The most famous stutterers

Stammering is a violation of speech, a disease, perhaps, it can not be called. However, the impact of such a failure on the emotional state of a person can be very serious.

Most of the people-stutter prefer silence to fear of being caught from glitches in speech. There are nervous breakdowns when a person suspects others, in that they see him as unbalanced and stupid.

This is usually the visible part of the iceberg, many do not realize that inside the stutter there is a burning desire to use the full potential of speech by overcoming obstacles.

There are always people who try to transform their biggest problem into their assets. Below we will tell you about 10 such celebrities who have achieved great successes in their field, despite stuttering.

James Earl Jones.

The appearance of this American theater and movie actor is known to a few, but his voice sounds in Star Wars (Darth Vader) and King Lion (Mufas). James’s stammering by the age of five became so serious that he simply refused to speak out loud. Upon moving to Michigan, the teachers tried their best to help him with his problem, but the boy for eight years was actually dumb until he graduated from high school. James believes that he helped school teacher Donald Crouch, who found in his student gift to write poetry. The teacher believed that to gain confidence it would be nice to read one of the poems daily in the classroom. Jones remembers, “I was a stutterer, I could not talk, so my first year at school was my first mute year, and then those silent years continued until I finished high school.” As we see, in this case, the fiction and perseverance of the teacher helped to overcome a difficult case.

Bruce Willis.

The parents of the future Hollywood star divorced in 1972, when he was still a teenager. Then he entered high school Pence Grove in his hometown, where problems with stuttering appeared. For this classmates awarded Bruce a derogatory nickname Bak-Bak. But the young guy quickly understood how to deal with his problem. Moreover, his parents helped him, as if not noticing such a defect. Willis decided that if people laugh at this phenomenon, why not use this fact? He decided to take part in the play, where stuttering could become a “chip”. In the eighth class there was a performance, in which to the surprise of many, Bruce did not stutter. However, after the performance the stammer returned. Willis continued his performances on stage, his purposeful activities allowed Bruce to become first president of the student council, and much later a Hollywood star. Heavy work on himself ultimately paid off – a new bright star of theater and cinema was born.

William Somerset Maugham.

The childhood of the future writer was difficult. At the age of only 41 years in France, his mother died of tuberculosis, and two years later the same illness took her father. The writer remained an orphan at the age of 10 and was sent to the care of his uncle, Henry MacDonald Maugham, vicar. He was rather cold to his nephew and also cruel. William got a nervous breakdown from the difference between the former way of life and the present, which led to stuttering. The young man was soon identified in the royal school of Kings-cheekbones, in Canterbury, where stuttering was firmly entrenched in his life. The church career was rejected, as the stuttering priest could seem ridiculous. Maugham eventually became a doctor, but his main activity was literature. It was there that he could scornfully ridicule all those. who pursued him. Maugham’s trauma and problems with diction did not prevent him from becoming one of the most popular writers of his time and, as is commonly believed, the highest-paid author of the 1930s. Moreover, stammering did not stop Maugham from appearing as an excellent narrator – the brilliant style of presentation contributed to this.

Lewis Carroll.

The writer himself throughout his life, this state was shared by his sisters and brothers. Dr. Dodgson (the real name of the writer) taught in Oxford, giving much time to work, being deaf in one ear and suffering from insomnia. Although Lewis’s stuttering was embarrassing, it did not interfere with the manifestation of personal qualities and the achievement of success. Although the writer was also very shy in communication, but he sang well, not being afraid of the audience. In addition, a striking fact – Carroll’s shyness and stammering completely disappeared in the company of little girls. Biographers counted about him about 100 girlfriends, with whom he resolutely tore all ties when they grew up. One of them was Alice, the daughter of the dean, who inspired the teacher to write for her an amusing fairy tale with pictures, published in 1865.

Scatman John.

John Paul Larkin was born in 1942 in California. As a child, he suffered a psychological trauma, which led to stuttering. From the age of 12 he began to study piano, eventually realizing that music gives him much more means for self-expression than spoken language. In the 70’s Larkin became a professional jazz pianist, and his attempt to release a solo album in 1986 failed. Passing through drugs and alcohol, the musician decided to combine singing in the style of scat and dance music, releasing in 1994 his hit “Scatman”. Even at the peak of the popularity of the singer, journalists noted that during the interview, he makes offers with difficulty, repeating the phrases 5-6 times. John himself in his 1996 interview stated: “I was hiding behind the piano, because I was afraid to speak.” The birth of the world star was contributed by his wife Judy, who advised to talk about her problems with the diction right in the song. With his single “Scatman” John tried to help children suffering from stuttering, to defeat their illness, for which he was admitted to the Hall of Fame of the National Association of Stutterers.

