Famous Movie Characters Who Suffer from Dissociative Identity Disorder (Split Personality)

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Dissociative Identity Disorder, DID, also known as split personality, is the most controversial disorder among psychologists and mental health professionals. The earliest reference to this disorder was made by Paracelsus in 1646. Schacter, Gilbert and Wegner, in their book of psychology defined it as: ‘Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is characterized by the presence within an individual of two or more distinct identities that at different times take control of the individual’s behavior.’ DID is distinguished from a closely related term, schizophrenia, which is restricted to the split thoughts or mind. DID, on the other hand, is related to all the three building blocks of personality which are: body, mind, and soul.

1. Eve White

The Three Faces of Eve
The Three Faces of Eve – poster

Eve White is a split personality character from the 1987 American movie The Three Faces of Eve. It is based on the true story of Chris Costner Sizemore who suffered from the Dissociative Identity Disorder. She had developed this disorder after she witnessed three horrible accidents within a short span of three months. The disorder was formerly known as multiple personality disorder. Joanne Woodward portrayed the three personalities; Eve White, Eve Black, and Jane. In appreciation of her excellent performance, she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. On discovering that rights to Sizemore’s story had been sold by Corbett H. Thigpen to 20th Century Fox, Sizemore went to court and won the case. Sizemore maintained about the different personalities that, ‘They were entities, whole in their own rights, who co-existed with my birth personality before I was born. They were not me, but they remain intrinsically related to what it means to be me.’ On March 25, 2009, Sizemore was interviewed on the BBC News channel series Hard Talk.

2.  Jekyll and Hyde

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s short novel The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the 1920 horror film was produced by Lasky. Dr. Jekyll was a medical doctor and a philanthropist who extended free treatment to patients. He invented and consumed a potion which split his personality into two, the noble Dr. Jekyll, and the hideous Hyde, who in the end killed Jekyll’s would-be father in-law. Hyde commits suicide when there no more potion left to revert himself back to Dr. Jekyll.

3. Sybil Dorsett

Sybil DVD

Sybil is an American drama film based on the book Sybil by Flora Rheta Schreiber. It was launched in 1976. The movie revolves around the life of a young, college student Sybil Dorsett, who suffered from DID. Sybil owned 13 personalities, of which 11 were females and 2 were males. They included: Vanessa, Vicky, Peggy, Marcia, Mary, Nancy, Ruthie, Clara, Ellen, Margie, Sybil Ann, Mike, and Sid. The role of Sybil Dorset was played by Sally Field, and she won an Emmy Award for her impressive portrayal of Sybil Dorsett. Joanne Woodward, who portrayed the sufferer of DID in Three Eves, performed as
Dr. Cornelia Wilbur in this movie. Dr Wilbur explores all the personalities one by one and ultimately discovers that the disorder was caused by the dreadful abuse of Sybil Dorsett at the hands of her mother.

4. Malcolm Rivers

Identity – poster

Malcolm Rivers is a character from a 2003 psychological horror movie, Identity. The movie was inspired by Agatha Christie’s novel And Then There Was None. Malcom faces charges for multiple murders. His psychiatrist, Dr. Mallick, following a probe into Malcolm’s journal, discovered that he suffered from DID and owned ten different personalities. The role of Malcolm Rivers was played by Pruitt Taylor Vince, and Dr. Mallick was portrayed by Alfred Molina. Dr. Mallick persuaded Malcolm to get rid of the excess personalities and kill the responsible aggressive personality which, according to Dr. Mallick, was Ed. It was, however, a mistake as the real murderer was another personality who in the end killed Dr. Mallick too.

