The Most Famous Mugshots of All Time
Getting arrested isn’t usually a super glamorous or fun process. Someone does something that gets them into trouble. They're shoved unceremoniously into the back of a police car and taken to the jailhouse to have a mugshot taken. Then friends, family, co-workers, employers, and literally everyone else gets to see the mugshot. If that person is lucky (or unlucky) enough, their mugshot could go viral, just like these. Not exactly a moment a person would normally think to smile, laugh, or be proud about. Some of these people, however, break the mold.
Celebrities are often people with some of the most shared, well-known, or talked about mugshots. It’s probably all that celebrity power that makes them not truly care about being taken to jail. Some of them even treat it more like they’re on the runway or posting a picture to Instagram (a couple of these celebrities actually did do that). But there are definitely some gold photos from regular, everyday people. Crazy face tattoos, half-shaven beards, super ironic shirts, smirks, peace signs, or just being overly attractive, this list covers the whole spectrum.
After looking at these wild, funny, or just downright weird mugshots, it’s not hard to understand how these mugshots became so iconic. See how many you recognize!
Robert Downey, Jr.
We all have that one embarrassing photo from our past that we wish we could erase from existence. For RDJ, that photo happens to be his 1999 drug arrest mugshot. But let's be honest, it's a pretty epic mugshot. The crooked placard and smug grin give him a certain goofy charm that only RDJ could pull off.
It's hard to believe that this same guy would later become the iconic Tony Stark, but maybe that's what makes him so relatable. We all have a past, a few bad decisions, and some questionable fashion choices (looking at you, early 2000s). RDJ is proof that even with a rocky start, you can still reach new heights and become a literal superhero.
Arrested for suspected marijuana possession, drug paraphernalia, and resisting arrest, McConaughey obviously didn’t feel too bad about the whole incident—at least, judging by that smug grin he’s wearing.
I mean, he may be an Oscar-winning actor and all, but even the best of us make mistakes. And let's be real, he's still looking pretty good in that mugshot. Bet he could rock that orange jumpsuit better than any of us. But hey, let's not judge the man based on one little slip-up. We've all got our own skeletons in the closet, and at least his is a pretty cool story to tell at parties.
Zsa Zsa Gabor
All hail the queen of glamour and dramatic life events, Zsa Zsa Gabor! In 1989, the Hungarian-American socialite made headlines for all the wrong reasons. It seems the fashion icon had a bit too much fun driving her Rolls Royce and ended up causing a car accident. But wait, there's more!
To make matters worse, the legendary diva proceeded to slap a police officer who arrived on the scene, resulting in her immediate arrest. The icing on the cake? Her mugshot, with perfectly coiffed hair and a sly smirk, could easily pass as a Vogue cover.
Back in 2002, Nick Nolte had one too many and ended up behind bars for driving under the influence. But what really caught people's attention was his unforgettable mugshot. With hair that seemed to have its own gravitational pull, a vibrant Hawaiian shirt and a crazed look in his eyes, Nolte's booking photo became an instant classic.
It was nearly impossible to escape the notorious image for years to come - and it's no wonder why. He definitely earns a spot on the list of most iconic mugshots.
Kimora Lee Simmons
Just because you got arrested for marijuana possession, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pose for your photo. Except, instead of posing for a fashion photographer, she’s posing for the cops.
Honestly, can you blame her? Sometimes life just calls for a little bit of Mary Jane. But hey, next time maybe just smoke at home and avoid the whole getting-arrested aspect. Just a thought.
Back in 1970, actress Suzanne Somers found herself in a bit of a predicament. Unable to pay her bills, she took matters into her own hands and started writing bad checks to cover her expenses. However, like most great plans, they don't always go as anticipated...
Somers was eventually caught and charged. Despite the setback, Somers went on to become a TV icon, starring in beloved shows like Three's Company and Step by Step. And of course, she became possibly even more famous for her workout videos and health advice.
Dubbed the “Hot Felon” by adoring internet fans, Jeremy Meeks was arrested in a gang sweep in 2014. After police posted his photo on their website, his mugshot went viral, racking up almost 100,000 likes.
Talk about making an impression! And while serving his sentence, Meeks was snatched up by a modeling agency and is now a thriving fashion model. Who knew that a life of crime could lead to runway success? Move over, Derek Zoolander, there's a new heartthrob in town.
Who would have thought that the man behind the world's most popular operating system would have such a rebellious past? Bill Gates's 1977 mugshot shows him with shaggy hair, tinted glasses, and a mischievous grin that makes you wonder what kind of trouble he was getting into.
The trouble? A traffic violation. Scandalous. Although it may look more like a yearbook photo, Gates's mugshot has all the essential elements of an iconic one.
Lindsay's rap sheet is longer than the line at Starbucks on a Monday morning. From DUIs to theft, to even assaulting a woman in a nightclub, she's has had her fair share of run-ins with the law. And let's not forget the countless mugshots that have been plastered all over the internet. It's almost like she was trying to collect them all like Pokémon cards.
