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Famous People with Albinism

Famous People with Albinism:


Albinism is a congenital disorder that results in a lack of pigmentation of the hair, skin, and eyes.

One person in 17,000 has some form of albinism.

The disorder is not contagious, nor can it be transferred from individual to individual through dermal contact, blood transfusion, or via pathogen-carrying organism.

Note – people with albinism are considered legally blind due to the fact that their photoreceptors are unable to adequately convert light into clear signals to the brain. As a result, individuals with this congenital disorder have a condition called nystagmus.

Besides this, in the US, most people with albinism have the same types of general medical problems as the rest of the population and normal life spans.


One type of albinism is called oculocutaneous albinism (OCA). People with OCA have a complete lack of pigment, with pink or white skin, hair, and eye color.

There are a few subtypes of oculocutaneous albinism, that include: OCA1, OCA2, OCA3, and OCA4.

Another type of albinism is called ocular albinism (OA). It is caused by a gene mutation on the X chromosome and occurs almost exclusively in males. OA mainly affects the eyes. The hair and skin are of normal or near-normal color.

People with OA typically have blue eyes. In some cases, the iris has a very little color, therefore, a person’s eyes might look reddish or pink. This is caused by the blood vessels inside the eye showing through the iris.

Griscelli Syndrome is an extremely rare genetic disorder that is caused by a defect in one of three genes. However, there have been only 60 known cases of Griscelli syndrome worldwide since 1978.

Chediak-Higashi Syndrome is caused by a defect in the LYST gene. It produces symptoms similar to oculocutaneous albinism, however, it may not affect all areas of the skin.

Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome is a rare form of albinism that is caused by a defect in one of eight genes. HPS produces symptoms similar to oculocutaneous albinism and occurs with bowel, lung, and bleeding disorders.


Albinism is a lifelong condition that does not worsen with time. However, there are several treatments that can improve the symptoms:

  • surgery on the muscles of the eyes;
  • protective sunscreen to protect the skin from UV rays;
  • sunglasses to protect the eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

11 Famous People With Albinism – List

1) Darnell Swallow

Darnell Swallow

© Getty Images

Darnell Swallow is a rapper and an ex-housemate (from Big Brother 9).

2) Victor Varnado

Victor Varnado

© Getty Images

He is an American actor and stand-up comedian who grew up in Huntsville, Alabama.

He later moved to Minneapolis, where he worked with the local improvisation troupes The Bad Mamma Jammas, ComedySportz MN, and a few regional theater companies.

Varnado has appeared in a number of films and television shows, including “My Name Is Earl,” “A Guy Thing,” and “The Mercy Man.” 

In an interview, Victor Varnado said:

“I’m definitely exploiting my albinism in the entertainment industry as much as I can to move forward, but I also am aware that I don’t want to be perceived as just the albino guy.”

3) Yellowman


© Getty Images

Winston Foster, also known as King Yellowman, is a Jamaican reggae and dancehall deejay who was popular in Jamaica in the 1980s, coming to prominence with a series of singles that established his reputation.

In 1982, he was diagnosed with skin cancer (due to his albinism) and was initially told that he only had 3 more years to live.

But, this prognosis proved to be inaccurate, and after numerous surgeries, Yellowman was able to continue his musical career.

His daughter Kareema is also a musician.

4) Nastya Zhidkova

She is an Albino fashion model who was born in Russia on October 28, 1996.

Her birth sign is Scorpio.

Zhidkova was represented by Lilas Model Management.

Nastya Zhidkova’s unique coloring and striking eyes make her ideal for minimalist and futuristic photographs.

Also, her paleness evokes feelings of chilliness, making it a great compliment to technology.

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5) Connie Chiu

Connie Chiu is a Chinese model from Hong Kong, but she was raised in Sweden and eventually paraded off to London to become a supermodel.

In a recent interview, Connie Chiu stated:

“I guess I always knew I was different, but I feel exactly the same as anyone. I was made like this. It’s like being born with arms—you don’t go around saying, ‘Oh my God, arms!’ They’re just there.”

6) Shaun Ross

Shaun Ross

© Getty Images

He is an American model, actor, and dancer who is best known for being the first male pro model with albinism.

Ross has three siblings.

Shaun Ross has been featured in photo-editorial campaigns in fashion publications, including Italian Vogue, i-D Magazine, British GQ, Another Man, and Paper Magazine.

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7) Brother Ali

Brother Ali

© Getty Images

Ali Newman, better known by his stage name Brother Ali, is an American community activist, hip-hop artist, and member of the Rhymesayers Entertainment hip-hop collective.

He was born in Madison, Wisconsin, with albinism.

His latest album is called Us. In a song with the same title, Brother Ali explains his start: “I started rhyming just to be somebody/to make people notice me at the party.”

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8) Thando Hopa

Thando Hopa

© Getty Images

She is a legal advisor and model. Thando Hopa is also an activist fighting to change the perceptions of individuals who suffer from albinism.

During an interview, Hopa said:

”When I grew up, I grew up having parents who were absolutely wonderful, who taught me that I was beautiful all the time.”

Thando and photographer Justin Dingwall have put together an exhibition that explores the counter-aesthetic of albinism.

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9) Jewell Jeffrey

The actor, DJ, and model isn’t just unique-looking, Jewell is also stylish and living a glamorous Parisian life that he chronicles on his Instagram account, by the name jewelljeffrey.

10) Diandra Forrest

Diandra Forrest

© Getty Images

She is an African-American top model and fashion model who was born on October 22, 1989, in the Bronx, New York City, USA.

Diandra has a brother, also suffering from albinism. Since she endured the humiliation of peers, her parents had to put Diandra out of the public school to a specialist.

Diandra Forrest began modeling after she was noticed by photographer Shameer Khan during shopping.

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11) Refilwe Modiselle

Refilwe Modiselle

© Getty Images

Refilwe is a South African entertainer and model born in Rockville, Soweto.

Modiselle is best known for being the first albino model to appear on a runway in South Africa.

Here is a quick recap of famous people with albinism:

  1. Darnell Swallow
  2. Victor Varnado
  3. Yellowman
  4. Nastya Zhidkova
  5. Connie Chiu
  6. Shaun Ross
  7. Brother Ali
  8. Thando Hopa
  9. Jewell Jeffrey
  10. Diandra Forrest
  11. Refilwe Modiselle

Do you know any other celebrities with albinism? Please let us know in the comments below.

Featured image credit – Getty Images

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Sunday 10th of April 2022

Marvin Jones III AKA Krondon, is an rapper from group called "Strong Arm Steady", actor in black lightning. is an American rapper and actor from Los Angeles, California.


Friday 16th of July 2021

Salif Keita should definitely be on that list.


Tuesday 11th of August 2020

is andy warhol albino?


Thursday 14th of February 2019

Anderson Cooper was born a brunette. lmao

Monday 11th of June 2018

Johnny winter and his brother Edgar incredible guitarists

Health Guide

Tuesday 12th of June 2018

Thank you.