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24 Celebrities With Dyslexia: Anderson Cooper, Gwen Stefani, Keanu Reeves and More

celebrities with dyslexia
Source: MEGA

Apr. 13 2024, Published 5:00 a.m. ET

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Anderson Cooper

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Cooper reportedly "had an epic meltdown" when he heard he would not be moderating the debate.

Longtime host Anderson Cooper spoke up about his dyslexia decades after he was diagnosed with it as a child, and he reportedly surprised people around him with his revelation.

"I think it's a sign of probably how well I tried to hide it when I was a little kid. I remember at the time being concerned that other people would find out about it," he said during an event for the National Center for Learning Disabilities.

Cooper continued, "To a child with a learning disability, school can be an incredibly isolating place. It made all the difference in my life early on. And the good news is that there are great schools out there, able to provide the necessary resources and support."

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Bella Thorne

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Bella Thorne worked on building her confidence as she embraced her life in Hollywood.

In the "Chicks in the Office" podcast, Bella Thorne promoted her book, The Life of a Wannabe Mogul: Mental Disarray, and opened up about what she struggled with because of dyslexia.

"I don't talk about it in this one, but in the third book it would be the fact that I never learned how to read and I learned how to read from reading scripts," she said. "I never learned how to count and I learned how to count from counting my dad's cash. So, I'm obsessed with money and literal cash."

Thorne's character on the Disney Channel show Shake It Up was also dyslexic. The project allowed her to share more of her story and the disorder.

At one point, she admitted mixing up letters like B and D and M and W.

Caitlyn Jenner

caitlyn jenner
Source: MEGA

Jenner posted 'Good Riddance' following the news of Simpson's death.

Caitlyn Jenner told Esquire in 2012 that she suffered from dyslexia when she was in primary school, but her condition reportedly became her "greatest gift in life."

"It made me special. It made me different. If I had not been dyslexic, I wouldn't have needed sports. I would have been like every other kid. Instead, I found my one thing, and I was never going to let go of it," said the former Olympian.

She wrote a blog post in 2015 about how she conquered her condition and her scripted speech at the ESPYs.

Jenner went on, "At the ESPYs, I really had to stick to the prompter because I only had a certain number of minutes to make it right, to get my points across. I practiced, and practiced, and practiced, and practiced to make sure I'd nail it."

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Channing Tatum

channing tatum
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Channing Tatum struggled with ADHD and dyslexia in school, and he reportedly never considered himself "a very smart person."

"Not having early success on that one path messes with you," he told T, The New York Times Style Magazine. "You get lumped in classes with kids with autism and Down syndrome, and you look around and say, 'Okay, so this is where I'm at.' Or you get put in the typical classes and you say, 'All right, I'm obviously not like these kids either.' So you're kind of nowhere. You're just different."

Tatum added, "You're just different. The system is broken. If we can streamline a multibillion-dollar company, we should be able to help kids who struggle the way I did."

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Source: MEGA

Cher dropped out of school because of her condition.

For years, Cher has shared her inability to read in the past and how it became one of the reasons she dropped out.

"I never read in school. I got really bad grades, D's and F's and C's in some classes, and A's and B's in other classes," she said in an interview.

Cher was only diagnosed with dyslexia when she was in her 30s.

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Chris Rock

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Schneider and Rock worked together on Saturday Night Live in the early '90s.

In 2020, Chris Rock shared his nonverbal learning disorder (NVLD) with The Hollywood Reporter. He revealed he needed to undergo seven hours of therapy a week due to fear he might have Asperger's syndrome.

After more cognitive tests, he was officially diagnosed with NVLD.

"All I understand are the words," he said.

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Daniel Radcliffe

daniel radcliffe
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Daniel Radcliffe was 12 when he started working in the 'Harry Potter' franchise.

Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe suffered from dyspraxia, a learning disability that is often connected with dyslexia. He revealed the motor skill has affected him and preventing him from completing tasks.

Still, he knew the positive things that it could bring.

"It has never held me back, and some of the smartest people I know are people who have learning disabilities," he told a young girl who was also diagnosed with the same disorder.

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Danny Glover

danny glover
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Danny Glover admitted to feeling 'unworthy to learn.'

From his school days to his time in Hollywood, Danny Glover received the most heartbreaking comments because of his dyslexia.

"I also dealt with the images I had of myself [in relation to] what is considered acceptable, physically looking," Glover told ABILITY. "The whole thing about dyslexia, in a sense, is that it made me feel as if I was in some sort unworthy to learn."

He added, "I always felt that because I didn't have an appropriate way of dealing with that, I could not get beyond my feeling of being diminished, I didn't have an appropriate way of creating some kind of space for myself which was very important."

