The release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier sees the return of Nick Fury and his glorious eyepatch to our oversized cinema screens, although if you want to watch the film in 3D an eyepatch of your own will cause some problems. To celebrate the release of the movie (and the fact that the eyepatch is no longer the sole reserve of the fancy dress pirate) here are seven examples of people – real or otherwise – that know how to rock the one-eyed look.
1) Nick Fury
Making his first appearance in 1963, Nick Fury is the leader of S.H.I.E.L.D. , an espionage and law enforcement agency that makes the NSA look like your local neighbourhood watch group. These days Nick Fury is synonymous with Samuel L Jackson, who has so far portrayed the character in six films including Iron Man, Thor and Marvel’s The Avengers (or Marvel Avengers Assemble for those in Old Blighty). The Pulp Fiction actor isn’t the first to portray Nick Fury in a live action movie however – that honour goes to none other than David Hasslehoff who ‘starred’ in the 1998 TV film Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D
2) Pete Burns
In hindsight we can say that the perm and eyepatch combo was one of the more conservative Pete Burns looks. Since his legendary appearance on Celebrity Big Brother and enough plastic surgery that, in his own words, his face ‘might fall off’, it’s easy to forget that the scouse was once known for his musical talent.
Thanks to a drooping eyelid, English R&B singer Gabrielle didn’t have the typical, flawless (Pete Burns excepted) pop star image. She worked this to her advantage however, often covering the eye with sunglasses, her hair, a hat, or an eyepatch to create an iconic look that would become as well-known as singles such as ‘Rise’ and ‘Dreams Can Come True’.
4) Elle Driver
De-eyed by Bak Mei expert Pai Mai (I promise you those are all real words/names, even if one of them was used incorrectly), Elle Driver exacted revenge by poisoning his fish-head supper. Portrayed by Daryl Hannah – who once spent more than three weeks up a walnut tree to protest against the destruction of an urban farm in California – California Mountain Snake, as she was known within the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, was completely blinded when the Bride plucked out the other eye.
Making his debut in the original Street Fighter as the unplayable boss. It wasn’t until Street Fighter II: Champion Edition that gamers could take control of the Muay Thai expert. Like Ms. Driver, Sagat’s eye was ripped out of its socket, although at a height of 7ft 4 in it’s a wonder anybody managed to even reach his eye. Wes Studi starred as a rather tame-looking Sagat alongside Jean Claude Van Dam, Kylie Minogue and Raul Julia in the hugely underrated (just kidding) live action version of the film released in 1994.
6) James Joyce
It’s not only bad-ass fighters and funky pop stars that wear eyepatches, oh no. Regarded as one of the finest 20th century writers, Ireland’s James Joyce started wearing a patch to rest his eyes when his sight began to decline. So next time you hear someone says something clever and indecipherable about Ulysses you can shut them up by asking what the poet and novelist has in common with 80s pop disaster Pete Burns.
and… Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes?
Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes of girl group TLC, known for their hit singles including ‘Waterfalls’ and ‘No Scrubs’, wore a condom over her eye to promote safe sex (although if she really wanted people to think about safe sex why wear the multi-coloured polka dot hat?). While not exactly an eyepatch, it’s hard to imagine someone ever producing a list of people that have used prophylactics as a fashion accessory regardless of the internet’s obsessions with listicles (although we live in hope), so why not share this image here?