Celebrities with million-dollar smiles, literally
SUMMARY: Gene Simmons once had his tongue insured for $1 million. Find out who else has their smile backed for a handsome sum.
Posted: February 19, 2014
When we say some celebrities have million-dollar smiles, this time we mean it. Rock stars, comedians and actresses flash their pearly whites everyday, but some grins are in fact worth more than others. For the A-listers with generous sponsors, it's not out of the question to insure their identifiable smile, putting a lofty price tag over it. You won't believe how much some of these teeth are backed up for.
Lloyd's of London, the world's biggest insurance marketer, insured America Ferrera's smile for a staggering $10 million. The 28-year-old star of the television show "Ugly Betty" couldn't help but grin. The policy covers not only her teeth, but her gums too. She can say so long to any chance of getting gum disease or requiring cavity treatment. Those babies will be monitored more tightly than the U.S. president.
"It's very flattering to have my smile insured for $10 million; it's not something that I ever imagined happening," Ferrera said.
Ironically, in her TV show, Ferrera played an ugly-duckling type, complete with a mouth full of big metal braces.
Gene Simmons, the front man of the iconic late-'70s band Kiss, threw in his own signature - sticking out his long tongue - to the group's stage presence of black-and-white face paint and rocker costumes. When Kiss was at its peak, his tongue was reportedly insured for $1 million. With his mouth open all of the time, which dries out the tongue and teeth, it's hard not to wonder about his bad breath on stage.
British Comedian Ken Dodd was in the Guinness Book of Records for the world's longest joke-telling session. Yet, he's closing in on another record: most expensive teeth. The funnyman, songwriter and actor insured his distinctively large buckteeth for £4 million, which, when updated for inflation, amounts today to nearly $7.4 million. They must be one important prop.
The man with the million-dollar taste buds
John Harrison has the dream job. The 72-year-old from California is an ice cream taste tester for Dreyer's, an ice cream producer. Sampling about 60 flavors of ice cream a day, Harrison once had his taste buds insured for $1 million - that's roughly $100 per taste bud. Sign us up!
Costa Coffee taster
Along the same lines, coffee taster Gennaro Pelliccia, who samples products for Costa Coffee, has his tongue insured for £10 million. Pelliccia, like America Ferrera, is backed by Lloyd's.
"In my profession, my taste buds and sensory skills are crucial," Pelliccia told the Telegraph. "My 18 years of experience enable me to distinguish between thousands of flavors. My taste buds also allow me to distinguish any defects, which enables me to protect and guarantee Costa's unique Mocha Italia blend."
It makes sense, sort of, that stars wish to insure their most recognizable features. Lucky for them, it's their sponsors who are footing the bill.
Keeping your mouth in top shape
Whether or not you're vying for a spot on the list of sponsors, it all starts with an attractive, healthy smile. To ensure that those pearly whites stay as bright as possible, brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time. This will also helps keep bad breath at bay. Flossing, which dislodges food particles in nooks that a brush cannot reach, is also key. If you're looking for white smile like the Hollywood A-listers, check out teeth whitening options. Oh, and it's not a bad idea to sharpen that palate while you're at it. You never know if you'll be next to have a smile that's worth millions.