Famous People Who Have or Had Speech Differences or Stutter

Author: Disabled World
Published: 2017/11/10 - Updated: 2023/05/14
Peer-Reviewed: N/A
Contents: Summary - Main - Related Publications

Synopsis: A list of well known and famous people who have or had speech differences including stuttering during their lives. Despite popular perceptions to the contrary, stuttering does not affect and has no bearing on intelligence. In rare cases, stuttering may be acquired in adulthood as the result of a neurological event such as a head injury, tumor, stroke or drug abuse/misuse.

Main Digest

Stuttering, also known as stammering in the United Kingdom, is a speech disorder in which the flow of speech is disrupted by involuntary repetitions and prolongations of sounds, syllables, words or phrases, and involuntary silent pauses or blocks in which the stutterer is unable to produce sounds.

Stuttering is generally not a problem with the physical production of speech sounds or putting thoughts into words. Despite popular perceptions to the contrary, stuttering does not affect and has no bearing on intelligence. The disorder is also variable, which means that in certain situations, such as talking on the telephone, the stuttering might be more severe or less, depending on the anxiety level connected with that activity.

The severity of a stutter is often not constant even for severe stutterers. Stutterers commonly report dramatically increased fluency when talking in unison with another speaker, copying another's speech, whispering, singing, and acting or when talking to pets, young children, or themselves.

In rare cases, stuttering may be acquired in adulthood as the result of a neurological event such as a head injury, tumor, stroke or drug abuse/misuse.

