Terence Howard overcame a series of childhood health problems to become a Hollywood star.

The actor - who stars in this summer's box office hit HUSTLE + FLOW and the forthcoming FOUR BROTHERS - initially lost his hearing after an ear infection went untreated and then suffered paralysis on one side of his face, a condition known as Bell's Palsy.

Howard says,"My right eye just stayed open and I had to tape it down. Half of my face was laughing the other would be 'nah'."

The 36-year-old remedied the problem by rigging up a home appliance to send electric shocks through his face. After nine months the condition stopped, but it taught him a powerful lesson about physical beauty.

He says, "I realise that the genetic coincidence of symmetry is just that, a genetic coincidence."