07 Feb Celebrities Who Stammer
According to The British Stammering Association, 1% of the adult population stammers. Stammering is not a disability and you may be very surprised to find out that these high-flying celebrities all have a stammer, and they have never let it hold them back. These A-List Hollywood stars and record-breaking artists have all followed their dreams and become known all over the world…stammer or no stammer!
Marilyn Monroe: This world-famous actress, model, and singer used her trademark breathy style of speech to help her control her stammer. Breathing techniques can be very helpful to strengthen the respiratory organs we use to speak and relax tension that builds up in the body.
Ed Sheeran: Internationally renowned, award-winning singer and songwriter Ed Sheeran reported that music helped him to overcome his stammer. Ed lacked a lot of confidence growing up due to his stammer and even nearly gave up his dream of becoming a singer to go and work in a supermarket!
Julia Roberts: Superstar Julia Roberts had a childhood stammer, as did her brother Eric. Eric Roberts reported that he would often get teased by other children and this resulted him often being left out a lot at school. Eric hated reading aloud in class and therefore would memorise passages from books because he would not stammer when speaking from memory. Eric’s father therefore enrolled Eric into an acting school. When he saw Eric reciting memorized lines in front of a mirror without stammering, he immediately decided that acting was the best future career for his son. Both Eric and Julia Roberts have gone on to win Oscars.
Rochelle Humes: Former singer of girl band The Saturdays, Rochelle Humes had a stammer when she was a child. Rochelle was advised to join a musical theatre group to help practise her strategies and build her confidence. Through this musical theatre group, she became part of one of Britain’s most popular girl bands. Increasing your confidence in social situations and positive thinking can have a huge effect on your fluency – Rochelle is now regularly seen on our screen on breakfast TV show This Morning and also presents a radio show on Heart!
Bruce Willis: Oscar winning actor Bruce Willis had a stammer from age 9-17. Bruce increased his confidence speaking by joining a high school theatre production and he explained, “When I got onstage, I stopped stammering. When I stepped off the stage, I started stammering again. And I went, ‘This is a miracle. I got to investigate this more.”
Tiger Woods: World famous golfer Tiger Woods overcame his childhood stammer by practising his stammering techniques when talking to his family dog. He explained that he worked extremely hard to practise his techniques and his stammering factored into his decision to open the Tiger Woods Learning Centre in 2006.
Kylie Minogue: Superstar singer Kylie Minogue had a childhood stammer and reported that she started singing to overcome her stammer.
Emily Blunt: Actress Emily Blunt had a childhood stammer that disappeared after her teacher encouraged her to participate in a play when she was 12 years old. Emily explained, “It’s ironic that I’ve ended up in a job where you have to be able to speak…my stammer sort of showed me the way.” Emily Blunt has now gone on to become an award-winning actress who now stars as Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins Returns.
Elvis Presley: Elvis Presley started singing as a method of speech therapy to help him with his stammer. His singing career turned him into the King of Rock & Roll!
Samuel L. Jackson: Actor Samuel L. Jackson developed a stammer when he was a child and he reports that he continues to stammer to this day. Samuel reported that he uses many techniques, however his favourite is finding an alternative word to use when he gets very stuck.
King George VI: King George VI started to stammer at the age of 8 and faced many challenges such as public speaking when he became king. His stammer was made famous after the Oscar winning hit movie, The King’s Speech.
Rowan Atkinson, aka Mr Bean: The English comedian, writer and actor had a childhood stammer. He reported that the ‘b’ sound posed a particular problem for him as he would always stammer when a word started with this sound
Noel Gallagher: Oasis songwriter Noel Gallagher reportedly had four years of speech therapy to learn strategies to help his s
James Earl Jones: Most famous for voicing Darth Vader in the Star Wars movies and Mufasa in The Lion King, James Earl Jones had a stammer for 8 years. James reported that he lacked a lot of confidence growing up and he barely spoke to anyone but close family and the animals on his farm.