List of Famous and Well Known People with Speech Differences

  • Adam Michnik - Polish editor, historian, essayist, and political commentator.
  • Adrian N. Peterson - American football running back.
  • Alan Rabinowitz - American zoologist, conservationist, field biologist, and President and CEO of Panthera.
  • Alan Turing - Mathematician.
  • Alfred Rehder - German-American botanist, Harvard professor.
  • Alvin Lucier - American music professor and composer of experimental music.
  • Annie Glenn - Wife of astronaut and United States Senator John Glenn; She was inducted into the National Stuttering Association Hall of Fame.
  • Anthony Quinn - Mexican-American actor, painter, and writer.
  • Antonio Bassolino - Mayor of Naples, President of Campania; member of Italian Communist Party.
  • Aristotle - Greek philosopher and writer.
  • Arnold Bennett - English journalist and novelist.
  • Arthur Blank - American businessman, co-founder of The Home Depot and owner of the National Football League's Atlanta Falcons.
  • Austin Pendleton - American actor, playwright, theatrical director, and instructor.
  • Ben Johnson - Canadian sprinter.
  • Bill Walton - American Basketball Hall of Famer.
  • Bill Withers - American singer, songwriter, and musician.
  • Bo Jackson - American baseball and football player, 1985 Heisman Trophy winner.
  • Bob Love - American basketball player.
  • Bruce Oldfield - British fashion designer.
  • Bruce Willis - American actor, producer, and musician.
  • Bruno Kastner - German film actor and producer; committed suicide with the advent of sound films because of his speech impairment.
  • Budd Schulberg - American screenwriter, television producer, novelist and sports writer.
  • Carly Simon - American singer, songwriter, musician, and children's author; recipient of two Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, and a Golden Globe Award; member of Grammy Hall of Fame.
  • Charles Darwin - English naturalist.
  • Charles Van Riper - speech pathologist.
  • Chris Martin - English singer, songwriter, and guitarist.
  • Chris Trapper - American musician.
  • Claudius - Emperor of Rome (41 - 54), exaggerated his ailment in youth amid fratricidal dynastic conflicts.
  • Cole Sprouse - American actor, twin of Dylan Sprouse.
  • Daniel Kitson - English comedian winner of the Perrier Comedy Award in 2002.
  • Darren Sproles - American football running back.
  • Dave Taylor - American ice hockey player.
  • David Mitchell - English novelist.
  • David Seidler - British screenwriter; BAFTA and Academy Award-winning writer of The King's Speech.
  • David Shields - American writer of fiction and nonfiction.
  • Demosthenes - Ancient Greek orator and politician.
  • Deng Ai - Three Kingdoms period general, Grand Commandant.
  • Dieter Thomas Heck - German actor and TV producer; started stuttering after being trapped under a staircase after a bombing raid in World War II.
  • Drew Lynch - American comedian who often uses his stutter as the punchline of his jokes; brother of Stephen Lynch and Season 10 runner-up on America's Got Talent.
  • Duane Thomas - American football running back.
  • Dylan Jones - British journalist and editor.
  • E. M. S. Namboodiripad - Indian communist politician; Chief Minister of Kerala.
  • Ed Balls - British Labour politician; former Member of Parliament.
  • Eduardo de Pedro - Argentine Peronist politician; Minister of the Interior.
  • Edward Hoagland - American nature and travel writer.
  • Elizabeth Bowen - Irish novelist and short story writer.
  • Ellis Lankster - American football cornerback.
  • Elvis Presley - American rock and roll singer.
  • Emily Blunt - English actress who won a Golden Globe Award in 2007.
  • Emperor Michael II - Byzantine emperor, founder of the Amorian (Phrygian) dynasty.
  • Eric Roberts - American actor, Golden Globe Award nominee in 1978; brother of actress Julia Roberts.
  • Gareth Gates - English singer and songwriter.
  • George Springer - American baseball outfielder.
  • Greg Louganis - American diver.
  • Han Fei - Chinese philosopher and writer.
  • Harley Earl - American car designer, first vice president of design at General Motors.
  • Harvey Keitel - American stage and movie actor.
  • Henry James - American-born writer and critic who spent most of his life in England.
  • Homer Bigart - American newspaper reporter who won two Pulitzer Prizes for combat reporting—one each during World War II and the Korean War.
  • Howard Bingham - American photographer and biographer of Muhammad Ali.
  • Hrithik Roshan - Indian Bollywood actor who won numerous Best Actor awards.
  • Hugh Grant - English actor who won a BAFTA and a Golden Globe Award in 1995.
  • Isaac Newton - English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, and theologian.
  • Ivo Karlović - Croatian tennis player.
  • Jack Welch - American chemical engineer, businessman, and author.
  • Jaik Campbell - British comedian who won British Stammering Association Writing Award in 2006.
  • Jake Eberts - Canadian movie producer, director, and financier.
  • Jake Steinfeld - American actor and fitness personality who had a fitness line "Body by Jake" and TV show called Body by Jake.
  • James Earl Jones - American actor who overcame stuttering to become noted for his powerful voice.
  • James Rodríguez - Colombian soccer player.
  • James Stewart - American film and stage actor whose stutter was a signature trait of his work.
  • Javivi - Spanish actor who has appeared in films and TV series, usually in comical roles.
  • Jerzy Owsiak - Polish journalist, social campaigner.
  • Jim Davis - American cartoonist.
  • Jim Kerr - Scottish singer and songwriter.
