Tina Fey was only five years old when a stranger accosted her as she was playing in the front yard of her home and slashed her right across the face. The 52-year-old American actress, playwright, comedian, writer, and producer now has a face that is remarkable because of the scar running down the left part of her face.
She rarely talks about it, but on the few occasions that she did, she has given a comic twist to what was truly a terrifying experience, given that it happened when she was just a child. This article answers every question about how the actress has overcome the challenges that carrying that scar must have come with.
What Caused Tina Fey’s Chin Scar?
As earlier stated, a then 5-year-old Tina Fey’s life changed forever when an unidentified stranger walked up to her in the front yard of her Upper Darby Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania home and cut her across the face with a sharp object. The perpetrator was never found, and the incident left the actress with a scar that runs down the left side of her face to her chin.
During an interview, Tina’s husband, Jeff Richmond, said that she thought someone had marked her on the face with a pen, even though the situation was much worse, and didn’t exactly think much of the incident at the time when it occurred.
Tina’s parents quickly reacted by getting treatment for their child. They also engaged the services of a therapist to help the actress work through any residual trauma from the attack.
Tina Fey’s Self-Esteem was Not Affected by the Incident
Her parents’ decision to get her into therapy was motivated by the standard procedure required to treat a child who had experienced an attack of that magnitude. The assessment of the therapist was dire in the sense that the psychological effects of the attack might make Tina go crazy.
The therapist certainly didn’t consider the fact Tina was a very resilient and confident kid who refused to let her predicament get in the way of her childhood experiences. Instead of deflating her self-esteem, the attack boosted it and made Tina a local celebrity in her neighborhood as everyone, children and parents alike, treated her with more affection because of the scar.
In later years, she would come to learn that their actions were motivated by pity more than anything else, but looking back, that incident shaped Tina and the way she views life. According to her husband, Jeff, the contents of her comic works are often tinted with her own experiences.
Tina herself reveals that she only began to feel self-conscious about the scar when she started appearing on camera. She, however, takes great care to have them shoot her from the right side, and this took the attention of anyone who noticed the faint scar off it.
She Rarely Entertained Questions About Her Scar
During the early stages of her career, talking about the scar on Tina Fey’s face was like pulling teeth. Several factors contributed to that silence. Firstly, it was really difficult to see the scar from a certain camera angle, and secondly, even when the camera captured the part of her face where the scar was, fans and viewers were entirely focused on her comedic talents to care about the scar on her face.
The actress and comedian also felt then that talking about the scar felt like she was glorifying it a bit too much and therefore was very hesitant to even entertain questions about it. She chose instead to lead the way for others by focusing primarily on her career.
Tina Fey is Now More Open to Questions About the Scar
In her autobiography, Bossypants, Tina Fey recognizes the fact that most people are hesitant to ask how she got the scar on her face. She also admits and splits the people who do into three categories. The first category is those who think the scar on her face happened due to some form of an accident like a cat scratch or something closer to it. She considers those people dumb.
The next category deals with people who racially profile the person responsible for the attack for no reason other than their twisted personalities. The other category she refers to in the book is people who feel it is more sensitive and brave to ask her point-blank about the scar.
Tina also adds that the majority who feel too sensitive about the subject to talk about it end up showing massive interest in the topic whenever it comes up randomly in the conversation she is having with them.
In general, while Tina Fey was initially hesitant to talk about what happened to her face, she eventually cleared the air about what happened to her face in an interview she sat down for with her husband in 2008. Since then, she has been more open about it.
Tina Fey has 2 children with her husband, and her therapist warned her that she might go crazy, in terms of being very protective, right around the time her daughter would turn five. Thankfully that didn’t happen, and Tina feels that the experience shaped her career in the sense that it gave her the confidence required to achieve the level of success she has achieved today.
To a Great Extent, The Comedian Has Had a Successful Career
For anyone who was wondering, Tina Fey’s career path is littered with several milestones and awards to show that she has had and is still having an incredible career. She began her career in comedy on Saturday Night Live in 1997. While she was there, she became the first female head writer in 1999.
Fey later left SNL to create the comedy series 30 Rock which aired from 2006-2013 and also in 2020. She is also credited with creating Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which aired from 2015-2020. The actress has also appeared in Mean Girls (2004), Baby Mama (2008), Date Night (2010), Megamind (2010), Muppets Most Wanted (2014), Sisters (2015), Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016), Wine Country (2019), and Soul (2020).
In recognition of her talents and incredible work as an actress, Tina Fey has received countless awards, which include but are not limited to 9 Primetime Emmy Awards, 3 Golden Globes, 5 Screen Actors Guild Awards, 7 Writers Guild Awards, and 3 Producers Guild Awards. She has also been nominated for a Grammy Award and a Tony Award.
Tina Fey could easily have let her traumatic childhood experience limit her and dampen her flow of creativity, and no one would have realistically blamed her for it. It is a testament to her strength of will and character that she has instead let it fuel her drive to achieve the level of success she has achieved today.