Whatever happened to Lara Flynn Boyle? (update)


It was either last year or the year before, Lara Flynn Boyle did a guest spot on Law & Order. She and her married lover had conspired to kill one of his friends and steal a bunch of money, and they got her in the end. I mention this because it took me most of the episode to realize that the actress was actually Lara Flynn Boyle. She was so utterly unrecognizable, it was crazy. Remember the old Lara? The one that f-cked Jack Nicholson for years and wore a ballerina tutu to the Golden Globes? The one that used to get criticized for being too thin? Yeah. Look at her now.


Now, before you say, “Oh she just gained some weight” or “She just filled out.” JUST NO. No, this is not just weight gain, although that is part of it, and on that point, I’m glad that she did gain some weight. Her body looks healthy, actually. But she has completely jacked her face to the point of puffy immobility throughout the years. Just watching her trying to move her mouth in these photos is causing me pain. Oh, Lara. Why?!? And as Lainey asks, “How Does This Happen?

Update by Celebitchy: As many of you have pointed out, Boyle’s puffy face may be caused by steroids like Prednisone used to treat an undisclosed medical condition. She’s probably had her lips plumped too but there’s probably a non-surgical medical reason why her face looks like this, as she’s been puffy like this for over two years.

Here are some older photos, just for comparison:

Lara Flynn Boyle and Jack Nicholson at the post-premiere party for 'The Pledge' at The Sunset Room in Los Angeles, Ca. 01/09/01. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images).

Jack Nicholson and Lara Flynn Boyle at the post-premiere party for 'The Pledge' at The Sunset Room in Los Angeles, Ca. 01/09/01.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images).

Jack Nicholson and Lara Flynn Boyle arrive at the premiere of 'The Pledge' at the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles, Ca. 01/09/01. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images).


Lara Flynn Boyle on August 1, 2010. Credit: Fame.

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90 Responses to “Whatever happened to Lara Flynn Boyle? (update)”

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  1. denise says:

    Oh My! That is horrid, and I thought Theresa Giudice was bad.
    Why must you continue to assault my eyes?

  2. TQB says:

    Those lips are BAD. She might be the most tragic example of Hollywood screwing up a pretty girl. She spent her youth starving herself and as a result looking ancient, now she’s going to spend her older years looking jacked? Sad.

  3. K-MAC says:

    really? what happened to her and how does one’s face get like this? Is it botox, fillers, cheek implants? She was so beautiful at one point!

  4. original kate says:

    she used to be pretty before she starved herself and inflated her lips like innertubes. i just rewatched twin peaks (love it!) and all the women on that show were insanely gorgeous, especially sherilyn fenn. i wonder what she looks like now? probably unrecognizable too.

  5. Bee says:

    You people are too harsh. I think she looks good.

  6. Chrissy says:

    Yowsa. She was beautiful! Way too thin but beautiful!!! You’re right … it looks painful for her to move her face. Too many fillers and Botox??? So sad.

  7. TQB says:

    @original kate – I just watched TP too and i totally agree!

    The last time I saw Sherilyn Fenn, she too was on a L&O – SVU, I think, and I am happy to say she was not jacked and still gorgeous.

  8. She looks like Lilo – that strange puffy trout mouth weird face! WTF? Are they doing this on purpose? Can she be happy when she sees that?

  9. Lem says:

    I think she had a stroke a few years ago.

  10. mln says:

    Twin Peaks was awesome its a shame that almost no one from that show is successful, and even Kyle Mclaughlin ruined his looks but wowzers LFB takes the cake. She was stunning back in the day and now she looks like a 75 year old grandma.

  11. Embee says:

    She looks as though she either (a) received some of that “bad” botox like Priscilla Presley or (b) has a medical condition. Maybe Jack bit her; he’s probably venomous. She was absolutely gorgeous. Love the extra weight on her.

  12. teehee says:

    Well, I cant or wouldnt say its all suirgeries’ fault. I personally have a condition that makes me swell up and look terrible, and she might have a physical condition which causes the same thing. Her lips are obviously injected, because they essentially never get that way unles you are stung or always rub an allergen on them. But the puffy face thing might be a combination of weight gain and some odd water retention caused by something else. Maybe she has to take medications/steroids, too, and it can cause swelling. Its not fun and I feel awful for her cos she knows the difference in her appearance, too…

  13. bnice says:

    She looks unhealthy–like it’s not spread out evenly as normal weight gain (which she had plenty of room to do!) would be. Perhaps she has some health issue that necessitates medication that has this effect on her.