5. Marion Crane

Psycho – poster

Marion Crane is a split personality character from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 American Suspense and horror film Psycho. The movie ranks among the greatest films of all time, and it was nominated for four Academy Awards. In the movie, she is portrayed by Janet Leigh. In the remake, the character was portrayed by Anne Heche. The U.S. Library of Congress selected this film for preservation at the National Film Registry. In the movie, Marion, after rejecting the ideas of her boyfriend Sam Loomis, rushed to her office. Shortly afterwards, her boss,
Mr. Lowery, arrived along with a wealthy customer, Tom Cassidy, who gave her $40,000 to be deposited in his account. Instead of going to the bank, she ran away with the money, arriving at the Bates Motel. She interacted with the proprietor, Norman Bates, who peered through a hole while she was taking a shower. A shadow entered in the bathroom and killed Marion. The killer was Norman’s mother.

6. Zartan

The Rise of Cobra
The Rise of Cobra – poster

Zartan is a character from Stephen Sommers’s 2009 film G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. The science fiction film is based on J.I.Joe’s book Real American Hero. Zartan is portrayed by Arnold Vosloo. Zartan is a master of disguise and can copy the manners and traits of other persons. He under disguise into a Pit member killed a cover girl followed by killing a wanderer and using the dress to escape detection. Later on improved by nanotechnology, he gained access to White House and assumed the exact appearance of the President of the United States to realize the plans of the world domination.

7. The Riddler

Batman forever
Batman forever – poster

The Riddler is a character from the 1995 American movie Batman forever. Based on the comic character Batman, it was directed and produced by Tim Burton. The character was developed when a teacher announced a puzzle solving competition. Young Edward Enigma was overambitious to win the competition; therefore, he broke into the school one night to get the puzzles from the teacher’s desk and to practice solving them. Consequently he won and after further polishing his skills, ultimately became an adversary of Batman. His personality is split into the one normal being and the other compulsively acting upon the killer instinct deeply rooted in him.

8. Gollum and Smeagol

The Hobbit
The Hobbit – cover

Initially known as Smeagol, Gollum was first made known in the 1937, in J.R.R.Tolkien’s children’s fantasy novel, The Hobbit. Later on he appeared in the movie The Lord of the Rings, as an important supporting character. In the Hobbit, he had a slimy appearance, with big pale eyes and he was used to eating blind bats and stray goblins. He was called Gollum due to the swallowing noise coming from his throat. Gollum was influenced by the Ring, which he called his precious. Under prolonged influence of the Ring, his personality was split into love hate relationship. He wanted to get rid of its influence on one hand; while, on the other hand he considered it the most precious thing in his life.

9. John Skillpa

Peacock – poster

John Skillpa a character from 2010 American Psychological movie Peacock, written by Lander and Ryan Roy, directed by Michael Lander and starred by Cillian Murphy, Ellen Page and Susan Sandron. Cillian Murphy portrays John Skillpa, who is an introvert bank employee suffering from DID or split personality. He keeps his secret and people are not aware of his split personality. His alter ego or the second self is Emma, who takes care of his household matters. One day while Emma was out of home, a train cabin derailed and fell in skillpa’s backyard. When Emma entered home, inhabitants of the city came to know of the presence of Emma, which was declared as wife by Skillpa. Gradually Emmy took over the whole personality of Skillpa.

10. Two-Face


Two ”œface is a movie character, originally appearing in a comic book published by DC Comics. The character appeared in different movies. He is considered an adversary of Batman. Two face, named as Harvey Dent was a high profile District attorney For Gotham City. During an indictment hearing, the Crime boss Salvatore Maroni, disfigured his face by throwing sulfuric acid on his face which burnt the left half side of his face. The trauma caused the development of DID or split personality disorder in him. The left side of his face developed into a violent criminal personality. He used to toss a coin to decide things and woe befell on his enemies, if the cross marked face of the coin appeared after the toss.


There seems to be some co relationship in the prevalence of DID and Modern life style. Compared with the ancient times, body, mind and soul are less coherent within a personality in modern times. What minds think, are not what the souls yearn and the body language reflects. There is a deliberate effort to conceal what is in people’s uppermost strata of mind and what is there in the deepest of their hearts and souls.


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