A fan wearing a t-shirt displaying the mugshot of Tiger Woods looks on during the first round of the Dell Technologies Championship at TPC Boston on August 31, 2018 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

The modern mug shot was invented in 1888, and famous portraits have been coming out ever since. From the days of the Wild West to today, mug shots have shown the faces of arrested citizens and celebrities, alike. For some celebrities, it’s hard to hide from the past when their mug shot is iconic.

The original purpose of a mug shot was to give law enforcement a photographic record of arrested individuals. While still used for that today, it’s become a common thing to end up seeing some of these celebrity mug shots on t-shirts and monetized in some way.

Natasha Lyonne Mug Shot

Natasha Lyonne appears in a Miami-Dade jail mug shot taken as she is booked August 28, 2001 (Photo by Joe Raedle/Staff/Getty Images)

Mug shots go on to become iconic for a number of reasons. These reasons vary, and are rarely ever for a good reason. Sometimes it’s for the story behind the arrest. However, most of the time it seems like these pictures end up going viral because of how the individual looks in the picture.

When you hear the phrase ‘celebrity mug shot,’ who do you think of? Is there one specific example that comes to mind? There have been several over the hundreds of years of their existence that have stuck out, for one reason or another. Some of these photos will live on in infamy forever, unfortunately. However, others have totally embraced their photo. It’s different for each case and person, and understandably so.

I put together a list of 10 iconic celebrity mug shots. All of these stand out amongst the others. For some, it’s how bad they look. On the other hand, some mug shots are iconic and famous for how good they look. Every picture is noteworthy for its own unique reason.

10 Iconic Celebrity Mug Shots

  • Nick Nolte

    Nick Nolte Mug Shot

    Photo: California Highway Patrol/AP

    This mug shot was taken in 2002 after Nolte was arrested for DUI. Later, Nolte, himself, said that he looked “like an asylum inmate out for a lark.”

  • Frank Sinatra

    Frank Sinatra Mug Shot

    Photo: Bergen County Sheriff’s Office

    In 1938, Sinatra was arrested and booked on charges of Seduction. Looking at this mug shot, I believe it.

  • Paris Hilton

    Paris Hilton Mug Shot

    Paris Hilton is seen in her booking photo. (Photo by Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department via Getty Images)

    Who says you shouldn’t try to look cute in a mug shot? Paris Hilton tried her best after her arrest in 2006.

  • Bill Gates

    Bill Gates Mug Shot

    Photo: Albuquerque, New Mexico Police Department /Wikimedia Commons

    Bet you didn’t expect to see his name and face here. In 1977, he was arrested for running a stop sign and driving without a license.


  • Matthew McConaughey

    Matthew McConaughey Mug Shot

    Photo: Austin Police Department

    Sure, the story is probably more iconic than the actual mug shot. However, when you’re arrested naked playing the bongos you’re going to make the list.

  • Jane Fonda

    Jane Fonda Mug Shot

    Photo: Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department

    No stranger to being arrested, Jane Fonda gave us this iconic mug shot in 1970.

  • David Bowie

    David Bowie Mug Shot

    Photo: Rochester (NY) Police Department

    Bowie’s mug shot for a marijuana charge in 1976 is one of the most iconic mug shots of all-time.

  • Tiger Woods

    Tiger Woods Mug Shot

    Tiger Woods is seen in a police booking photo after his arrest (Photo by The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office via Getty Images)

    It was sad seeing this in 2017. It showed how far the world’s greatest golfer had fallen in recent years. However, he’d bounce back and win another Master’s tournament a couple years later.

  • Ozzy Osbourne

    Ozzy Osbourne Mug Shot

    Credit: Shelby County Sheriff’s Office

    Ozzy’s mug shot in the St. Louis Blues jersey became one of rock’s most iconic mug shots. It’s from 1984.

  • Donald Trump

    Donald Trump Mug Shot

    Photo: Fulton County Sheriff’s Office via Getty Images

    The internet was buzzing waiting for this mug shot to drop in mid-2023. It was replicated by politicians and comedians, alike. It was instantly iconic.

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