Tina Fey's scar, explained

One of the few mysteries about Upper Darby-bred Tina Fey is the source of the scar on her left cheek. Fey herself won't discuss it because she doesn't want to "exploit" it.

Her husband, Jeff Richmond, in an interview with Maureen Dowd in the new Vanity Fair, explains the 30 Rock star's scar as "the result of a violent cutting attack by a stranger" when she was 5 years old.

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[The Feys, who lived in Drexel Hill when she went to Upper Darby High (class of 1988), lived across from Cobbs Creek Park in Upper Darby Township when she was younger.] 

Dowd writes: "Her husband says, 'It was in, like, the front yard of her house, and somebody who just came up, and she just thought somebody marked her with a pen.' You can hardly see the scar in person. But I agree with Richmond that it makes Fey more lovely, like a hint of Marlene Dietrich noir glamour in a Preston Sturges heroine.

“'That scar was fascinating to me,' Richmond recalls. 'This is somebody who, no matter what it was, has gone through something. And I think it really informs the way she thinks about her life. When you have that kind of thing happen to you, that makes you scared of certain things, that makes you frightened of different things, your comedy comes out in a different kind of way, and it also makes you feel for people.'

"I wonder how the scar affected Fey in high school. 'She wasn’t Rocky Dennis developing a sense of humor because of her looks, like in Mask,' says Damian Holbrook, laughing. Liz Lemon’s blustery Republican boss, Jack Donaghy, played with comic genius by Alec Baldwin, tells Lemon, 'I don’t know what happened in your life that caused you to develop a sense of humor as a coping mechanism. Maybe it was some sort of brace or corrective boot you wore during childhood, but in any case I’m glad you’re on my team.'"