Anthony Hopkins.

Today, the actor can safely recall his childhood. He was a loner, because the disease dyslexia did not give him the opportunity to fully engage in. Shyness was added by the inability to say anything because of stuttering. Hopkins preferred the occupation of art – painting and music to the study of sciences. At the age of 15 years, the young man was significantly influenced by Richard Barton, who supported Anthony’s desire for theater. As a result, Hopkins became one of the greatest actors, having received an Oscar in 1992 for the role of the maniac Hannibal Lecter.


The future emperor stuttered from birth. In addition, he was born prematurely, and in childhood suffered malaria and measles, because of what was deaf in one ear. Children’s paralysis doomed Claudius to limp. All this bouquet of illnesses did not allow the boy to attend school, where much time was spent on gymnastics. Soon the teacher of the young man became Afinodor, who began to struggle with stuttering by the method of Diogenes. This meant – putting into the mouth of the sea pebbles and trying to recite. With a mouth full of stammering you do not think – no matter how you swallow stones! As a result, stones were required less and less, and recitation improved and improved. So Afinodore taught Claudius to recite without stuttering, only in usual conversation the failures in the speech still returned. The emperor himself said: “I stumble with excitement about my own language.” However, Claudius was able to compensate for his physical disabilities mentally, becoming Emperor of Rome in 41 CE.

Winston Churchill.

Although the biographers of this politician strongly deny his stammering, many printed materials by different authors in 1920-1940 mark this fact. As a result, stuttering became one of the unknown, but piquant characteristics of Churchill. He himself characterized himself as a man with a speech defect, with which he consistently fights. This suggests that, despite the violation of diction, the politician was able to become one of the best speakers of all time.Churchill’s speeches served as a source of inspiration for the British during the war, and the fund of the American stutter even posted a picture of the prime minister on his home page as an example of how a stutterer can succeed. True, there is an opinion that Churchill specifically resorted to easy stammering, so that such an artistic technique to surprise listeners. But the fact that the future politician perfected his speech for hours, rehearsing facial expressions and gestures in front of a mirror is a fact.


That the great prophet was a stutterer is a fact. He himself said about himself: “I’m hard talking and tongue-tied” (Exodus, IV, 10). In the Qur’an, there is a story about how Moses urged the Lord to save him from a speech defect. Moses will be born in a troubled time, then leading the masses was a difficult task, especially for a person with a speech disorder. However, it was to him that God entrusted his commandments and ordered the Jews to be brought out of slavery. And brilliant and effective oratorical art created a new leader. Perhaps this lesson God has taught those who, by inertia, consider stammering a physical handicap. In the case of Moses, an elegant solution was found – his brother Aaron appealed to him for the people.


This prominent Greek statesman, philosopher and orator in his childhood was tongue-tied, with an indistinct and stuttering pronunciation. When Demosthenes first addressed the people, he was ridiculed for his strange and rude style. Soon the rivals politicians frankly laughed at him for his inability to speak publicly. Demosthenes decided to radically change his diction. To do this, he paid his teacher and doctor Neoptol 10,000 drachmas and a famous method appeared to solve the problems with stuttering. First of all, strict discipline and willpower were required to go through the entire course of study. Demosthenes began by trying to talk with pebbles in his mouth, reciting poetry while working. To strengthen his voice, he speaks on the very shore of the sea under the roar of the waves. Researchers note that Demosthenes apparently had a combined form of stuttering – respiratory and vocal. To visualize his symptoms, the speaker ordered a large mirror to his full height and watched his gestures and convulsions, which he developed into a habit, trying to get rid of them. To eliminate the abnormalities of breathing, Demosthenes complicated the exercises – he tried to pronounce the phrases in conditions of difficulty in articulation: he filled his chest with air and tried to pronounce long phrases. Also, the politician practiced reading poetry on the move, climbing a steep slope. All this has borne fruit. According to the Alexandrian canon Demosthenes went on to the top ten orators, Cicero also claimed that the politician in general stands alone among all speakers.

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