Famous People Who Stutter
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Check out the Celebrity Corner: in-depth articles on famous people who stutter
Stuttering Foundation Spokesmen: What Are They Up to Now?
Actors, singers, and entertainers
James Earl Jones — Actor James Earl Jones, a Broadway, television, and movie star, is well-known for his voice as Darth Vader in Star Wars and his book Voices and Silences. He is also the voice of CNN. Jones is featured in the SFA's Famous People Who Stutter brochure. He received the 2008 Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award for his "long and quiet devotion to advancing literacy, the arts and humanities on a national and local scale," said SAG President Alan Rosenberg.
Nicole Kidman — This award-winning actress is known for her performances in Dead Calm, The Hours, To Die For, Batman Forever, and Rabbit Hole.
Emily Blunt — This Golden Globe Award-winning actress is probably best known for her work in My Summer of Love and The Devil Wears Prada. She is featured on the Stuttering Foundation's Famous People Who Stutter brochure and poster.
Mel Tillis — This country music star and songwriter was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and received the lifetime achievement award in 2007. He has also been inducted into the Grand Ole Opry. Tillis and his band, the Statesiders, released such hits as I Ain’t Never, Good Woman Blues, and I Believe in You. He is featured in the Stuttering Foundation's Famous People Who Stutter brochure. Listen to a podcast.
Nicholas Brendon — As Xander in the popular TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Brendon won fans of all ages. The young actor is featured in the Stuttering Foundation's Famous People Who Stutter brochure.
Bruce Willis — Having starred in more than 60 movies, he became popular in the late 1980s with the Die Hard series. Other popular films include Pulp Fiction, Armageddon, and The Sixth Sense. In an interview for GQ magazine, Willis said he felt acting helped him overcome stuttering.
Jimmy Stewart — He is considered one of the finest actors of the Golden Age of Hollywood. Stewart earned Lifetime Achievement awards from nearly evey major film organization. In addition to acting, he had a military career in which he advanced to the rank of Brigadier General in the U.S. Air Force.
Robert Merrill — This baritone opera star sang in over 500 performances during three decades at the Metropolitan Opera.
Budd Schulberg — He is an American screenwriter and novelist. His 1954 screenplay On the Waterfront won an Oscar. He is also known for his novels What Makes Sammy Run and The Harder They Fall.
Peggy Lipton — This actress from the TV shows Mod Squad and Twin Peaks earned four Golden Globe nominations. She won one Golden Globe in 1971 for Best TV Actress in a Drama. In 1962, she signed with the Ford Model Agency.
Sheila Fraser— She starred in the 1938 TV show General John Regan.
Sam Neill — This New Zealand film and television star is probably best known for his role in Reilly, Ace of Spies and playing Dr. Alan Grant in Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III.
Eric Roberts — He has received widespread acclaim for his supporting role in The Dark Knight. Oscar-nominated for his role in Runaway Train, he has also starred in many movies such as Star 80 and The Pope of Greenwich Village. Roberts is trained in Tae Kwon Do and Jujitsu. His daughter, Emma, and sister, Julia Roberts, are actresses.
Raymond Massey — He became famous for roles such as Abraham Lincoln in Abe Lincoln in Illinois. He was nominated for an Academy Award for this role.
Carly Simon — She has an Oscar, two Grammys, a Golden Globe, as well as several hit records. She was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1994.
Jack Paar — He was a radio and television talk show host who is most noted for hosting The Tonight Show. During World War II, he entertained troops in the South Pacific.
Anthony Quinn — This two-time Academy Award-winning actor is also a painter and writer.
Marilyn Monroe — This actress and singer is one of the most popular movie stars of the 1950s and early 1960s. She is known for her comedic skills and screen presence. Monroe is pictured in the Stuttering Foundation's Famous People Who Stutter brochure.
Bill Withers — His fans say this singer and song writer combines a genuine and folksy feel with an immediately recognizable voice.
Tom Sizemore — He is famous for his role in Saving Private Ryan. Sizemore, a Golden Globe-nominated film and television actor, has had supporting roles in several films.
