Life would be much easier if you could tell how crazy a person was upon first glance. If you’ve ever worked for someone crazy, or wildly difficult, you know this to be true. Everyone puts their best foot forward during a job interview, even the person doing the interviewing. It’s only after you get the job that your boss takes off the mask, and turns into a raving lunatic hell-bent on making your life a living hell.
Dating would also be easier if crazy people were easier to spot. That person you dated years ago waited at least until they moved in to let their mental illness show through. A lusty loon can be fun between the sheets, but insanity gets old real quick when it comes to screaming matches at the dinner table. Sometimes, all the medication in the world can’t fix crazy.
If only the insane would wear a giant letter ‘I’ on their chest – or even their forehead – we could avoid them like the plague. Sadly, or maybe refreshingly, there are a few among us who don’t care what other people think. These outwardly nutty individuals are so proud of their unbalanced minds that they have actually made insanity their brand. Study and get to know them, and hopefully you can avoid working for or dating anyone like them in the foreseeable future.
See Also: 5 Crazy Geniuses That Changed the World
1. Howard Hughes
Many of the younger generations of today only know about this guy because Leonardo DiCaprio played him in The Aviator. But the older generations who did know of him would probably tell you that Howard Hughes was a genius. Actually, he was a lot of things – a business tycoon, a billionaire, an aviator, movie producer, and a speed demon who broke all kinds of records by way of land and air. But, he wouldn’t be on this list if he wasn’t also bat sh*t insane.
Not only was Half-Baked Hughes afraid of germs, so much so that he would layer his hands with paper towels before his staff could deliver his food, but he was also deeply obsessed with peas. Yes, peas.
He loved the tiny green vegetables so much that he used a special fork to sort them by size. But wait, there’s more.
He once stayed in his studio’s pitch-black screening room for four months, never leaving once, not even to go to the bathroom. Where did he relieve himself during all that time, you might ask? Oh, in empty bottles and other containers.
But it was his propensity to sit naked in a chair while watching movie after movie that caused his staff to brand him truly insane. In fact, they were ordered never to look at him or speak to him unless spoken to. Needless to say, he didn’t have very good hygiene, which is weird considering he dated some of the hottest actress known at the time.
Yes, Howard Hughes was definitely cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, and he was damned proud of it, which makes him one of history’s most notable demented dudes.
2. Salvador Dali
One of the world’s most famous surrealist painter’s real name was actually Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, which – let’s be honest - would make anyone crazy. Can you imagine having to learn how to spell all that in the first grade?
Born in Catalonia, Spain, Dali went on to live a long and largely productive life, trying his hand at – and mastering - not only painting, but also sculpture, movies, and photography. People who knew him or just saw him walking down the street would often call him unusual and grandiose. But there are a few things that marked the man who loved painting giraffes on fire as abnormally insane.
For one, Dali was convinced that he was the reincarnation of his deceased brother, who died at 22 months old, and who was also named Salvador Dali. Nine months after that brother’s death, the Dali we all know popped out, bearing a striking resemblance to the first child. This prompted his parents to suspect that he was their dead child reborn. They actually told him this at five when they took him to visit his dead brother’s grave.
But there’s more. In between painting, sculpting and film-making, he would attack people for no apparent reason, even on the street. He once even threw his friend off a bridge, seriously injuring him. If most people did this, they’d feel some sort of guilt. Not Dali. The five-year-old only sat on the bridge eating cherries while the boy’s mother tended to her poor child’s wounds.
Yes, Dali may have been a man whose works you would be happy to hang on your wall, but he wasn’t necessarily someone you’d want to invite over for dinner. While he was great at what he did, let’s face it, he was pretty frickin’ out of his mind.
3. Helena Bonham Carter
You would never think Helena Bonham Carter was a movie start just by looking at her. In fact, if you saw her walking down the street in her mismatched dresses, combat boots, and frizzy hair, you’d probably be more inclined to give her a handful of spare change than ask for her autograph. Who would guess that this bag lady to the stars is one of the most successful actresses working today?
Well, it turns out that the successful actress who has played Bellatrix Lestrange, the Queen of Hearts and Marla Singer is actually bonkers in real life. Don’t believe me? If her out-of-her-mind style of dress doesn’t convince you, check out this clip of her showing up on Craig Ferguson’s Late Night Show. The Alice in Wonderland actress was supposed to promote her role in her former husband’s movie, but that’s not what happened at all. When she showed up, she began to promote the movie Avatar. Don’t remember seeing her in Avatar? You’re very perceptive. She wasn’t in Avatar, so her promoting the movie made no sense whatsoever.
Maybe that’s why she’s so good at playing crazy people onscreen. She’s actually out of her mind in real life, and we can’t help but love her for it.
4. Gary Busey
Ask anyone in the civilized world what they think of Gary Busey and the first words out of their mouth will likely be, “Oh, that guy’s clearly insane,” which makes him a fitting conclusion to our list. Many of us initially noticed Busey as the cold-hearted mercenary in the first Lethal Weapon movie. Who can forget the scene where he held a lighter under his arm refusing to even flinch? That’s crazy, we all thought. Then we actually got to know Gary, and we figured out that holding lighters under his arm is probably how he spends most Friday nights.
To be fair, Gary suffered a catastrophic head injury back in 1988, so that more than likely contributed to his manic personality and nut job ways. But then again, he also used to do lines of coke like they were going out of style. In fact, he once told a story about spilling coke off a table and attempting to snort it off of his dog’s backside. At any rate, ask anyone who knows who he is, and they would probably say that Gary Busey is one of their favorite crazy people of all time.
Phylicia Rashad, best known for her role as Clair Huxtable on the Cosby Show, once said, “If I had known being insane was so much fun, I’d have gone crazy long ago.” Maybe the people on this list know (or knew in the case of Howard Hughes) something we don’t. Is being insane more fun? Charlie Sheen would probably say yes, but then again he drinks Tiger Blood, so what does he know?
Do you know any crazy people (celebrity or otherwise) that put the above individuals to shame? Tell us all about them in the comments section below.