Famous People You May Not Have Known Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

A hearing impairment or hearing loss is typically described as a full or partial decrease in the ability to hear or understand sounds. Individuals who are hard of hearing generally have mild-to-moderate hearing loss and are usually not considered deaf.

Hearing loss can affect anyone — even the young, and even the rich and famous.

While we all know that the amazing composer and pianist Ludwig Van Beethoven was completely deaf, here are some famous people you may not have known are deaf or hard of hearing:

  1. Whoopi Goldberg

The Academy Award winner and co-host of The View attributes her hearing loss to years of listening to loud music.

Goldberg wears hearing aids and advises others to stop hearing loss in its tracks. The 60-year-old actress openly talked about it during a discussion on ‘The View’ about a warning issued by the World Health Organization for music lovers to limit their listening to an hour a day to prevent hearing loss.

  1. Lou Ferrigno 

Actor and former bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno is best known as TV’s Incredible Hulk. Now in his mid sixties, he’s worn hearing aids since he was 4.

Ferrigno lost about 75 percent of his hearing at the age of 3 due to an ear infection, and at age 4 was fitted with his first hearing aids. He is seen as an icon to the deaf community as he transcends and connects deaf culture to the film as well as the fitness industry.

  1. Derrick Coleman

The first deaf offensive player in the NFL got diagnosed with hearing loss at the age of 3. As a kid, Coleman was subjected to bullying from classmates and even teachers.

He began playing football in high school and learned to read lips on the field. He wears hearing aids in both ears. 

  1. Bill Clinton

Like many boomers, Clinton ignored his hearing difficulties for years until doctors diagnosed him with high-frequency hearing deficiency, the most common form of hearing loss. Described as an inability to distinguish sounds in noisy, crowded situations with a lot of background chatter (such as restaurants, theaters or political rallies), it’s linked to aging and exposure to loud noise. Clinton now wears two in-canal hearing aids.

  1. Halle Berry 
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – FEBRUARY 19: Halle Berry arrives at the 2nd Annual Unite4:humanity Event at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 19, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

Oscar winner lost 80 percent of her hearing in her left ear as a victim of domestic violence some 20 years ago.

She openly and frequently speaks about her hearing loss to raise awareness about domestic violence and help other women.

  1. Marlee Beth Matlin

Matlin is the only American deaf performer to win the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Children of a Lesser God.

She was only 18 months old when an illness permanently damaged all hearing in her right ear, and 80 percent of the hearing in her left ear. Matlin pursued a professional acting career despite being legally deaf, and is a big inspirational role model to many.

  1. Robert Redford

Famous actor suffered a severe ear infection that permanently robbed him of 60 percent of his hearing in his left ear after filming his critically acclaimed 2013 movie, All Is Lost.

Redford insisted on performing his own stunts while playing a solo sailor stranded in the Indian Ocean, and being repeatedly submerged in a massive water tank for days and showered with water from an off-camera hose.

  1. Ryan Horan

Finally, Resonance Audiology’s own star – Ryan Horan, an amazing audiologist and a former basketball star.

Ryan has suffered from hearing loss since he was just three years old. He has faced progressive hearing and balance loss since childhood, and while he speaks well, he is able to understand others via hearing aids and lip-reading.

Originally from Lancaster, Horan was a basketball star, but his basketball career was ended due to hearing loss and dizziness. The hearing loss presented challenges on and off the basketball court, each one leading him closer to his calling.

Ryan received his Doctorate of Audiology from Sallis University in Elkins Park. Today, he is passionate about helping people like himself, who suffer from hearing problems.

So if you thought you were alone in your hearing challenges, know that there are millions of people around the world who are dealing with hearing loss on a daily basis. And, there’s absolutely no reason to let hearing loss hold you back!

Let this be a reminder to everyone who suffers, or know someone who suffers from hearing problems, and an invitation to start exploring all the superior hearing healthcare and treatment solutions our expert audiologists in Lancaster PA offer.

At Resonance Audiology & Hearing Aid Center, LLC, we are here to help you with a hearing test, professional screening and selecting and fitting the hearing device best suited to your personal, professional, cosmetic and financial needs. 

Take steps to ensure you’re hearing your best and doing everything to protect it by contacting best hearing doctors in Lancaster PA today.

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