Harvey Keitel — Before becoming a famous actor, Keitel was a freelance court reporter in New York City. He has starred in Three Seasons, U-571, Little Nicky, Red Dragon, The Crime, One Last Dance, and The Ministers, among others.
Shane Yellowbird — This popular singer and songwriter has received awards from the Canadian Country Music Awards, the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards and the Aboriginal People's Choice Music Awards. During a three-month period in the fall of 2007, he received eight awards.
Mike Rowe — An actor and opera singer, he currently hosts Dirty Jobs and Shark Week on the Discovery Channel.
Michelle Williams — This singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress is probably best known for being part of the R&B group Destiny's Child.
Marc Anthony — Pop singer who is a two-time Grammy and three-time Latin Grammy winner. He has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide.
Leon Botstein — He serves as the music director and principal conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. He is also president of Bard College.
Hrithik Roshan — He is an award-winning Indian actor. He donated funds to help build the audio and speech therapy wing at the Nanavati Hospital in Mumbai, India.
B.B. King — American blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He was named the third-greatest guitarist of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of all Time" by Rolling Stone magazine.
John Lee Hooker — An influential American blues singer, guitarist, and songwriter. His trademark genre was a half-spoken style of blues.
Doug MacLeod — An American blues musician known for his acoustic blues and slide guitar numbers as well as songwriting and story telling.
Scatman John — This famous American jazz musician and poet created a unique mix of scat singing and house music. He is best known for his hit "Scatman (Ski Ba Bop Ba Dop Bop)." His real name was John Paul Larkin, and he sold millions of recordings worldwide.
Garret Dillahunt — He starred in the movie "The Last House on the Left" and has appeared in numerous TV shows such as "The X Files," "NYPD Blue," and "ER."
Ray Griff — This Canadian Country Music Hall of Famer had his first hit, "Patches," in 1970. Since that time, he has enjoyed much success as a singer and songwriter.
Tim Gunn — Host of the popular fashion reality TV show Project Runway.
Jason Gray — Popular Christian singer.
Samuel L. Jackson — An award-winning actor known for his movies Goodfellas, Jungle Fever, Patriot Games, Jurassic Park and Pulp Fiction.
Ann Wilson — Singer, songwriter, guitarist, and producer who, along with her sister Nancy, became the core of the rock band Heart.
Robert Donat — An actor best-known for his roles in Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps and Goodbye, Mr. Chips, for which he won an Oscar for Best Actor.
Francois Goudreault — Lead vocalist and songwriter for Hello Kelly, a feisty alt-rock band from Orangeville, ON.
Wayne Brady — He is an Emmy-winning improv comic, singer, and host of Let's Make a Deal.
Tiger Woods — He is one of the most successful golfers of all time. Woods was a child prodigy who began to play golf at 2 years old. At age 3, Woods shot a 48 over nine holes at the Navy Golf Club in Cypress, Calif., and at age 5, he appeared in Golf Digest and on ABC's That's Incredible.
Kenyon Martin — Basketball star Kenyon Martin has been a two-time member of basketball's Team USA and was selected to the 2004 NBA All-Star Team. He is featured in the Stuttering Foundation's Famous People Who Stutter brochure.
Bob Love — This legendary star of the Chicago Bulls went from the court to heading up Community Affairs for the championship team. He is a popular motivational speaker and a spokesman for the Stuttering Foundation. His life story is documented in the film Find Yourself A Dream - The Bob Love Story. Love is featured in the Stuttering Foundation's Famous People Who Stutter brochure.
Johnny Damon — This Tampa Bay Rays outfielder and designated hitter is among the top of active major leaguers in runs, hits, and stolen bases since the 2000 season. Before playing with the Rays and Tigers, he was with the World Series champion New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. In high school, he was rated as one of the top players in the country and was named to USA Today's High School All-American team.
Darren Sproles — This NFL star is a football running back and return specialist. He was twice named The Kansas City Star Player of the Year. Sproles is featured in the Stuttering Foundation's Famous People Who Stutter brochure.
