Hollywood stars

5 Hollywood Stars Who Overcame Childhood Stuttering: From Emily Blunt to Samuel L Jackson






Emmy Griffiths




Speech therapy is hugely important for those struggling with stuttering or speech impediments, which can affect some people from early childhood – with the service providing essential help to those who need it. While it might be hard to imagine, a host of A-list stars had childhood stutters that were helped. So, who has had speech therapy over the years? The folks at Preply have brought together some of Hollywood’s biggest stars who overcame childhood stuttering…

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Samuel L Jackson

Samuel previously opened about his stutter, recounting QG“I really, really, really stuttered badly for a long time…to the point that I stopped talking for, like, almost a year in school.”

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He revealed that his aunt took him to speech therapy which helped but he will still have bad days sometimes with his stutter. And what else helps? His signature swear word! He explained, “That’s right. He clicks a switch that turns off the dddd, bbbb.”

James Earl Jones

Darth Vader himself had a stutter at a younger age and had to undergo speech therapy. He said poetry and acting were key factors in helping him overcome his stutter. Talking about how his life has changed since becoming “non-verbal” as a child due to his stutter during the Dick Cavett Show, he said: “I had a high school English teacher who discovered that when I read my own poetry, I didn’t stutter, because I wasn’t dealing with other people’s feelings or thoughts, but my own.

“And it went better so I practiced reading poetry for a while and I think that’s what made me want to read dramatic interpretations.”

Bruce Willis

The die hard star struggled at school due to teasing about his stutter, which led to him taking acting classes in an attempt to overcome the stutter. He eventually went to Montclair State College to study acting, where his drama teacher arranged for him to see a speech therapist.

Speaking at the American Institute for Stuttering’s annual gala in 2016, Bruce said: “The hardest thing I can remember was being a child who stuttered. My advice to people in this room is to never let anyone make you feel like an outcast, because you’re never an outcast.”

Emily Blunt

Emily saw many specialists for her childhood stutter, but was successful after her teacher suggested she try speaking in different accents to say her lines, which worked! She said O magazine: “I had a big problem with stuttering when I was a kid. I tried to push the words, but it was frustrating. My parents took me to see speech and relaxation coaches. It didn’t didn’t work.

“Then one of my teachers at school had a brilliant idea and said, ‘Why don’t you speak with an accent in our play?’ I got away from myself through this character, and it was so freeing that my stuttering stopped when I was on stage. It was truly a miracle.”

EXCLUSIVE: Emily Blunt opens up about childhood stuttering and offers advice for parents

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Marilyn Monroe

The movie icon had a stutter that troubled her periodically throughout her life. In fact, his breathy voice that would become an iconic trademark was the result of his speech therapist teaching him to deliberately breathe before speaking in order to counteract his stutter!

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