But in all seriousness, it's clear Lindsay has had some personal struggles that have played out very publicly. Now that she's becoming a mother, here's hoping she can turn things around and keep the mugshots in the past.
The country crooner may be known for his tunes, but in 2012 he made headlines for his drunken shenanigans. After a DUI incident in Texas, he crashed his car and was discovered butt-naked on the side of the road. Yikes.
Despite pleading guilty, Randy got off pretty easy with just probation, community service, and some time in alcohol treatment. Lesson learned? Uh, we'll see.
We all have moments we'd rather not relive, but Justin Bieber's DUI arrest in 2014 takes the cake. I mean, who can forget the mugshot with that smirk? It's a reminder that even the biggest stars make mistakes. But let's be real, who hasn't made questionable decisions as a young adult?
Bieber's wild antics may have been amplified by his fame, but he's at least turned his life around since. And hey, at least he didn't cause any serious harm to himself or others. Maybe we can all learn something from his past missteps, whether it's to make better choices or just to steer clear of Miami nightlife.
Well, well, well, it seems even America's sweetheart can't escape the consequences of bad decisions. Reese Witherspoon, known for her wholesome image on and off screen, was caught in a less-than-glamorous moment in 2013 when she and then-husband, Jim Toth, were arrested for driving while intoxicated and resisting arrest.
But what really captured everyone's attention was the footage of Reese's reaction when she was pulled over. It's safe to say that it was not the poised and polished demeanor we're used to seeing from the actress.
Tiger Woods had a little mishap in May 2017 when he was caught snoozing in his car by the cops. Turns out he wasn't catching up on beauty sleep but rather had a pesky reaction to some prescription drugs.
Despite his plead of innocence in terms of alcohol consumption, Woods was still found guilty of reckless driving and slapped with probation, community service, and a not-so-friendly fine. Clearly, judging by his mugshot, he had one hell of a night one way or the other.
Well, well, well—it seems even the "King of Cool" is prone to a little bit of trouble now and then. Steve McQueen found himself on the wrong side of the law in 1972 when he was arrested for drunk driving and speeding.
But, as the saying goes, when life gives you lemons, make peace signs. And that's exactly what McQueen did, throwing up a peace sign for the camera like it was just another day at the office.
His 2013 mugshot, taken after a public intoxication arrest, captures a man who is clearly not having a good day. It’s hard to say what’s worse—the grimace on his face or the fact that this photo will live on the internet forever.
One thing’s for sure though, Josh Brolin is definitely not a happy drunk.
Picture this: you're out there advocating for something you believe in, standing up for what's right, and getting some serious attention. But then, on your way back from the rally, the cops pull you over and slap you with some bogus charge – drug smuggling, of all things. Well, that's exactly what happened to Jane Fonda after she spoke out against the Vietnam War at a fundraiser. And you know what?
The charge didn't stick, but her rebellious spirit certainly did. Just take a look at that mugshot – now that's what I call making a statement. Who says you can't fight the system and look damn good doing it?
Mel Gibson, a prominent actor and director, was arrested in 2006 for driving under the influence (DUI) in Malibu, California. During his arrest, Gibson made anti-Semitic remarks and launched into a profanity-laced tirade against the arresting officer. The incident sparked widespread controversy and criticism, and Gibson was widely condemned for his behavior.
Gibson later apologized for his remarks and sought help for his alcohol addiction. Despite the incident, Gibson has continued to work in the film industry and has received numerous awards for his work.
Well, well, well, another day, another celebrity mugshot to add to the collection. This time it's the former Nickelodeon star Amanda Bynes, who was arrested in 2014 for driving under the influence. And let me tell you, her mugshot is a true work of art.
With smudged eyeliner, a wild-eyed stare, and a half-smirk, half-grimace on her face, she looks like the poster child for bad decisions. What a Girl Wants is to go home, apparently.
One of the most well-known mugshots of all time from the case of the century. Simpson was arrested in 1994 after an infamous car chase and the murder of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman.
The trial divided the nation, and the image of Simpson in that rumpled orange jumpsuit became seared into our collective consciousness. But even all these years later, that mugshot still has an undeniable power. It's a reminder of a moment in history, and of how one man's actions can have such a tragic ripple effect.
Kiefer Sutherland, the man behind Jack Bauer in 24, was once caught driving under the influence in L.A. He didn't just get off with a slap on the wrist, either; he was sentenced to nearly two months in jail. However, due to the overpopulation of cells, he was only stuck behind bars for 18 days.
And in case you thought this was a one-off thing, Sutherland had a previous DUI arrest back in 2004. But don't worry, he's getting his act together now after being open about his struggles with alcohol. He's even won a bunch of awards for his acting gigs, so at least there's that.
Shia LaBeouf may have a bit of a troubled past when it comes to brushes with the law, but let's be honest, his mugshot game is on point. Sure, his 2014 arrest for disorderly conduct, harassment, and criminal trespassing may not be something to brag about, but that goofy grin he's sporting in the booking photo is something to admire.
