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Famous Red Heads

Famous Red Heads

Red hair is certainly the rarest hair color. Only about 1% to 2% in the world’s population have natural red hair. Some people have red hair as a result of a mutation in a gene, which is called MC1R (melanocortin-1 receptor). The pigment that makes the hair red is called pheomelanin. They are more common in Western Europe and less common in other countries.

Since natural redheads are a paucity, they’re often considered unique, precious, special and fascinating. Natural redhead people are being stereotyped as fiery-tempered or feisty, but of course it’s not always the case. Many redheads are subject to bullying and discrimination, while others become the object of admiration simply because of their red hair. Some redheads even see themselves as superior to other non-redheads. A lot of men are even intimidated by redhead women!

Natural red hair color varies from deep burgundy to burnt orange to bright copper. Sometimes a red hair is called “ginger” or “strawberry blonde.” Those who want a flame-colored hair may always go to the salon anytime. Even people who were born blond or brunette become famous after dyeing their hair red (like in the case of Lucille Ball). Here is a list of the famous people — and one Muppet — with natural (and unnatural) red hair.

Even if she hasn’t said it, this former supermodel and actress is obviously proud of her long, flame-colored locks that have never been touched by a bleach. In fact, her red hair alone has given her several awards, including three Crown Awards for “Best Redhead” at the Super-Hair.net website, and two Super-Hair World Cup tournaments. In other words, Everheart’s red hair is really her crowning glory!

Although the Broadway veteran, film actress and singer is said to be a born brunette, it looks natural when her curly hair looks red, which is a perfect match to her pale complexion. And this is partly the reason why she’s known for, apart from her artistic talents. She is probably known for her roles in movies such as The Jerk, as well as for her Broadway roles such as Annie Oakley in the musical Annie Get Your Gun.

Apart from her sense of humor and hilarious antics, the American comedienne and actress has her natural red hair to help her stand out in the crowd. She skyrocketed to fame when she led her own variety show The Carol Burnett Show as well as Mama’s Family where she acted with co-star Vicki Lawrence. We will always remember her as a goofy, wacky redhead who made millions laugh from their couches.

Love him or hate him, Elmo will always be the adorable, furry red monster. He has his own little segment on Sesame Street called “Elmo’s World,” and even launched a “tickling” toy fad during the mid-90s (you know what the name is). They prove that Elmo was, is, and will always be, one of the popular Muppet characters.

Can you be a lot spicier than Ginger Spice? Maybe it’s in her hot-looking, flame-colored hair? You bet! It just adds to her overall sex appeal. Of course, we know that Halliwell is a singer and performer first and foremost, and has the sheer singing and dancing talents to prove it. After all, the Spice Girls wouldn’t be where they were during the 1990s if not for their individual and combined talents — although we cannot deny that they look hot too!

Lohan became a darling as a red-haired-freckle-faced child star at the time the blockbuster film The Parent Trap made her an overnight sensation. Her transition from a child star from a teen idol seemed quite easy when she starred in hit films Freaky Friday and Mean Girls, which only magnified her stardom.

But sadly, that very stardom took a toll on her. Since then, Lohan’s turbulent personal life has become more of a focus than her acting career. We hope that she would finally recover her career in a big, big way while there’s still a chance, because this beautiful actress is really talented. At least one good thing about Lohan is, after she had gone blond for a time, we’re glad she’s back in her natural red hair color.

Lucille Ball is perhaps the epitome of a “ditzy redhead.” But the late comedienne and actress known for her show I Love Lucy was, in fact, a natural brunette. We can’t help imagining how her career would have gone had she never decided to dye her hair red. It was truly the best decision Ball had ever made, for her flaming red hair easily became her trademark. And we love Lucy for that!

Many of us have seen Mark Twain only in black and white pictures — mostly the older Mark Twain with white hair. One of the greatest American authors was in fact a redhead, and no wonder — he had Scottish, Irish and English blood running in his veins. He was obviously proud of his red hair, and he even commented regarding on this subject: “When red headed people are above a certain social grade their hair is auburn.”