  14. melinda says:

    @ Original Kate-

    I love Twin Peaks too, and Sherilyn Fenn was also in the Gilmore Girls a couple years ago. She looks great and is aging gracefully.

  15. Kitten says:

    She has that Heather Locklear face going on.

  16. meme says:

    Why Sherilynn Fenn didn’t become a huge star is beyond me. She was drop dead naturally gorgeous in Twin Peaks.

  17. Po says:

    I saw the same episode of Law and Order and I recognized her instantly and was completely shocked. You are right that is not a huge weight gain. Weight gain would have done wonders for her. There is some type of plastic surgery thing going on with her face. I remember some years back when she started getting surgery and she has gone too far.

  18. Molly says:

    My husband was a big fan of whatever that show was before it was Boston Legal. I remember him watching that same episode of L&O and being totally shocked and grossed out. We all get older, ladies! No one looks at a woman with a ton of plastic surgery and thinks “Wow! What a beautiful 20 year old!”, no, they think “Wow, what has that old chick done to her face?!”

  19. kellogg says:

    are we sure that she doesn’t have say, Graves’ disease or something like it? i’d feel like a jerk if she had a medical condition instead of bad plastic surgery.

    *edit* ty, @bnice, just saw your comment.

    @TQB @originalkate huge Peaks freak but man, BOB still shows up in my nightmares.

  20. RhymesWithSilver says:

    She looks sick. She was way too thin before, but she looks just looks puffy- like her organs aren’t processing things correctly. Poor Lara- she was truly stunning, or as F. Scott Fitzgerald would put it, “a scarcely human orchid of a woman.”

  21. xxodettexx says:

    this picture should be posted at the front door of every hollywood plastic surgeon’s office! holy crap, she looks like hell! loved her on the practice!

  22. Kittypants says:

    Yikes. She was naturally lovely in Twin Peaks too. Such a shame.

  23. KsGirl says:

    This MIGHT be a medical condition, but it is most likely the usual for Hollywood: too much badly done Botox and fillers. That’s classic fat/frozen face right there.

  24. deb says:

    she looks like others i know who are on prednisone or anti rejection drugs for organ transplant. she is still extremely skinny but her face is puffed out squirrel style from the drugs. not that i don’t think she isn’t stuffed full of botox and fillers but she still has prednesone face. her arms and legs are still boney but she got thick thru the middle but only slightly. she probably isn’t a size 4. and if she had had so much work done on her face you think she would have had that prednisone double chin taken care of.

  25. bellaluna says:

    I don’t have a lot of experience (in person) with bad botox, but I’ve known several people with cancer and kidney failure, and that looks like the bloated face of steroids (on a cancer patient) or the kidneys not working correctly.

  26. original kate says:

    @ kellogg: AAAHHH! i remember BOB from TP and he still scares the crap out of me. he’s right up there with “the gentleman” from buffy for creepy villians.

    as for lara, i agree with the theory that she has a medical issue – she does look very puffy, but her face – oy! the frozen muscles and trout pout are deliberate. but it’s nice to hear sherilyn fenn is aging gracefully

  27. bnice says:

    She’s still very thin except for that little belly bulge, which she’s trying to hide with her big purse. It could be bloat from medication, or even some type of an ostomy.

    She’s done extreme things to her face and body, sure, but she’s just played the game by Hollywood’s rules. I’m not going to hate on her. I hope her health is not in jeopardy, with people judging her appearance on top of it.

  28. Riley says:

    She and Lindsay Lohan must go to the same budge plastic surgeon.

  29. Jen says:

    Honestly, I just can’t tell….my instinct is that it’s surgery that hasn’t aged well. Look at her nose. I always remember her narrow, beaky nose. Obviously fixed, and wasn’t there a rumor about cocaine use? Now, she has what I’d call a more normal nose. Is that really steriods? Or did she collapse her septum and have to have it rebuilt?

    I think it’s sweet that so many of you want to give her the benefit of the doubt but I’m thinking it’s someone who bartered her older years for a few years of being a slender, beautiful woman. It’s the old Faustian deal with the devil come back to haunt her.

  30. BlackMamba says:

    She did not gain any weight, it’s her face that’s puffy like she is sick or something. Look at her arms, so not proportionate to her face. (in Flavor Flav voice): WOOOOWWW

  31. snowball says:

    My ex brother-in-law had to take Prednisone for a few months and he had that same bloated look and he lost a lot of weight too. He was just miserable.