Ron Harper — If he wasn't a basketball star, he said he would want to be a teacher. He is actively involved with Widney High School in L.A., a school for children with disabilities.
Pat Williams — This football player with the Minnesota Vikings was also a star in high school. As a 5-foot, 8-inch and 160 pound freshman kicker/punter, he went on to have an unbelievable high school career. At Wossman High School, he had 43 sacks, 154 tackles, 6 forced fumbles, 8 fumble recoveries, 1 interception, and 3 defensive touchdowns.
Bo Jackson — This multi-sport professional athlete completed his bachelor of science degree in 1995 at Auburn to fulfill a promise he made to his mother.
Lester Hayes — The former defensive back for the LA Raiders led the NFL with 13 interceptions and was named AP Defensive Player of the Year in 1980. He retired in 1986, after a total of 39 interceptions.
Tommy John — This former pitcher for Oakland A's and Yankees had a career with 288 victories. He ranked as the 6th highest among lefthanders in major league history.
Greg Louganis — This diving champion is probably best known for winning back-to-back Olympic titles in both the 3m and 10m diving events. Some consider him the greatest Olympic diver of all time. In 1984, he received the James E. Sullivan Award for being the top amateur athlete in the United States.
Dave Taylor — He is a former hockey star with the LA Kings. At Clarkson University, he still holds the record for career points (251), goals (98), and assists (153), as well as single season goals (41), assists (67), and points (108) in 1976-77.
Adrian Peterson — He is an NFL running back. In his spare time, he performs community work and hosts an annual free youth football camp. He also volunteers to help children who stutter.
Chris Zorich — The Chicago Bears defensive lineman is also a well-known philanthropist. In 1993, he established the Christopher Zorich Foundation to assist disadvantaged families. USA Weekend has named him the Most Caring Athlete.
Trumaine McBride — Before playing cornerback for the Chicago Bears, McBride played at the University of Mississippi, where he was a three-year starter with 48 tackles and where he broke up nine passes as a senior.
Gordie Lane — Known for playing hockey as a defenseman for the N.Y. Islanders, Lane worked on the Canadian Railroad during the off-seasons. He also spent some time manufactoring commercial honey on a bee farm in Brandon, Manitoba.
Rubin "Hurricane" Carter — A former prizefighter, Carter earned an honorary championship title belt in 1993 by the World Boxing Council.
Jermain Taylor — During his amateur boxing career, he earned the 1996 Under-19 Championship, the National Golden Glove titles and finished second and third at the 1997 and 1998 U.S. Championships respectively. In 1998, he won a bronze medal at the Goodwill Games. He received the bronze medal for the U.S. team in the 2000 Olympics.
Ken Venturi — The late legendary golfer Ken Venturi, U.S. Open Champion, was a successful commentator for CBS Sports. He is featured in the Stuttering Foundation's Famous People Who Stutter brochure. “Nearly 30 years ago, Ken became our first “Famous Person Who Stutters” – a ever-growing list of more than 100 well-known people who provide hope and courage to the 68 million people who stutter worldwide, said Jane Fraser, president of the Stuttering Foundation. "He was one of the first to offer his help to the stuttering community, and remained faithful to the cause for decades. Ken faced no bigger obstacle than stuttering. Ken Venturi was a hero to those who stutter, going out of his way to share his personal experience when consulted by a colleague, friend, or child who stutters. Ken was the first national spokesman for the Stuttering Foundation nearly three decades ago. As was his way, he offered to fill that role for us because his concern for those who stutter was unparalleled. In a letter dated July 1986, Ken wrote my father, our founder Malcolm Fraser, saying he wished to do whatever he could to help those who stutter.”
Bob Sanders — He has been the Green Bay Packers' defensive coordinator since 2006. Before joining the Packers, he was a linebackers coach with the Miami Dolphins. He coached college football for 22 years.
Jeff Walz — A Kentucky native, he returned to the Bluegrass State to serve as women's basketball coach for the University of Louisville.
