As adoring fans, we have a lot of reasons to fall head over heels for celebrities.
Sometimes it’s because of their hard work and talent on screen or stage.
Other times it’s because of their luxurious life, and flawless beauty off screen.
However what draws us in and keeps us hooked is often to look at something we can aspire to.
Famous people seem to have endless wells of charisma and confidence.
They always seem to know the perfect thing to say, and more importantly, they’re flawless in the way they say it.
But did you know there are a lot of celebrities who weren’t always so effortless in their speech?
Many of the famous people we look up to have started out in their lives with a stutter, a speech disorder that they’ve had to overcome, or cope with.
This frustrating speech disorder is a neurological condition that causes people to repeat, extend or struggle with producing words and sounds.
Many celebrities have spoken openly about how a combination of their craft and seeking out speech therapy treatments for stuttering have helped them get to where they are today.
Read on to find out just some of the famous people who’ve been open about their journey with stuttering.
The Facts On Stuttering
If you’ve ever felt isolated because of your stuttering, know that you’re not alone.
According to the National Institute On Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), around 3 million Americans stutter, and worldwide approximately 70 million people stutter.
Roughly 5 to 10 percent of all children develop a stutter for a period of their lives.
This period can last anywhere from a few weeks to several years.
For many people, stuttering begins between the ages of 2 and 6.
During that time frame, most children are also developing their language skills.
Interestingly, stuttering in young boys is 2 to 3 times more common than it is in young girls.
This higher rate of stuttering in boys increases to a range of 3 to 4 times more than girls as they age.
However, if you notice that your young child has developed a stutter, there’s no need to worry right away.
The majority of childhood stutterers grow out of their speech impediment.
In fact, approximately 75 percent of folks who stutter as children outgrow it.
For the remaining 25 percent, they retain their stuttering and are forced to cope with the lifelong effect it can have on their communication.
If you do notice your child has a stutter though, early intervention speech therapy is key to giving your child the best chance at being part of the 75%.
Famous People Who’ve Stuttered
Have you ever blanked on what to say next or struggled to pronounce an everyday word when you’re tired?
That frustration that you feel in that moment is repeated over and over daily for those who stutter.
It’s a condition that makes communicating with others immensely difficult, and the issues that accompany stuttering can be more layered than just feeling frustrated.
A stutter in childhood can lead to bullying, low confidence, and later on a lower perception of your value in the workplace.
When you can’t communicate your needs your interpersonal relationships can suffer or can leave you feeling dissatisfied.
You’d think that a child with a stutter would steer away from being in the spotlight, but there are millions of success stories about people who’ve stuttered.
Some have created their own success in spite of their stutter, and others were steered to their profession because of their stutter.
Read below to find out which of your favorite celebrities have made their talents stand out far more than their stutter.
1. Marilyn Monroe
1950’s Actor and beauty icon, Marilyn Monroe has remained in our cultural lexicon for generations.
The triple threat became famous for her commercially successful films such as Some Like it Hot, and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
Beyond her craft, Monroe’s beauty and private life became somewhat of a fascination for the public at the time and continues today.
If she were still around today she’d be in her 90’s, and we’d still be begging her for fashion and beauty tips, such as how to perfectly pair your silver locks with any ensemble.
But did you know that Marilyn Monroe stuttered as a child, for two years in high school, and even towards the later years of her acting career?
With the help of a speech therapist, Monroe was able to grapple with her speech disorder.
Her speech therapist’s golden advice?
She advised Monroe to try speaking with a throaty tone.
That throaty tone became one of her calling cards in Hollywood, and it skyrocketed along with Monroe to an iconic status.
Unlike most children with a stutter, Monroe never fully outgrew the condition and would find herself stuttering in times of high personal stress.
While filming her final movie “Something’s Got to Give” Monroe was coping with a high stress personal life, and you can witness the cinematic return of her stuttering.
2. Samuel L. Jackson
Samuel L. Jackson has become beloved worldwide for his use of certain words that we can’t put in this article.
His acting career has been unlike any other, and his lines are among some of the most quotable of our time…when grandma isn’t around.
Who would’ve guessed that this superstar spent an entire year of his life not talking because of how badly he was bullied for stuttering as a kid.
After many years of working on his stutter, Jackson found two profane words in particular helped.
Two words that he’s famously used on screen to describe particular snakes on a particular plane.
Yeah, you know the ones.
Those two cathartic words arose out of Jackson’s coping methods for stuttering.
Had he never developed his stutter, who knows if he would’ve ever developed his signature acting style and catch phrases.
3. Kendrick Lamar
Hip-Hop game-changer Kendrick Lamar has quickly become a favorite rapper for many of the genre’s loyal fans.
Not only has he been praised for his lyrical genius, and visually innovative approach to music videos, but Lamar has also gone on to be a Pulitzer Prize winner.
It’s no secret that Lamar stuttered as a child and that his stuttering continued far into high school.
As he got older Lamar would still struggle to pronounce certain words when he was excited or in a bind.
The rapper has been open about his struggles with stuttering in interviews and has even worked the speech disorder into his rap style from time to time.
At the beginning of his hit song DNA, Lamar intentionally stutters for a stylized effect.
According to Lamar, he found himself drawn toward music and poetry because of his stutter.
He felt writing gave him a medium to finally communicate clearly without frustration.
Many young people with stutters find themselves drawn towards the creative arts because it gives them a venue to be heard.
Some find themselves acting because putting on an accent or a different character helped them overcome their stutter, some towards music, and writing.
Lamar has gone on to accomplish major milestones in his music career, such as winning 7 Grammy’s.
4. Emily Blunt
Emily Blunt struggled with a progressively worsening stutter from childhood to her early teens.
It’s hard to believe it now, as she’s become a Hollywood sweetheart, but Blunt was even brutally mocked for it in school by her classmates.
At first, Blunt tried relaxation therapy to cope with her stutter, but that alone didn’t stop it.
It was actually a teacher at her school, Mr. McHale, who suggested she try acting.
After noticing that she was smoother at speaking in accents and mocking people in silly voices, he asked her to perform in the school play using a northern English accent.
Blunt went on to perform her first school play in its entirety without stuttering once.
Fast forward to Blunt nowadays and she’s playing lead roles in blockbuster films such as A Quiet Place and The Girl on The Train.
Who would have guessed that a speech disorder that Blunt once described as a feeling like a straitjacket would have pushed her into an acting career with endless opportunities?
Book An Appointment With District Speech
We love to read a stutter disorder success story, don’t you?
If you’ve been living with a stutter yourself, or have a child who’s begun to stutter, reach out to District Speech.
We provide various speech therapies and programs that can help reduce your stutter.
Let’s start writing your success story.
1300 I St NW, #400E,
Washington, DC 20005
District Speech and Language Therapy specializes in speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy solutions, for both children and adults, in the Washington D.C and the Arlington Virginia areas.