    Don’t you get that kind of bloat when you’ve got an eating disorder too? I thought I remembered when an anorexic starts eating again, they get a strange bloat, I know their stomach does, I’m not sure about their face. Hers is just so overall round, it doesn’t look like something artificial like implants, at least I don’t think. I guess I don’t know, other than she just doesn’t look right.

    She does look ill, although that doesn’t account for the awful thing she’s done to her lips. I’ve seen other pics of her from a few years ago and her lips looked really bad then, although she didn’t have the bloated face.

  32. Melissa says:

    She has not really gained weight – her body still looks extremely skinny. She’s clearly had her lips (over)done, but I agree that the puffy face may be from steroid use for a health issue. It’s called “moon face”, and I know two people who’ve looked like that from long-term steroid use – one b/c of a heart-lung transplant and the other b/c of an infection after a back injury. If that’s the case, I wish her well and hope she recovers.

  33. lucy2 says:

    I don’t know what’s going on with her, I hope she’s not ill, but it does seem fairly common for people who have a lot of plastic surgery to get that odd puffy look. Chances are, that’s what it is, but who knows.
    Sherilyn Fenn does still look good, I remember seeing her on Gilmore too. Lara was so pretty, but really has done some damage to her face and body. It’s a shame, most people would have been thrilled to look like she did, but I guess she just was never happy.

  34. Maritza says:

    Now her face looks like Ellen Pompeo from Grey’s Anatomy. She used to be so pretty…

  35. sickofit says:

    she looks like a walking corps/stick

  36. susanne says:

    I think she’s got some kind of disease- check out her legs- they’re scary skinny, her arms, too.

    The bloat seems like it’s in her face, neck, and belly. Scary!

  37. aenflex says:

    At least she put on some weight in her body. Her body looks good. What I think she did was try to fatten up her face with dermal fillers whenever she was still skinny. Then she gained soem recent weight and now the fillers she used in top of the natural fat in her face are making her look fishy. Just a guess…

  38. lena says:

    Umm she looks like she is on some type of steroid or something, I know people who have had kidney problems and they get that same look. Some of the comments about her looks are really mean, she could have a medical condition which she is choosing not to share with the public.

  39. Celebitchy says:

    I agree with you guys that it’s prednisone and that she probably has a medical condition. It looks like she had her lips plumped too and that’s making it look like she had more work done. I hope she’s ok!

  40. Teri says:

    My first thought was also steroids. She could have some time of gastrointestinal problem and it would explain the extreme weight loss she had and now the prednisone bloat. Boy, I’m glad people aren’t publishing before and after photo’s of me since pred.

  41. Kazoo81 says:


    she often came into a restaurant i worked at. she had the lollipop look— oversized head on a very tiny body.

    i wouldn’t be surprised if an ED caused the face bloat, as well as health issues. and yeah, like most hollywood people, she probably tried to fix the problem with more plastic surgery.

  42. lena says:

    she could have had her lips done to “offset” the fullness of her face??? I don’t know, but I think the title is a little harsh since this one is an unknown…please change the title of the post

  43. mary says:

    She was so gorgeous! What a shame.

  44. Mairead says:

    Oh god love her. This looks to me like a medical bloat as her hips and legs, and even the tops of her arms are still painfully thin. I hope whatever she has is manageable and not very serious.

  45. Victoria says:

    She gained weight? Where? All I thought when I looked at that photo was “Man she is so painfully thin!” As for her face? She has Jenna Jameson Duck Lips.

  46. Crash2GO2 says:

    I see a medical condition as well, since it’s not just her face that is bloated, but her neck as well, and when you go the plastic surgery filler route, you leave the neck as thin as possible while filling out the face. And I don’t see healthy weight gain either – like others have said, her hips, arms and legs are still alarmingly slight.

  47. diane says:

    Good Grief … she has Lohan lips! Must be a trend.

  48. Just a Poster says:

    I thought she left the limelight (rather quickly after final round with Jack) and fell in love and married someone. I thought she was living in San Antonio now?

    Hopefully she is healthy and happy.

  49. mln says:

    Now I feel guilty I hope she is OK and I wish her health.

  50. Teri says:

    Some people are on steroids for years. The side effects can be really bad, but it is, at times, the only solution to some medical problems.

  51. Kaiser says:

    min – don’t feel guilty, we’re just theorizing! Maybe she’s sick, maybe she just had bad plastic surgery. Whatever.

