When we think of Hollywood heartthrobs, names like Marlon Brando, James Dean, and of course, Frank Sinatra usually come to mind. But did you know that some of Hollywood’s biggest stars had body transformations that were so extreme, they became legend? Let’s take a look at the life and times of one of these superstitions, as we explore the amazing transformation of Robert Pattinson.

The King Of Twists

In the year 2000, Robert Pattinson was on the cover of every magazine, his face buried in between the pages as he made his way into the hearts of movie-goers around the world. The handsome English actor first shot to fame playing young, rebellious, and charming vampire Lestat in the blockbuster movie, “Underworld.” Since then, he’s gone on to appear in countless blockbusters and romantic comedies, proving he is not just a movie heartthrob but one of the hottest male actors of our generation. A natural born romantic, Robert Pattinson currently stars in the popular AMC drama, “The Mandate.” A true Renaissance man, Pattinson has also dabbled in theater, writing, and directing, proving that this brooding hunk is way more complex than his on-screen character would have you believe.

From Muscular To Slim

For years, Hollywood stars were only allowed to undergo major transformation in movies. But as the decades rolled on, our appreciation for realism ushered in an age of transformation that continues to this day. Today the ability to play an unrecognizable version of yourself on-screen is both commonplace and expected, and it’s allowed some of Hollywood’s biggest stars to shed their former selves and star in brand new movies as completely different people. Take a look at some of the greatest transformations in cinema history.


One of the greatest transformation scenes in history saw Spencer Tracy begin to shed his florid and corpulent weight, as the actor played a completely different character with a sallow complexion, sunken eyes, and stringy hair. The great Karl Malden also starred in the movie ‘Crossfire’, which is considered a modern classic. At the time, Malden was 74 years old, yet he still managed to transform his appearance and play the part of a much younger man. In this scene from the movie, Malden’s character disguises himself as a priest so he can interview a murder suspect with a crossbow, played by Tracy.

Battling Bad Hair And Taste Buds

One of the most recognizable transformations in cinema history took place at the dawn of the digital age. The character Van Cleef, portrayed by the late great John Wayne, suffered from extreme hair loss due to the effects of chemotherapy. The once-proud Wayne wore his hair long and tied back, as he struggled with this new look, which he didn’t like, and battled with his hairdresser over it. The end result is one of the most famous transformation scenes of all time, as Van Cleef goes from a slick hair mane to a balding pate, complete with prosthetic hair!

Angelic And Mortal

The great Boris Karloff transformed from a portly individual with a full head of hair, to an emaciated man with a shaved head in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 classic, “Murders In The Rue Morgue.” Karloff lost a total of 118 pounds for the role, and you’d be hard pressed to find a more striking example of drastic weight loss in cinema. The horror legend’s performance as the skeletal, blood-sucking Frank Reichert in ‘Murders’ is still iconic today.

Superman, Batman, And Wolverine

Another example of cinema’s transformation scene comes from the 1939 movie, ‘Superman’. In this seminal piece of cinema, Laurence Oliver stars as the Man of Steel, struggling with a crippling gambling addiction. Despite his vices, Superman remains heroic to the very end, as he sheds his mortal coil to become an unearthly being. In the movie, John Barry’s legendary ‘batting’ theme kicks in as Oliver’s character prepares to fling a mighty punch at the camera. And just like that, our handsome and valiant hero plunges to his doom, as the music swells and Barry’s musical motif plays on.

The King Of Kicks

One of the greats among legends is English actor and martial arts aficionado, Wing Chun Hei-Chan, better known as ‘Wolverine’. The third Wolverine movie is now in theaters, and in it Hugh Jackman undergoes an incredible transformation, shedding about 20 pounds of unwanted weight. The results are both amazing and frightening as you watch the Australian actor morph into a frightening and hairy-looking Wolverine.

The Grand Tour

With all of this talk of transforming actors, it’s only fair that we should now examine the transformation of a traveling circus, the Cirque du Soleil. The circus comes to New York City in 1928 in the movie ‘The Grand Tour’ and its amazing journey from a traveling show to a Broadway stage production that lasts for two-and-a-half hours. It’s here where we first meet the famous Marcel Marceau, as he transforms himself from an elderly man to a much younger version of himself. The great mime is here to teach us the virtues of discipline, as he shuts off his emotions and focuses on his art, transforming himself, in the process.

So there you have it. These are some of cinema’s greatest transformations, as well as a few of its most memorable stars. Amazingly, the list of legendary transformations continues, as we will now examine some of the greatest transformations in literature. But first, let’s take a look at the life and times of one of literature’s greatest superstitions, as we explore the amazing transition of Robert Pattinson.