Wed. Jul 17th, 2024

He’s a legendary actor almost all of our readers will recognize from one film or another, but perhaps only eagle-eyed viewers will know about the condition Bill Nighy has lived with almost his entire life.

The Love Actually star is 73 years old now and has been a popular figure on the big screen for decades. Yet while his talent and on-camera presence is undeniable, his hands – more specifically his pinky and ring fingers – garner plenty of attention too.

As per reports, Nighy’s pinky and ring fingers are almost perpetually curled together. The actor himself told the Guardian that young actors have complimented him on it from time to time, believing it to be a technique he employs as part of his acting arsenal.

Yet according to the Daily Express, the phenomenon has nothing to do with Nighy’s abilities in front of the camera, but rather the fact that he lives with a condition known as Dupuytren’s contracture.

Reports state that the condition results in an abnormal thickening of the connective tissue in the hand at the base of the fingers, leaving the affected fingers frozen in a particular position.

For Nighy, that means that the pinky and ring fingers on both of his hands are curled in towards each other. The actor has lived with the condition since his 20s, though it has worsened over time.

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 07: Billy Nighy having lunch in Marylebone on August 07, 2023, in London, England. (Photo by Neil Mockford/GC Images)

“It started in my 20s. It was alarming and I should have had an operation on them at the time, but I didn’t because I was a mess and was frightened,” Nighy revealed to The Guardian.

“It means I have a spooky handshake.”

He also told the Northern Echo: “My last two fingers in each hand are permanently bent back against the palms.”

Reports detail that Dupuytren’s contracture is a progressive condition (meaning it worsens over time) and is also incurable at present. Sufferers can undergo surgery, but while this can aid with symptom relief and slow it down, it does not stop the condition.

TORONTO, ONTARIO – SEPTEMBER 11: Bill Nighy is seen during the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, 2022, in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), “northern European descent” is one of the risk factors regarding Dupuytren’s contracture, as well as a “positive family history”, being male and increasing age.

Have you ever noticed Bill Nighy’s hands? Let us know in the comments box.

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