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Gwen Stefani

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Source: MEGA

Gwen Stefani became the leader and co-founder of No Doubt.

In 2020, Gwen Stefani disclosed her dyslexia diagnosis for the first time after realizing her children had problems learning to read. Although she struggled because of the condition, she revealed it helped her write songs.

"The moment I wrote my first song - I had no idea that I could do that. It just happened - it unlocked something inside me," she said, as cited by Fox News.

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Henry Winkler

henry winkler
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Henry Winkler was reportedly a slow reader that people often called him 'dumb.'

At 31, Henry Winkler learned the reason behind his learning difficulty when diagnosed with dyslexia.

Speaking in a sit-down interview with TODAY, he revealed he hit his head whenever he got frustrated by how his brain worked.

"I sat around the table reading Happy Days in the '70s," he said. "Now, I'm reading it and I'm stumbling. I stumble because I can't read off the page. No matter how hard I try, it is a difficult process for me."

Winkler continued, "I'm messing up other people's timing. I'm slowing the process down. I'm making jokes because I'm hiding behind humor in my embarrassment."

The Fonzie actor expressed his wish he had known when his dyslexia started as he felt ashamed because of his lack of comprehension in school and at home.

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Jamie Oliver

jamie oliver
Source: MEGA

Jamie Oliver said the kitchen saved him from his reading and writing problems.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, who left school when he was 16, delivered a heartfelt message while also sharing his experience with dyslexia.

"The wider world is more open to you coming at life in a slightly different way. You don't have to be conventional, you just have to have the confidence to do it," he wrote on Instagram on GCSE to remind his fans that they should not let their school grades define them.

Oliver added, "We need to embrace everyone's inner genius, which definitely comes in different shapes and forms. Whatever your results today, I know you can and will achieve amazing things!"

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Jay Leno

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Source: MEGA

Jay Leno took years before he learned about his dyslexia.

Jay Leno used dyslexia to further his career after growing up with his depression-era parents.

"My mother always said to me, since I was dyslexic, 'You're going to have to work twice as hard as the other kids to get the same thing.' I said, 'OK. That seems fair.' And I did work twice as hard to get the same thing," Leno noted.

He added, "I remember going to the comedy clubs and people would line up at 6:00 p.m. for auditions to get a spot at midnight. By 9:00 p.m. guys would go, 'I'm not waiting in line.' They would leave and then I would move on up."

Anderson Cooper
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Jennifer Aniston

jennifer aniston
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Jennifer Aniston knew about her condition in her 20s.

For 20 years, Jennifer Aniston battled with dyslexia while also dealing with her issues.

"The only reason I knew [that I had it] was because I went to get a prescription for glasses," she recalled in her interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "I had to wear these Buddy Holly glasses. One had a blue lens and one had a red lens. And I had to read a paragraph, and they gave me a quiz, gave me 10 questions based on what I'd just read, and I think I got three right."

The Friends actress added, "Then they put a computer on my eyes, showing where my eyes went when I read. My eyes would jump four words and go back two words, and I also had a little bit of a lazy eye, like a crossed eye, which they always have to correct in photos."

Before her diagnosis, Aniston said she thought she was not smart when in fact, she just "could not retain anything."

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Source: MEGA

Jewel learned to read on her own due to her learning disorder.

Jewel has successfully established her career as a singer and songwriter, but she also faced problems along the way.

The "You Were Meant for Me" singer, born Jewel Kilcher, reportedly thought she would be a writer because of her dyslexia.

"The dyslexia thing was really hard: I had no idea I was smart, I had no idea… It was all just hard; school was hard, math was really hard," she admitted.

Jewel credited an amazing teacher who pushed her to be inspired when she was in the eighth grade.

Her condition soon pushed her to lead a symposium for high school teachers to share with them how to teach dyslexic students.

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Keanu Reeves

keanu reeves
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Keanu Reeves quit school but developed a love for reading and storytelling, which helped him make his way to Hollywood.

Keanu Reeves struggled with dyslexia growing up, making it difficult for him to distinguish letters and words.

"I was just a little too rambunctious and shot my mouth off once too often. I was not generally the most well-oiled machine in the school," he said when he got expelled from a high school.

While the John Wick actor had trouble reading, he was reportedly interested in stories and became more attracted to acting.

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Keira Knightley

keira knightley
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Keira Knightley credited her dyslexia for helping her become who she is.

Through Sense and Sensibility, Keira Knightley overcame her childhood dyslexia, which she dealt with for years. She revealed she focused on the script by also using her imagination.

"I was – am – dyslexic and the way she got me over it was to say: 'If Emma Thompson couldn't read, she'd make f------ sure she'd get over it, so you have to start reading, because that's what Emma Thompson would do,'" she shared.