Sophie Gustafson — She is a member of the LPGA tour and a life member of the Ladies European Tour. She has five LPGA and 21 international wins in her career. She is featured in the Stuttering Foundation's Famous People Who Stutter brochure.
Shaquille O'Neal — The former NBA player and a current television sports analyst was drafted by the Orlando Magic with the first overall pick in the 1992 draft. He became one of the top centers in the league, winning Rookie of the Year in 1992–93 and later leading his team to the 1995 NBA Finals. He later won three consecutive championships with the Los Angeles Laker in 2000, 2001, and 2002. His fourth NBA championship followed in 2006 with the Miami Heat. He is one of only three players to win NBA MVP, All-Star game MVP and Finals MVP awards in the same year (2000).
Perico Fernandez — Boxer who won WBC Light Welterweight championship.
Juanfran (Juan Francisco Garcia Garcia) — Popular soccer left fullback who has played for Real Madrid and Celta.
Matt Slauson — A New York Jets lineman. While playing for the University of Nebraska, he was a three-time All-Big 12 selection.
Mark Rubin — Defensive back football player for Penn State.
Antonio Dixon — This NFL defensive tackle overcame stuttering, homelessness, and learning disabilities to graduate from the University of Miami.
Herschel Walker — This Heisman Trophy winning running back played for the Dallas Cowboys, the Minnesota Vikings, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the New York Giants.
Ivo Karlovic — This Croatian tennis player has won four ATP singles titles. He is considered to be one of the best servers and tallest players on the ATP tour. He is 6 feet, 10 inches. His height allows him to serve with high speed.
Ellis Lankster — A cornerback for the New York Jets. Before joining New York, he was with the Buffalo Bills. He played college football at West Virginia University.
Sigi Schmid — A German-American soccer coach. He came to America with his family at the age of 4. He played for the University of California, Los Angeles. He later coached that college team. He moved on to coach the Los Angeles Galaxy, the Columbus Crew and the Seattle Sounders FC in Major League Soccer. He has the most coaching wins in MLS history and received the MLS Coach of the Year Award in 1999 and 2008.
Damien Woody — An offensive lineman for the New York Jets. During his years in football he has played every position on the offensive line except left tackle. When he was with the New England Patriots, he was a member of two Super-Bowl-winning teams, 2001 and 2003. He played college football at Boston College.
Writers, authors, producers, composers, and artists
Alan Rabinowitz — As a zoologist, conservationist, and author, Rabinowitz works tirelessly to protect endangered species. One of his most recent books is Beyond the Last Village. He is featured in the Stuttering Foundation's Famous People Who Stutter brochure.
Jeffrey Blitz — This writer, director, and producer recently wrote and directed Rocket Science, a movie about a high schooler who stutters joining the debate team. He also directed Spellbound, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Documentary Feature.
John Updike — This American writer's most popular work is his Rabbit series: Rabbit Run, Rabbit Redux, Rabbit is Rich, Rabbit at Rest, and Rabbit Remembered. Updike, who died Jan. 27, 2009, won Pulitzer Prizes for Rabbit is Rich and Rabbit at Rest. In all, he published 22 novels and more than 12 short story collections, as well as poetry, literary criticism, and children's books.
Somerset Maugham — This English playwright, novelist, and short story writer was one of the most popular and highest paid authors during the 1930s.
Lewis Carroll — This British writer's most famous works include Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, as well as poems The Hunting of the Snark and Jabberwocky. In addition to being an author, he was a mathematician, logician, Anglican clergyman, and photographer.
Margaret Drabble — Probably best known for her novels, Drabble has written screenplays, short stories, plays, and nonfiction biographies.
Jane Seymour — This English actress is probably best known for co-starring in the James Bond film Live and Let Die and on the TV series Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. She is also an author of children's books
Indiana Gregg — This Scottish singer battled her stuttering by writing and performing her own songs as a child. She is a Billboard and VH-1 Save the Music award-winning songwriter.
Marc Shell — He is an author and professor of comparative literature and English at Harvard University. Shell is a forerunner of the literary-critical movement that has been dubbed "New Economic Criticism."