  52. Jeri says:

    I saw that L&O episode & I too was shocked.

    Not necessarily in respect to LLB, but in general, if you inject (say your cheeks) for a long time, then you quit. Are they going to sag because the muscle tone is stretched out?

  53. hatsumomo says:

    She lives in San Antonio now and she does indeed look very odd in person. I saw her at Schilo’s in Downtown S.A., and her face looks weird even in person. But she was friendly to everyone and courteous to the deli girls, so good on her.

  54. Squirtle says:

    OMG! I was just watching this crappy movie the other day “Baby on Board” (don’t ask my why) and I saw her, well I thought I did, but then I couldn’t make up my mind cause it looked like her but she was so bloated and swollen! Yeah something is definitely up with that! Whew!!!

  55. Canucklehead says:

    Hey Blake Lively, this is your future.

  56. bagladey says:

    This is truly a tragedy. LFB used to have a very striking face with angles and a pointy nose etc. and now she looks like the woman who was injecting herself with cooking oil. Could she be injecting herself? Who else would do this to her? Couldn’t her agent at least say: “Listen, you have to stop this immediately, you no longer look like you and I can’t get you any work if you don’t look like you”. LFB has to start over as a whole new actress because if you ask for Lara Flynn Boyle you’ll be getting “her”, that person, the “new” LFB who doesn’t look anything like the old one. Crazy.

  57. Shane says:

    This is a prime example of why a lot women starve themselves trying to look “Beautiful.” Girl puts on 15-20 pounds, gets healthy, and suddenly she’s “ugly.”

    There’s nothing wrong with her… she looks great.

  58. danielle says:

    I agree – this looks like she is having health problems. Hope she gets better!

  59. belle Epoch says:

    I agree – medical problem somewhere.

    Stroke would account for the off-center face, but I never heard about her having one.

    Cushing’s disease would explain the skinny arms and legs but “moon face” and belly. I hope she has been to an endocrinologist – most doctors would not recognize this one (yes, personal experience talking).

    It isn’t that she looks awful. I would love to look as good! But she looks ill, and so dramatically worse than she used to. That has to hurt.

    It’s a lesson, really, for anyone who thinks looks will last. It’s who you are that counts in the long run, not what you look like!

  60. Ron says:

    She did something to her lips a few years back and has never looked the same. In these pics she does look puffy, like perhaps she is ill. It’s too bad that all of these actresses feel so much pressure to look 20 when they are 45. She’s really a very nice gal.

  61. TheSerenityGarden says:

    Um Guys, you might want to check out CB’s post on Mar 31,08 here on Celebitchy http://www.celebitchy.com/10459/lara_flynn_boyle_is_nearly_unrecognizable/ when she was photographed for the 1st time in a year. At that time Bell’s Palsy was the guess and from those pictures very well could have been.

    As others who also have to deal with steroids (I have MS) I would definately lay odds on illness requiring the use of steroids. The injections in the lips could have been done to try to help correct her lips sliding down on the right which happens with Bell’s. My sister had Bell’s in her late 40′s and went through a lot of misery.

  62. moi says:

    she has had a lot of plastic surgery, but as others have said, this puffiness in her face looks like the result of a health condition.

  63. Shawna says:

    Good luck, LFB, if it’s health issues.

    But mostly: YES, I want to watch Twin Peaks over again. Totally awesome.

  64. Shawna says:

    Also, that’s a gorgeous emerald ring.

  65. A~ says:

    That looks like classic prednisone moonface. When a person has to take steroids (happened to my mother in law) it blows up like that and often never returns to normal. Very sad.

  66. Marjalane says:

    She has the same bloaty face Lohan has.

  67. Gracie says:

    I feel bad for her. She has some medical diagnosis that isn’t good. Nobody looks like that unless they’re on steriod treatment. :(

  68. Missy says:

    She may very well be ill and on prednisone, but if you look at photos of her over the years she has also had a lot of plastic surgery. Prednisone usually uniformly affects the face and her lips, and later cheeks, were artificially inflated at varying times. Frankly, if she is ill she should consider making a statement to deflect some of the concerned attention her appearance is drawing. She does not look well at all.

  69. Snarky_Pup says:

    This really does look like Cushing’s syndrome. How sad.