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Manuel Garcia-Rulfo

manuel garcia rulfo
Source: MEGA

Manuel Garcia-Rulfo scored the lead role in the Netflix series, 'The Lincoln Lawyer.'

Manuel Garcia-Rulfo was tapped to lead the Netflix remake of The Lincoln Lawyer, and he worked on his dyslexia to prevent his nervousness from increasing while working on the project.

"I bought a blackboard and put it in my apartment and — it was crazy — I made mental maps with images, drawings," he shared in his interview. "I did it for every scene. If there was a gun, he drew a gun. It's easier for me to learn that way."

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Octavia Spencer

octavia spencer
Source: MEGA

Octavia Spencer has been open about her love for reading.

Octavia Spencer has always struggled with her dyslexia, but she uses her condition to inspire others and remind them that the disorder does not mean one is not intelligent.

"I just remember thinking differently. I could solve puzzles quicker than the average child. I would start with the mazes at the end and go to the front and be done in, like, 30 seconds. My deductive reasoning was very important," she said.

Spencer recalled, "My teacher told me, 'You have to pay attention to everything because you don't know what is a clue.' That's how my brain processes information now. I can always tell people, 'This is what's about to happen. Connect the dots.'"

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Orlando Bloom

orlando bloom
Source: MEGA

Orlando Bloom reportedly tried to hide his condition from his classmates.

Orlando Bloom was diagnosed with dyslexia when he was 7, and he tried to keep it a secret from his classmates. The same condition also led him to turn down a Saturday Night Live gig because of his insecurity at the time.

"I was just like, partly my dyslexia, partly like that window of time where I couldn't even … think straight and see the wood through the trees," he told Howard Stern on The Howard Stern Show. "I would love to [host] Saturday Night Live now."

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Salma Hayek

salma hayek
Source: MEGA

Salma Hayek was diagnosed when she was a teen.

Salma Hayek's dyslexia made it hard for her to learn a new language when she moved from Mexico to Los Angeles when she was 25. After overcoming the challenges, she became one of the most sought-after Latinas in Hollywood.

"I'm really a fast learner. I always was, which is maybe why in high school they didn't realize I had dyslexia. I skipped years without studying too much," she said.

Hayek's efforts landed her in her breakout role in Frida in 2002.

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Steven Spielberg

steven spielberg
Source: MEGA

Steven Spielberg only learned about his dyslexia when he turned 60.

Steven Spielberg, the current No. 2 on Forbes's Celebrity Billionaires 2024, used filmmaking to escape his dyslexia. The filmmaker was properly diagnosed with the disorder in the late 2000s as he noticed he could not recognize certain symbols.

In the past, his inability to read reportedly caused him to suffer from bullying. He later discovered how films could save him.

"Movies really helped me, kind of saved me from shame, from guilt, from putting it on myself … when it wasn't my burden." Spielberg said. "I think making movies was my great escape, it was how I could get away from all that."

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Tom Cruise

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The reunion came after sources said Cruise was still 'bitter' over the 2007 friendship split.

Even Tom Cruise shocked everyone when he revealed his dyslexia diagnosis. While he scored his first movie break when he was a teen, he faced challenges at the time because of his inability to read his lines.

"I'd try to concentrate on what I was reading," he said of his condition. "Then I'd get to the end of the page and have very little memory of anything I'd read. I would go blank, feel anxious, nervous, bored, frustrated, dumb. I would get angry. My legs would actually hurt when I was studying. My head ached."

Cruise's condition led him to become quick-witted, telling People how he would learn things when he was a kid.

"If I had a test in the afternoon, I'd find kids at lunchtime who'd taken the test that morning and find out what it was like," he shared with the magazine.

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Tom Holland

tom holland
Source: MEGA

Tom Holland was diagnosed with the condition when he was 7.

Tom Holland got enrolled in a private school when he was diagnosed with dyslexia.

His years of battle against the condition continue, though some social media users still criticize him for spelling and grammar errors online despite knowing about his diagnosis. Despite the challenges, the Spider-Man: No Way Home star has always been prepared and patient to succeed in his career.

"It's just about taking your time… giving yourself an appropriate amount of time to do the things you need to do," Holland disclosed. "The better prepared you are for anything, the more you'll be able to do and accomplish things that are fantastic."

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Whoopi Goldberg

whoopi goldberg
Source: MEGA

Whoopi Goldberg was reportedly bullied in school due to her condition.

Whoopi Goldberg only found out she has dyslexia after dropping out amid the bullying. Still, she found solace because of her mother's support.

"What I remember about being a kid was that I felt pretty protected, I wasn't afraid, and I had a mother who understood after a while that there was something different about the way I learned," she said in an interview.



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