  • Joacine Katar Moreira - Portuguese politician, Member of the Assembly of the Republic.
  • Joe Biden - United States Senator from Delaware, 47th Vice President of the United States, 46th President of the United States.
  • John Lee Hooker - American blues guitarist.
  • John Melendez - American television writer and radio personality known as "Stuttering John".
  • John Montague - Irish poet.
  • John Stossel - American consumer reporter, investigative journalist, author, and libertarian columnist.
  • John Updike - American novelist, poet, short story writer, art critic, and literary critic.
  • Johnny Damon - American baseball outfielder.
  • Julia Roberts - One of the highest paid American actresses in terms of box office receipts; sister of actor Eric Roberts.
  • Junior Ortiz - Puerto Rican baseball player.
  • Kelly Brown - Scottish rugby union player.
  • Ken Venturi - American golfer and golf broadcaster.
  • Kenndal McArdle - Canadian hockey player.
  • Kenneth Tynan - English theater critic and writer.
  • Kenyon Martin - American basketball player.
  • King Charles I - King of England (1625 - 1649).
  • King Francis I - King of France (1515 - 1547).
  • King George VI - King of the United Kingdom.
  • King James II - King of England (1685 - 1688).
  • King Louis the Stammerer - King of Aquitaine and West Francia.
  • King Peter I - King of Portugal (1357 - 1367).
  • Kylie Minogue - Australian singer, songwriter, and actress.
  • Lester Hayes - American football cornerback.
  • Lewis Carroll - English author, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon and photographer.
  • Lord Carver - British Field Marshal, tank commander in World War II; Chief of the Defence Staff.
  • Lord David Cecil - British biographer, historian and professor.
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein - Austrian philosopher.
  • Machado de Assis - Brazilian novelist, short story writer, poet, and literary critic.
  • Malcolm Fraser - American philanthropist and businessman.
  • Marc Almond - English singer and songwriter.
  • Margaret Drabble - English novelist, biographer, and literary critic.
  • Marilyn Monroe - American actress, singer, model, and sex symbol; Golden Globe Award nominee in 1956.
  • Matti Vanhanen - Prime Minister of Finland (2003 - 2010).
  • Megan Washington - Australian singer, songwriter and musician.
  • Mel Tillis - American country singer, spokesman and honorary chairman of the Stuttering Foundation of America in 1998.
  • Michael Bentine - British comedian, script-writer, and reader of children's books.
  • Michael Kidd-Gilchrist - American basketball player.
  • Michael McCurdy - American illustrator, author, and publisher.
  • Michael Spinks - American boxer who was a world champion in the light-heavyweight and heavyweight divisions (1981 - 1988).
  • Nevil Shute - British novelist and aeronautical engineer.
  • Niccolò Fontana Tartaglia - Italian mathematician, engineer, and surveyor.
  • Nicholas Brendon - American actor who serves with the Stuttering Foundation of America.
  • Nicole Kidman - Australian actress and film producer.
  • Noel Gallagher - English singer, guitarist, and vocalist.
  • Notker the Stammerer - Frankish composer, poet and scholar.
  • Ozzy Osbourne - English singer, songwriter and television personality.
  • Patrick Campbell - 3rd Baron Glenavy, Irish-born British journalist, humorist and television personality.
  • Peggy Lipton - American actress who played "Julie Barnes" on The Mod Squad.
  • Peter Bonerz - American actor and producer who played Jerry the orthodontist on The Bob Newhart Show.
  • Peter Murphy - English singer, songwriter, and actor.
  • Peter Straub - American author and poet.
  • Philip French - Film critic and BBC radio producer.
  • Prince Albert II - Prince of Monaco.
  • Proinsias De Rossa - Irish Labour Party politician; Member of the European Parliament.
  • Ron Harper - American basketball player.
  • Rory Storm - English musician and vocalist.
  • Rosie Perez - Puerto Rican-American actress.
  • Rowan Atkinson - English comedian, screenwriter, and actor who incorporates his stuttering into his work by using over-articulation to overcome problematic consonants.
  • Rubin Carter - American boxer known as "The Hurricane".
  • Sam Neill - New Zealand actor.
  • Samuel L. Jackson - American actor who has appeared in over 100 films; active in Civil Rights Movement.
  • Scatman John - American scat singer.
  • Sean Dunphy - Irish singer, who represented Ireland at the 1967 Eurovision song contest.
  • Sidney Gottlieb - American chemist who worked with the Central Intelligence Agency.
  • Somerset Maugham - English novelist, playwright, and short story writer.
  • Sophie Gustafson - Swedish golfer.
  • Steve Harvey - American television and radio presenter, actor, author, businessman, and former stand - up comedian.
  • Terry Allen - United States Army Major General during World War II.
  • Thomas Kean - American politician, 48th Governor of New Jersey.
  • Tiger Woods - American golfer.
  • Tom Sizemore - American actor and producer.
  • Tommy John - American baseball pitcher.
  • Vernon Hill - American banker.
  • Walter Annenberg - Publisher, philanthropist, and diplomat.
  • Wendell Johnson - American psychologist, stutter research.
  • Wilfredo Rivera - Puerto Rican boxer.
  • Wilt Chamberlain - American basketball player, holds numerous official NBA all-time records.
  • Winston Churchill - Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Nobel Prize in Literature recipient in 1953.

NOTE: If you know of a discrepancy in this list please contact us so we can amend the entry.

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