Famous People with Dyslexia

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There are many successful individuals that struggle with Dyslexia who are renowned in their industry. Discover our list of 10 celebrities that have Dyslexia here to inspire you.

Can a person with Dyslexia be successful?

You may be surprised to find out that the following famous people have been diagnosed with dyslexia. We hope this list inspires you to recognise that having dyslexia doesn’t have to be a barrier to success. People with dyslexia have unique skills and qualities, developed as a result of having to do things differently in order to find solutions that work for them. By understanding how your dyslexia impacts you, you can develop your strengths and identify the areas where you may need support. From this, people with dyslexia can go on to make improvements in their lives and prove their potential and successes just like these individuals.

You will find famous people with dyslexia in nearly all industries, from film, fashion design, sport, business and more. These famous individuals have pushed through their barriers to get to where they are today by drawing on their own hidden talents.

10 celebrities with Dyslexia

Whoopi Goldberg

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Whoopi Goldberg is known globally for her comedy and has starred in films such as Sister Act and The Colour Purple. Goldberg did not know she had dyslexia until later in life, and before then thought she was not good enough at school. However, Goldberg has gone on to become one of only 16 people to have won an Emmy Award, Tony Award, Academy Award, and Grammy Award.

Tom Cruise

Image by Gage Skidmore, commons.wikimedia.org

The Mission Impossible star has been very vocal about his struggle with dyslexia. He states that he was ‘functionally illiterate’ and found it difficult to read scripts. However, this hasn’t stopped him from becoming one of the highest-paid actors in the world who is known for doing most of his own stunt work!

Keira Knightley

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Knightley is known for starring in Pirates of the Caribbean, and British dramas such as Atonement, The Imitation Game, and Official Secrets. Knightley was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of six. Despite her dyslexia, she went on to leave school with A* GCSEs.

Jamie Oliver

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Jamie Oliver is a famous British chef known for his cookbooks, cooking shows, and restaurants. He was diagnosed with dyslexia at a young age. Despite his dyslexia, Jamie has used his culinary skills to become a household name.

Salma Hayek

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Salma Hayek is a Mexican actor who was diagnosed with dyslexia when she was a child. When she first moved to the USA, she found it challenging to learn English with her dyslexia. However, Hayek pursued her acting aspirations and is now a world-renowned actor and director, best known for playing the artist Frida Kahlo in her 2002 biopic, Frida.

Danny Glover

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Glover is an actor, film director, and political activist. He found out he was dyslexic at the age of 30 because diagnosis was not common before then, he felt this meant he could not learn properly and would struggle to succeed. However, in 2021, Glover was awarded the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for his “decades-long advocacy for justice and human rights [which] reflects his dedication to recognizing our shared humanity on and off the screen”.

Jennifer Aniston

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Actor Jennifer Aniston has stated that she has always found it hard to remember facts and she felt this slowed her learning and caused her to feel like she was not intelligent enough. Aniston is one of the most successful actors in Hollywood and is best known for playing the role of Rachel in the long-running sitcom Friends.

Richard Branson

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The founder of Virgin has stated that his dyslexia was the reason he left school at just 15. However, Branson credits his dyslexia for his success, he states that ‘being dyslexic means you concentrate on the things you are good at and often excel in them’. Branson’s business success has made him a billionaire and he is now a pioneer of commercial space travel.

Maggie Aderin-Pocock

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Dr Aderin-Pocock is a space scientist, author, inventor and TV presenter. Diagnosed with dyslexia at a young age, she felt demoralised by her tutors for wanting to pursue a career as an astronaut. Despite her dyslexia, Aderin-Pocock became the first African woman to win a gold medal in the Physics News Award.

Steven Spielberg

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Spielberg is best known for directing box office hits such as Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, and ET the Extra Terrestrial. Spielberg was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 60, but remembers being bullied at school and was scared when told to read in class. He stated that his diagnosis was “the last puzzle piece to a great mystery that I’ve kept to myself”. Despite his dyslexia, Spielberg has won two Academy Awards for his directorial work.

Check out our list of jobs for dyslexics for some more inspiration. If you yourself think you may have dyslexia, you can take our free am I dyslexic quiz to see which traits you have.