Robert A. Heinlein — He was one of the most popular science fiction writers. Heinlein was one of the first to break into mainstream pubications, such as The Saturday Evening Post in the late 1940s.
Neville Shute — This successful aeronautical engineer was one of the most popular novelists of the mid-20th century. Virtually all of his books remain in print nearly a half-century after his death.
Andrew Lloyd Webber — As a highly successful English composer, he is probably most famous for Cats and Phantom of the Opera.
Jack Eberts — He produced Dances with Wolves, Chariots of Fire, Gandhi and the animiated feature Chicken Run. Eberts is known for being a risk-taker and for his high caliber films.
Dominick Dunne — This writer and investigative journalist often focuses on how high society interacts with the judiciary system.
Charles Darwin — This British naturalist is probably best known for his work The Origin of Species.
John Gregory Dunne — This American novelist was a journalist, screenwriter, essayist, and literary critic. He wrote two non-fiction books about Hollywood, The Studio and Monster. He was also a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books.
Edward Hoagland — This famous author wrote Cat Man, Walking in the Dead Diamond River, African Calliope, and The Tugman's Passage.
Jorge Luis Borges — Argentine writer of short stories and essays considered to be the most influential Latin American writer of the last century. Every year the Argentinean Stuttering Association presents a Jorge Luis Borges Award.
Calvert Casey — Highly acclaimed Cuban writer of short fiction. In 1998, his works were finally released in English with the publication of Calvert Casey: The Collected Stories.
Mike Peters — Syndicated political cartoonist and creator of the Mother Goose & Grim comic strip. He has received the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning.
Jim Davis — The cartoonist from rural Indiana who created Garfield.
Philip Larkin — This British poet was also a novelist and jazz critic. Many regard him as one of the greatest English poets in the latter half of the 20th Century.
Scott Damian— wrote the one act drama, Snapper, for the First Stage LA Playwright’s Express Festival. The one act has been produced as a short feature film, where he served as writer, director and producer. He is developing a New Orleans based supernatural screenplay, and has just finished writing a pilot and two episodes for an original Hollywood satirical episodic titled Switching Hyenas. He has also finished writing his next play, Racing Chase, which is currently in development. After many months of rewrites, Damian has just completed his first book titled, V-V-Voice: A Stutterer’s Odyssey, which will be available on eBooks in the near future.
David Mitchell — This English author is best known for his novels Ghostwritten, number9dream, and Cloud Atlas. In 2007, Time magazine named him one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.
Journalists and photographers
John Stossel — An award-winning journalist, this former 20/20 co-anchor is now with Fox News. Stossel is an author and is a spokesperson for the SFA. He is featured in the SFA's Famous People Who Stutter brochure, and his public service ads about stuttering can be heard on radio stations around the country. Listen to a podcast.
P.F. Bentley — This award-winning photographer for TIME magazine is known for his behind-the-scenes photographs of presidents and congressmen.
Byron Pitts — Chief national correspondent for ABC News, Pitts is an Emmy award-winning journalist and author of Step Out on Nothing.
Henry Luce — Founder of Time, Life, Fortune, Sports Illustrated and House & Home magazines. During college, he was voted "most brilliant" by his class at Yale. Before founding the magazines, he was a reporter for the Chicago Daily News and The Baltimore News.
Jeff Zeleny — A reporter for the New York Times. He was the lead reporter for the 2012 presidential campaign. Before the New York Times, he wrote for the Chicago Tribune, Des Moines Register Star, the Associated Press, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the Florida Times-Union, and the Lincoln Journal Star. While at the Chicago Tribune, he was a member of the newspaper's team that won a Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism in 2001 for documenting gridlock in the United States' air traffic system.
Government leaders and public officials
Vice President Joseph Biden — He began his long political career when he was first elected to the Senate in 1973 at the age of 30, making him the sixth-youngest senator in U.S. history. Biden is pictured in the Stuttering Foundation's Famous People Who Stutter brochure and poster.