  70. Adrien says:

    Not bloated. Just awful camera angle and silly implants. That happens when you have cheek and lip implants. It makes your face look like a marionette b/c it makes nasal folds obvious. Huge lips don’t work on everyone. It won’t make you look like Angelina Jolie, just Joker face. Also she gained weight. Lara gaining just a few pounds has a huge effect on her looks.
    Anyway, she looks good to me.

  71. abbizmal says:

    She definitely had the lips done, and I’m wondering just how strange she would look with normal lips. Those lips draw my eyes to them and it is hard to see anything else wrong. Yes, it is very sad, especially if it is something she did to herself. Duck lips are not attractive, people, don’t do it.

  72. anon1 says:

    My first thought was bloat from prednisone.

  73. Kelly says:

    Her whole face has dropped and I suppose that’s what happens when you break the natural anchor points and hoist it up over the scalp- time is a bitch, but karma is even more of one.
    And if you think that’s weight gain, jeez, I’d hate to see what weight loss looked like!! Even under all those pale clothes, snapped at a bad angle, she’s still skin and bones. Look at her arms! Not to mention the thighs. Shudder. Pathetic.
    Someone once said we all end up with the face we deserve (barring horrible misfortune of course) and methinks that principle is working here.

  74. Michelle says:

    I wonder if she has Crohn’s disease and has been on prednisone? That would explain her longstanding battle with being overly thin. With Crohn’s the bowel doesn’t absorb nutrients well but the face, neck and trunk can bloat up with prednisone use.
    Inflammatory bowel disease can be an embarrassing and difficult disease to live with (stool incontinence, painful abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea etc…) I suffer from it and I’m a physician.
    It’s hard enough to explain to my patients why I’m late in the mornings because my bowels decided to “act up”. People always mistake it for Irritable Bowel Syndrome and I have to explain to them “no, I don’t need more fibre…I have an auto-immune disease that affects my whole body”. After a while you just get tired of talking about it!

  75. Annaya says:

    I hope she doesn’t have cancer- I have a friend who has cancer, and she has this same look. When I saw the photo on the cover, before even clicking into the story that’s the thought I had. Hope it’s not anything of the sort.

  76. Chris says:

    “Why Sherilynn Fenn didn’t become a huge star is beyond me. She was drop dead naturally gorgeous in Twin Peaks.”

    Boxing Helena closely followed by Fatal Instinct was probably enough to undo her good work from Twin Peaks and stop her from becoming a big star.

  77. Truthzbetta says:

    So I thought it was Kathy Bates. In that case she looked pretty good.

    As Lara it’s a tragedy. I join others in hoping I haven’t made fun of an illness because going from Lara to Kathy Bates without the incredible talent and super cool roles of Ms. Bates is not the way to wow Hollywood. Or ever be employable/Jack Nicholson dateable again.

  78. Cirque28 says:

    OMG, poor thing! She does look like she’s suffering from some health problems.

    For people who say her face is puffy from bulimia or (past) anorexia or alcoholism… guess what? Those are diseases too!

    Although I think this is something else.

  79. DD says:

    How old is she? Other than her face being a bit bloated and her horrid outfit, she doesn’t look that bad. I bet if she cleaned up a bit, wore something flattering, didn’t have a weird expression on her face like in that picture, she’d look a lot better to you. Just looks like a picture caught at a bad moment.

  80. Ellen says:

    It’s obvious she’s not well. I thought she was great on The Practice–much better than many of her costars. God bless her.

  81. jay says:

    I know she looks better than most of us and if she is going through something rough we should all shut up. Are we really that unhuman. What if she was our sick mother ,sister,friend. Start being human and compassionate. I’m so sad to read most of these comments

  82. ViktoryGin says:

    My mom has lupus and sarcoidosis and has to be on prednisone for life. At this point in time it’s been like some 15 years, and her face is like a balloon. As a result, I can see this being legitimately medical and will therefore refrain from negative comments.

  83. Dannnii says:

    Always assume plastic surgery.
    Word is she has a chronic kidney condition.

  84. Misele says:

    As I was scrolling down my first thought was YAY she ate a hambuerger or two. But when I realised it was only her face bloated (as her body is still thin) I think it must be some bad reaction to medication or botox.

  85. Angel says:

    Bodies change as they age, it’s a fact of life. It looks like her lifestyle caught up with her. Maybe she stopped smoking, too. People always gain weight from that. Surely the tabloids would have called her out if she had some incurable disease. They are ruthless.

  86. Martin says:

    I think she looks like a normal person instead of the starving skeleton she was.