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Famous people with hearing loss

June 30, 2016 by Paul Harrison
Published in: Hearing Aids

Famous people with hearing loss

Hearing loss is more common that you may think. In the UK alone there are around 11 million people living with hearing loss. It doesn’t just affect people of a certain age or culture, it can happen to anyone. When faced with losing their hearing, many people feel they can no longer do things they enjoy or follow their dreams.

Here’s a list of famous people who are living with hearing loss, some of them may surprise you.

Pete Townsend

Guitarist and songwriter for The Who, Pete Townsend has noise induced hearing loss due to playing at concerts. The Who built a reputation for their loud music, earning them a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for the loudest concert ever in 1976. At this gig, the volume 32 meters from the stage was recorded at 126 decibels. That’s louder than an ambulance siren or a pneumatic drill. As part of their show, explosives were regularly used to blow up the drum kit.

He now wears in ear monitors at concerts to manage the noise levels. When composing music he uses computers and modern technology to compensate for his high frequency hearing loss.

Stephanie Beecham

Famous for her roles in Tenko, Connie and Dynasty she also starred alongside Marlon Brando in the film ‘The Nightcomers’. She has total hearing loss in one ear and partial hearing loss in the other ear since childhood.

Karen Hardy

Best known for being a professional dancer and choreography critic on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, Karen won the competition with cricketer Mark Rampakash in 2006.

As a child Karen suffered from a chloesteatoma, a benign growth in the middle ear which causes deafness, balance problems and if not treated can be fatal. The surgery to remove the growth was successful but left Karen with hearing loss in one ear.

Despite being told she wouldn’t be able to dance professionally, she went on to win, among others, the World Masters Championship. Along with her work on Strictly Come Dancing she works as a dance teacher.

Leslie Nielsen

The star of over 100 films including The Poseidon Adventure, Forbidden Planet, The Naked Gun and Airplane, Leslie Nielsen also starred in many television roles. The actor, who has his own star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame had severe hearing loss and was legally deaf.

Rob Lowe

80’s heartthrob and brat pack actor, Rob Lowe became famous for his roles in The Outsiders, St Elmo’s Fire and About Last Night. More recent roles include Wayne’s World, The West Wing and Parks and Recreation.

After having mumps as a baby he became deaf in one ear.

Whoopi Goldberg

Comedian, actress and talk show host Whoopi Goldberg won an academy award for her role in The Color Purple. Her film roles also include Sister Act, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Ghost and The Lion King. Along with her acting roles she currently hosts talk show The View.

Whoopi has noise induced hearing loss, probably caused by listening to loud music at concerts and on headphones. She wears hearing aids and has spoken about the dangers of loud music.

Marlee Matlin

After winning an academy award at 21 for her first film role in ‘Children of a Lesser God’, Marlee Matlin has gone on to star in many films. Her television roles include The West Wing, Law and Order, Seinfeld, and Switched at Birth. She has written four books and is an advocate for American Sign Language.

Marlee is profoundly deaf after losing her hearing at 18 months old.

Bill Clinton

Twice elected American President, Bill Clinton wears two in canal hearing aids. He has noise induced hearing loss caused by loud music, loud noise at political rallies and hunting rifles. 

Author: Paul Harrison

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