Winston Churchill — He served as the British prime minister from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 until 1955. A noted statesman and orator, Churchill was also an officer in the British Army and an author. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953 for historical writing.
Henry M. Paulson Jr. — The U.S. Secretary of the Treasury previously served as the chairman and chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs, one of the world's largest investment banks.
Congressman Frank Wolf — This Virginian congressman has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1981. The longtime supporter of the Stuttering Foundation drew national attention to childhood stuttering in 2006 when he submitted an article about Tiger Woods from the SFA newsletter to the Congressional Record. The congressman is featured in the Stuttering Foundation's Famous People Who Stutter brochure.
Prince Albert of Monaco — The prince became interested in oceanography at the age of 22. He founded the world renowned Oceangraphic Institute in Monaco. It includes an aquarium, museum, and library. He also founded a research facility in Paris.
Miguel Estrada — This prominent attorney was a nominee for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia by President Bush.
Sidney Gottlieb — This controversial CIA psychiatrist and chemist stuttered as a child and earned a master's degree in speech therapy.
Bill Sheffield — He served as governor of Alaska from 1982-86.
King George VI — The king was an inspiration to his country during World War II when he addressed the empire in radio broadcasts. The King's Speech, a new award-winning movie, hightlights his courage. He is featured in the SFA's Famous People Who Stutter brochure.
Annie Glenn — Wife of former astronaut Senator John Glenn, she is active in community service. Glenn has been involved in programs for children, the elderly, and the handicapped. She is also an accomplished organist. Listen to a podcast.
Col. Joshua Chamberlain — The Union colonel in the Civil War was wounded several times and, according to historians, was an inspiration and a hero to his men.
Alan Turing — This British mathematician is considered the father of modern computer science. During World War II, he helped break German codes.
Thomas Kean — This former governor of New Jersey also served as chairman of the 9/11 Commission. After serving as governor, he was president of Drew University for 15 years. He wrote the book The Politics of Inclusion.
Rex Lee — He served as Solicitor General of the United States, as well as a dean of the Brigham Young University School of Law and was a distinguished professor of law and a litigation attorney. He lectured, gave speeches, and brilliantly argued many cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Walter Wriston — As chairman of Citibank/Citicorp from 1967-1984, Wriston was regarded as one of the most influential commerical bankers.
John Sculley — Regarded as a marketing genius, he introduced the "Pepsi Challenge," which helped the soda company gain market share. During the 1980s and 1990s, his ideas helped Apple Computer to mass market the Macintosh computer.
Mike Harper — This ConAgra executive is praised for his early adoption of information technology. He is best known as a hard-charging acquisitions champion at the company.
Jack Welch — During his tenure as chairman of General Electric, he increased the market capitalization of GE by more than $400 billion. He served as GE's chairman from 1981 through 2001. Welch gained a reputation of having a solid, unique business leadership style. Listen to a podcast.
Vince Naimoli — He is known for turning corporations around. He formed Anchor Industries International and was former CEO of Doehler-Jarvis, Harvard Industries, and Ladish Co. He has served on several corporate boards, as well as the University of Tampa Board of Trustees.
Steven Brill — He is a publisher and founder of Court TV, which is now TruTV. Brill also founded Clear Registered Traveler, an airport security company. And he created Brill's Content magazine.
Michael Sheehan — Since 1981, Sheehan has been a leader in the field of communications consulting. He is often called upon to help with critical business situations such as initial public offerings, shareholder meetings, and other issues.
Walter H. Annenberg — This late publisher and philanthropist created TV Guide and Seventeen magazine. He also owned The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News.
Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest — An Australian businessman who made his wealth in mining. He is considered one of the richest people in Australia.
Ernie Canadeo — Founder, president and chief executive of EGC Group, Inc., an advertising agency based in Melville, N.Y.
Stuttering in antiquity
Moses — Some scholars believe Moses, the leader and liberator of the Hebrews, stuttered and point to verses in Exodus.
Demosthenes — Many believe this Athenian, recognized as the greatest Greek orator of ancient times, stuttered.