Maureen O’Hara’s Irish roots gave her flaming red hair and green eyes. Those things made her unique especially during the peak of her Hollywood career, when Hollywood was still in its golden period. In fact, she was called the “Queen of Technicolor” because of her attention-grabbing, bright-colored hair and eyes. Those physical characteristics alone led O’Hara to play fiery, passionate characters she became known for.

Trivia: O’Hara has never won an Oscar award. In fact, she has never been even nominated for one. But in 2014, she was presented with an honorary Oscar. This made O’Hara as the only actress other than Myrna Loy to receive an Oscar trophy without having been previously nominated.

The great French military and political leader, self-proclaimed Emperor and one of the major figures of the French Revolution was a redhead. Greatly admired as well as roundly despised at the same time, he was a great military commander who won a vast majority of the battles he and his men fought, and conquered most of the European continent. He also championed equality especially for the minority. On the other hand, Bonaparte was also seen as a ruthless dictator who ruled with an iron hand, and seized total control following the end of the French Revolution. Perhaps it was in Napoleon’s red hair that gave him the fiery and domineering attitude.

You may want to know a bit more about Napoleon Bonaparte in the Most Inspiring Leaders of All Time

Being a controversial Hollywood celebrity, most of singer Rihanna’s fashion choices are as outrageous as her personality. One of her choices is her hair color. Some say her dyed hair is bright orange, not really red. But she could change her hair color into green or blue anytime. Anyhow, it’s just a part of being Rihanna — a part that many of her fans would love to imitate!

Rita Hayworth is one prime example of the few successfully-manufactured Hollywood stars. Born Margarita Cansino, Hayworth had Spanish, Irish and English roots. She first worked as a dancer (along with her father) before jumping into acting.

However, her dark-haired, “foreign” looks led her to being cast in limiting, “exotic” roles. Studio execs, who saw a great potential in her, encouraged Cansino to dye her hair red and gave her electrolysis to achieve a higher hairline and broaden the shape of her forehead. They also advised her to change her screen name to become more acceptable to wider audiences. Thus, Cansino used the more English-sounding “Hayworth,” which was her mother’s maiden name. The transformation was a success, and Rita Hayworth went on to become one of the greatest screen legends in history.

Thomas Jefferson was the third president of the United States and also one of the nation’s “founding fathers.” Jefferson was the chief author of the Declaration of Independence, a symbol of freedom from the hands of Great Britain. He was also an excellent writer and philosopher. A native Virginian, he also founded the University of Virginia. He died on July 4, the same day he drafted the Declaration of Independence 50 years ago.

You most likely never have thought of it before, but Jefferson was also a redhead. Historical accounts say that he had red or sandy red hair. Jefferson would often powder it white, although he often wore wigs.

The star of the famous TV sitcom Gilligan’s Island is a natural redhead, and her character’s name was even called Ginger. Although the role brought Louise to fame and made her as a national “sex symbol,” she otherwise hated the role, afraid that it would typecast her as a sexy redhead.

During pre-Gilligan’s Island years, Louise was named the “World’s Most Beautiful Redhead” by the National Art Council. Since then, she became an in-demand leading lady for the movies. She even posed for Playboy for a time.

One of the things that made Willie Nelson’s famous image was his long, braided red hair. The famous “outlaw country” singer even released a concept album named Red-Headed Stranger. The album’s story — a fugitive at large after murdering his wife and her lover — was also made into a film, also titled Red-Headed Stranger. Not surprisingly, Nelson played the title role. He also served as the film’s producer.

Nelson started growing his red locks probably during the 70s, and continued sporting it for many years. In early 2000’s Nelson had it finally cut, citing he wanted to have a hairstyle that would be “more maintainable” and help feel himself cooler (in a literal way). In 2014, Nelson’s chopped braids were auctioned and sold for $37,000!

Actress Amy Adams is another one of the famous “fake redheads.” Actually, her natural hair color was close to red — strawberry blonde — until she dyed it completely red for her role in a forgettable TV show Dr. Vegas. The red hair matched her face, which was dotted with pale freckles. Anyway, regardless of her hair color, Amy Adams would still look hot!


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