It's almost as if LaBeouf is saying, "yeah, I messed up, but at least I did it with style."
Oh Paris, you always knew how to make a scene. Even when getting arrested for cocaine possession outside of a Las Vegas nightclub in 2010, she managed to look flawless for her closeup.
This looks more like an Instagram selfie than a mugshot. Who knew getting arrested could be so glamorous?
Despite getting arrested for felony cocaine possession at a Las Vegas hotel in 2010, Bruno Mars gave us a mugshot that is both memorable and oddly cheerful. Perhaps he was thinking of his next hit song, or maybe he had just learned a funny joke from a nearby cellmate.
Whatever the case may be, it's not every day that you see someone flashing a grin in the midst of a legal scandal.
Unlike most of the people on this list, you don't know this guy's face from movies, TV, or magazines. Charles McDowell's mugshot—with a neck so thick it looks like he could bench press a car—quickly went viral, with users dubbing him "Neck Guy" and "Thick Neck."
While some have used McDowell's mugshot to criticize our obsession with viral content, we can't help but take note of that impressive neck. Whether you're into bodybuilding or just appreciate a good meme, "Thick Neck" McDowell is the internet sensation you can't ignore.
Well, well, well. It seems our beloved dad from "Home Improvement" has found himself in quite the legal predicament. Tim Allen, the man behind the voice of Buzz Lightyear and fan favorite Santa Claus, was apprehended in 1978 for drug trafficking. Yes, you read that correctly. The star who portrays wholesome family figures was caught with over 650 grams of c*caine at the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport. Talk about a plot twist.
As for his mugshot, let's just say it's not his most flattering angle. Sporting a shaggy haircut and a confused expression, Allen looks like he just got caught stealing cookies from the cookie jar. Though it's not the squeaky clean image we're used to seeing, it's a reminder that everyone has a past.
The actor was arrested in Los Angeles in 1993 for driving his motorcycle while intoxicated, and his mugshot, to say the least, was not his best look. In the photo, Keanu was sporting messy hair that could use some TLC, plus a facial expression that tells us he knows he messed up.
Thankfully, Keanu was able to bounce back and continue his reign as an A-list actor. He's since gained quite the reputation for his philanthropic endeavors and low-key, humble lifestyle.
Bill Cosby, the once-beloved comedian, was arrested back in 2015 for sexually assaulting a woman over a decade prior. And it's not like this was the first time he faced such accusations; dozens of women had come forward before. But it took another comedian, Hannibal Buress, mentioning Cosby's crimes in a standup routine to really shine a light on his misdeeds.
Finally, in 2017, he was found guilty and sentenced to some well-deserved time behind bars. It was a big moment for those seeking justice for sexual abuse survivors—and a big blow to Cosby's legacy.
Back in '82, Woody Harrelson decided he had some sick moves to show off in the middle of a busy street in Columbus, Ohio. This landed him a quick stay in the slammer and a fancy bond to pay off.
It's no secret Woody has had a few battles with the bottle and pills, so we can assume some substance-friendly impulses sponsored this impromptu dance party. Despite the '82 hiccup, Woody has been killing it in the acting game, racking up award nominations left and right (including three Oscar nods!).
Kid Rock found himself in some hot sauce in 2017 after a physical altercation at a Waffle House restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee. It seems Rock got into a heated argument with another customer, and things went from flapjack to flat-out brawl. The police were called, and Rock was arrested for misdemeanor assault—definitely not the breakfast he was hoping for that morning.
This incident adds to Rock's growing rap sheet, which includes past arrests for disorderly conduct and battery. Here's hoping he sticks to singing about being a cowboy from Detroit instead of fighting like one in Waffle Houses.
We all know Mike Tyson has had quite the rap sheet throughout his boxing career, with more arrests than we can count. But let's take a trip down memory lane to 1992 when his most notorious arrest went down. Tyson was charged with the r*pe of an 18-year-old girl, and ended up serving three years of his six-year sentence behind bars.
Nowadays, Iron Mike is all about spreading awareness on mental health and substance abuse. So despite his non-remorseful mugshot, we guess he's learned a thing or two from his time on the inside.
Beverly Hills 90210 alum Heather Locklear got into some serious hot water in 2018 when she was arrested for assaulting a cop and engaging in domestic violence. Her brother called the boys in blue to their Thousand Oaks mansion when he couldn't reason with her, and things quickly escalated from there.
This isn't the first time Locklear has found herself in a legal jam—she's had some run-ins with the law and has struggled with addiction.
Looks like Scottie Pippen decided to take his basketball skills off the court and into a restaurant in LA, where he allegedly punched a dude in the face. The victim suffered some gnarly injuries, and Pippen got to spend some quality time in jail before posting bail.
Judging by the huge grin on his face in his mugshot, he doesn't seem to regret his actions!