Forest Whitaker: Looking Past His Condition To Greatness


Actor, director, and producer Forest Whitaker is probably known best for his roles in movies like The Butler, The Last King of Scotland, and even opposite Tom Cruise in The Color of Money. But have you ever in the middle of watching a movie with Forest Whitaker playing a role and wanted to know what was up with Forest Whitaker eye? There’s hundreds of thousands of internet search terms for it, a number of blog pages dedicated to it, and thousands of memes addressing it, too.

Well, as it turns out, Forest suffers from a hereditary condition known as Ptosis.  Ptosis is a drooping of the upper eyelid. Ptosis is also known as lazy eye.

Ptosis can be caused by a number of factors that affect the muscles, nerves, or skin of the eyelids.  The levator muscle (the muscle that allows your eyelid to move up and down) can become weaken due to injury or age. Horner syndrome can also contribute to ptosis.

Forest-whitaker-eyeREAD: 5 Signs You Need To See The Eye Doctor


  • Dropping of one or both eyelids
  • Increased tearing
  • Impaired vision


  • Patients should be monitored every 3-12 months for signs of amblyopia due to congenital ptosis.
  • Patients can get blepharoplasty surgery to treat the drooping eye.

When asked about his eye, Forest doesn’t shy away from the topic at all.  “My eye? It’s a genetic thing. My dad had it and now I have it,” explains Forest.

“You know, I just found out that it may be correctable a little bit, because it does impair my vision. When I look up, I lose sight in this eye. I think maybe for other people, it informs the way they see me. But I don’t really think about this eye, other than the times people talk about it, or when people take photographs of me sometimes they might say stuff about it. I don’t think it makes me look bad or anything. It just is. I still strive to connect with people.”


And strive with people he does.  From producing and acting and directing, Whitaker is a creative force to be reckoned with in…