A number of famous people we all know and regard as little less than celestial in real life used to have (and some are having still) problems that are both astonishing and unpalatable. What about being unable to read or coordinate your routine movements? See who faced their childhood challenges and came out with flying colors!
Jennifer Aniston found out she had dyslexia at 20
Dyslexia is a tricky problem, not always easily detectable. For one, TV Friends’s star Aniston had no idea she was dyslexic until she turned 20. When Aniston realized she had dyslexia she understood the difficulties she had had reading at school making her assume the clown‘s role in class. The diagnosis brought great enlightenment. “I felt like all my childhood trauma-dies, tragedies, dramas, were explained,” shared Aniston with The Hollywood Reporter.
Whoopi Goldberg (dyslexia)
Whoopi Goldberg has been having dyslexia for a long time, and other school kids used to call her “dumb.” Back then she was not aware of the condition and how common it is; her mother applied treatment, advising her not to take heed. She instilled in her daughter the idea that she could become the kind of person she meant to. Placing trust in her mom’s words, Goldberg chose the path of a comedian and hosting TV shows. She ended up collecting a Grammy, an Emmy, an Academy Award, and a Tony Award – the feat that only a handful of people achieved. Goldberg claims that her success hangs on her ability to think differently.
Daniel Radcliffe has dyspraxia
While his hero character Harry Potter is a Quidditch wizard who accomplishes a lot of things both on and off broomstick, the actor Daniel Radcliffe returning home from the set becomes a victim of dyspraxia and has trouble going through routine motions. He even finds it difficult to write. At the age of 9, he admits, he “was having a hard time in school,” and Daniel‘s mother thought of acting in a play, seeking to raise his self-confidence. He went to an audition – and his mom turned out to be right!
Steven Spielberg encountered dyslexia, too
Spielberg and dyslexia has had a long story together, although this movie industry icon wasn’t aware of the fact before he was into his 60ies. In his adolescence he had a harsh time at school where he was bullied, then, having entered college, he stayed there till 1968 and dropped out. Recalling those days, the renowned filmmaker produced a few impressive movies – like his memorable The Goonies created after a story of his, showcasing an outsider teen who considers himself to be a “nerd.”
Muhammad Ali had difficulties reading
Ali managed to embrace so many things during his life, the art of turning a phrase among others. His quotations make several books, his rhyming abilities made him known as the First Heavyweight Champion of Rap. Yet the fabulous boxer was dyslexic and found the printed text a more formidable opponent than those he encountered on the ring. Still, it didn’t stop him from being quoted and revered as a master of words.
Cara Delevingne: dyspraxia
The summer of 2015 will be remembered by Cara Delevingne by her first US Vogue cover. The world woke to her success – and learned about her disability at the same time dyspraxia. Delevingne opened up to the Vogue about her dyspraxia which made her schooling period seem to be a sheer nightmare. The writing was elusive, exams were torture. She bore it till the sixth form and then switched on to an art and drama changing her school.
Richard Branson surprisingly has dyslexia too
Another person who came to delight in his “different way of thinking” was Richard Branson, and it was obvious to his mentors: his high school principal was sure that dyslexic boy would either become a jailbird or a millionaire. Almost right, it should have been a billionaire. The entrepreneur set up over 400 companies, the Virgin Group, and an airline among them. Whether Queen Elizabeth was aware that he had dyslexia is not certain, but she was sure he was worthy of a knighthood.
Now we know Cher as an actress and a singer fully deserving her Academy Award and her Grammy. But her school days were vastly different for no obvious (undiagnosed at the time) reasons. “I couldn’t read quickly enough to get all my homework done and for me, math was like trying to understand Sanskrit,” her autobiography reveals. She tried to make up for her difficulties by listening carefully to things explained in class. Cher learned about her condition only when she got busy checking her child for thinking differences.
Keira Knightley: diagnosed with dyslexia at 6
Keira Knightley was one of those whose dyslexia was detected quite soon – she was 6 when she learned what the deal is. The girl was quick to use the knowledge to her advantage: she was into acting, and she agreed to work to improve her reading if her parents find a talent agent for her. They didn’t know back then that she would rise to the top list of Hollywood’s stars, but they did right to concede. Knightley has got now piles of movie scripts, so she also benefited from her reading practice.
Orlando Bloom has dyslexia
The actor who distinguished himself first in the Lord of the Rings ans later in Pirates of the Caribbean also suffers from dyslexia. His affliction became clear when he went to school, and as compensation Bloom‘s mother directed him to study art and drama. It proved to be one fortunate idea! Bloom made a name for himself in cinema as well as on Broadway starring in the role of Romeo in Shakespeare’s masterpiece at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in 2013.
Florence Welch: dyspraxia and dyslexia
Florence Welch founded, writes songs and sings them in the Florence + The Machine band. She has both dyspraxia and dyslexia and is very open about her experience; actually, when she talks to reporters and TV hosts, she claims she takes pride in her condition. When a schoolgirl, she had a difficult time due to her affliciton – and to the habit of bursting into a song. Troublesome at school, this habit proved advantageous for her career. “We dyspraxics think in a different way,” Welch comments on her dyspraxia. “The fact that I work in a creative industry probably helps.“
Tom Cruise: diagnosed at the age of 7
One of the distinguished action actors Tom Cruise was 7 when he learned he had dyslexia.“I’d try to concentrate on what I was reading, then I’d get to the end of the page and have very little memory of anything I’d read”. Yet Cruise refused to be put out by the diagnosis. He cast around for various techniques that could help him retain the information and mastered the task so well that he is now a movie star with more awards than most Hollywood die-hards!
Carrey collected two Golden Globes at the end of the previous century following his initial success in Ace Ventura, The Mask, Dumb & Dumber which gained him an enviable reputation as a comedian. He is also acclaimed as a psychological drama actor, a writer, and a singer. He struggled a lot at school due to the fact that he was an undiagnosed dyslexic.
Jamie Oliver opened up about his school experience and shared very interesting thoughts on contemporary education in general:
Other famous people with dyslexia
Dyslexia is a disorder that makes reading, pronouncing words, and remembering read information problematic; it occurs quite often, affecting about 5% of the world’s population. The condition doesn’t lend itself to diagnosing easily, consequently, it was studied well only in the second half of the 20th century. Treatments should be adapted to each particular patient to be effective, both for teenagers or adults. Experts state that many famous individuals may have suffered from some forms of dyslexia, such as Pablo Picasso, Leonardo da Vinci, Saint Teresa, Napoleon, Winston Churchill, Carl Jung, Albert Einstein, Walt Disney, and Thomas Edison.
Several US Presidents like John F Kennedy, George Washington and George W. Bush could have been afflicted by dyslexia.