The Different Types of Speech Impediment, And The Stars Who Didn’t Let It Hold Them Back!

If you or your child are struggling with a speech disorder, it is helpful to know that plenty of hugely successful and highly admired celebrities have overcome speech difficulties to do just fine! There are several different types of common speech impediment, and here we take a look at what they are, and some famous people who have them or have overcome them:


The technical definition of a lisp is where the sound you make when you pronounce an “s” or “z” sounds more like the “th” sound, making “miss” sound like “myth” and so on. It is caused by the way the tongue moves during speech, and is common in children when they have gaps from losing baby teeth and can’t form words normally with the tongue and teeth. Some people continue to lisp and need to have speech therapy if they want to correct it.

Stars who have, or have had a lisp, include Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Humphrey Bogart, Thomas Jefferson and Winston Churchill.


A stutter is defined as when the speaker struggles to speak fluidly, and keeps halting or repeating sounds in an effort to finish words and phrases. It can be caused by nervousness, and most people will have experienced it at one time or another when they are anxious, however some people have permanent stutters that can only be overcome with speech therapy. Many stutterers are, interestingly, unaffected by their stutters when they sing instead of talking.

Celebrities who suffered from stutters include Marilyn Monroe, Bruce Willis (who actually only took up acting as a way to build his confidence and lose his stutter), James Earl Jones, Tiger Woods and the famous Roman Emperor Claudius!


Rhotacism is where the consonant “r” is pronounced unusually. It can cause different effects, for example the “r” sound being pronounced unusually strongly, or coming out like a “w”. It is generally the least noticeable of speech impediments, but can be overcome with speech therapy if it is a problem.

Famous rhotacism subjects include Jonathon Ross (who uses it as one of his trademarks), Barbara Walters, and Joe Strummer from The Clash.

Spasmodic Dysphonia

Spasmodic dysphonia is far rarer than lisping, stuttering or rhotacism, and is a condition where involuntary muscle movements in the voicebox cause unusual or unexpected speech patterns.

The most famous example of somebody with spasmodic dysphonia is Robert Kennedy.

Developmental Delay

Developmental or speech delay is when a child doesn’t begin to speak normally until much later than their peers. It can be seen where a child may remain silent, and communicate mostly with gestures until as late as three or four years old.

The most famous person who showed delayed speech was Albert Einstein, unless you count cartoon characters, in which case the most famous example is probably Maggie Simpson!

If you or someone in your family has any of these forms of speech problems, there is no reason why it should hold you back in life. Take a tip from these famous names and embrace or overcome your speech issues!

Featured images:

Today’s guest author, Matt Cooper, is a photographer by profession. He is passionate about his profession and is always interested to learn more. He is an ardent blogger and enjoys writing articles about various topics.

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