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Famous Southpaws! (well the ones I like anyway)


In 3rd grade the penmanship champ was girl named Melissa K – called such because she was one of three Melissas in my class – who was left handed. I was probably ranked in the top ten, but I wasn’t the best. Melissa K’s print looked like Verdana and her cursive was equally as impressive. Her letters were well spaced and perfectly formed, as frequently imparted to us by our teacher. Melissa K was left-handed. The something happened! One Tuesday morning Melissa K appeared in class with her left arm in a cast! And just like that, her penmenship took a nosedive until her arm healed – don’t know how she broke it, but no foul play was assumed. At the time I was still going back and forth between my hands (though the left hand stuffs was often in secret) and I decided then I needed to be able to write with both hands so I wouldn’t see my own penmanship suffer the same fate if I should ever break my right arm. I never broke my arm, but I did manage to accomplish my task. And for the most part, I’m still right-handed (teachers used to discourage left-handedness) but I form my letters “backwards” from right to left, which I’m told is something savvy left handers do in order to avoid smearing their writing.

Bruce Willis – I first noticed Willis’ handedness in Die Hard. There was a scene where Willis crawled through an air shaft while mocking his wife’s gesture of good will, “Come out to the coast, we’ll get together and have a few laughs…” and I noticed that Willis wore his watch on his right hand and flicked the lighter he used to illuminate the air shaft with his left hand. In several films I’ve also noticed that Willis usually hold weapons in his left hand. He also writes hook style. I noticed that in Bonfire of the Vanities where Willis played ambitious reporter Peter Fallow. Lulz. I once made a zine called, “Bruce Willis is a Left Handed Republican”.

Morgan Freemanis an oft mentioned left handed individual so there was a lot of conversation about his hand when he was severely injured in a car accident two years ago. The actor reportedly still has limited mobility in his left hand. No word on the Carolina blue Cap’n Crunch suit in Red.

Angelina Jolie – is curious left handed person. In some films I’ve observed her wearing watches on her left hand. I usually figure costuming and such have handedness assumptions, which are then imposed on Ms. Jolie. I say this because whenever she’s out and about and photographed wearing a watch, it’s nearly always on her right hand. She’s very Jason Bateman that way. (Also a south paw!)

Ironically, results are inclusive regarding the man who actually made the term “Southpaw” a household phrase – Sylvester Stallone. Hedging my bets, I would say that Stallone is one of the rare truly ambidextrous folks, but that’s just a guess. Last time I watched Rocky II – IV I still didn’t feel I had a definitive answer.

Other Famous South Paws: Jason Bateman, Hugh Jackman, Barrack Obama, Bill Clinton, Nicole Kidman, David Bowie, SJP, Seal, Celine Dion (<3 <3), James "J-Cam" Cameron, Paul "P-Mac" McCartney, Whoopi, Keanu, Oprah, and DeNiro. Now that one fascinates me, because it completely slipped past me. I watch a lot of Deniro movies and I never noticed his handedness. Brad Pitt is another oft mentioned left handed person, but I’ve never noticed one way or the other. I should do some research!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Luke permalink
    04/04/2011 5:55 am

    Google “brad pitt signing something”. Mystery Solved

  2. Chuck permalink
    04/04/2011 5:58 am

    The term southpaw has been around since 1848. I had no idea that Stallone was that old!

  3. 04/04/2011 4:26 pm

    @Luke, the point is to uncover it via pop culture not google. google has made people who aren’t that bright think themselves bright.

    @chuck, didn’t say Stallone invented the term, but made it a household term courtesy of his Oscar winning film Rocky. You remember that one, right? It came before all the sequels. Unless you’re laboring under the impression it was a common term used by folks who didn’t box.

  4. 04/04/2011 4:33 pm

    The trick to using Google to make you look smart is to not make it look like you’re using it. Remember how you used to change the words around when you copied someone else’s homework so you wouldn’t get caught? It’s like that, but with the added challenge of acting like a grownup. You’ll get it with practice.

  5. 04/04/2011 7:56 pm

    I’m left-handed! All of us amazing people are. I rarely wear a watch but when I do I wear it on my left wrist but remove it for extended periods of writing.

  6. 04/04/2011 8:53 pm

    @Rebecca thanks for your comment. I have a couple of friends who also wear their watches on their left hands even though they themselves are left handed.

  7. lawful0evil permalink
    04/11/2011 4:52 pm

    I vary which hand my watch is on by whatever wrist it gets put on. I’m absent-minded like that. I also mouse right-handed (and I mouse-draw, I can’t get used to tablets for whatever reason), play instruments right-handed, and play different sports with different hands. (Tennis left, golf right, etc.) My handwriting is terrifying with either hand. I don’t think I’m ambidextrous, though. I definitely have things I can ONLY do left-handed, like giving a pill to a cat or opening a can.

    I think a loose approach to left-handedness is required just to get along in society. There aren’t lefty scissors everywhere and heaven help you if you need them. I know I find parking a US car harder than my righty friends do. The side I’m less spatially aware of is also the side I can’t see very well, annoying. I think most lefties (I live with another) get used to it being a right-handed world and it makes us less attached to our handedness than righties. I don’t even notice most of the time, I’ve been making do without the lefty scissors for 20 years.

  8. lawful0evil permalink
    04/11/2011 4:54 pm

    Which is a long-winded way of saying that your comment about watches provoked thought.

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