixation on cleanliness over the years. He says he can come home and immediately tell if a book is out of place and insists on doing household chores before his housekeeper does, even to the point that he will miss a plane if it means getting his dishes done.
Jennifer Love Hewitt
I can relate to this one – Jennifer Love Hewitt says she can’t go to sleep if there are any doors open in the house – including cabinet doors and closet doors. She thinks she inherited her OCD from her mother, who counts steps. I do that, too.
It’s not just contemporary celebrities who suffer from OCD – evidence shows that Darwin may have suffered from OCD, among a laundry list of other possible disorders, including panic disorder, agoraphobia and hypochondria. This may be one of the causes of his detailed accounts of things – he even recorded how loud and strong the ringing in his ears was on a daily basis.
No doubt Nikola Tesla was a genius – he was an inventor, physicist, mechanical and electrical engineer.
He was also an extreme germophobe – he hated hair unless it was his own and found jewelry disgusting. He did things in three or numbers divisible by three; he always used 18 napkins, estimated the mass of everything he was going to eat and would not eat with a woman if it was just the two of them.
Of course, this is by no means an inclusive list - in addition to the previously mentioned Howard Hughes and Marc Summers, there’s also Delta Burke, Zach Braff, Howie Mandel, David Sedaris, Joey Ramone and more.