Famous People with Fear of Public Speaking

Below is a list of some well known celebrities and historical figures that have admitted fears of speaking in public and have also struggled with stuttering.  Stuttering is a side effect of general anxieties related to speaking in public.

Bruce WillisBruce Willis – Walter Bruce Willis (born March 19, 1955) is a German-born American actor and singer. He came to fame in the late 1980s and has since retained a career as both a Hollywood leading man and a supporting actor. Being the leading actor in some of the greatest action movies Bruce Willis has had stuttering problems throughout his youth and was always scared it would affect his acting career. Fortunately he successfully overcame it.

Tiger WoodsTiger Woods – Tiger Woods (born Eldrick Tiger Woods, December 30, 1975) is an American professional golfer whose achievements to date rank him among the most successful golfers of all time. Tiger Woods had stuttering problems at childhood but he overcame it through hard work and practice. He admitted doing everything possible to conquer his speech disorder including talking to his dog until he would fall asleep.

Julia RobertsJulia Roberts – Academy Award-winning actress. Julia Fiona Roberts (born October 28, 1967) is an Academy Award winning American film actress and former fashion model. Roberts has become the highest paid actress in the world, topping the annual power list of top earning female stars for four consecutive years. Julia Roberts admitted the fact that she stuttered when she was younger, but she now speaks fluidly and is a respected actress.

Mel TillisMel Tillis – (born Lonnie Melvin Tillis August 8, 1932) is an American country music singer and songwriter. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and received the lifetime achievement award in 2007. He has also been inducted into the Grand Ole Opry. Tillis and his band, the Statesiders, released such hits as ?I Ain?t Never,? ?Good Woman Blues,? and ?I Believe in You.? His stutter developed during his childhood, a result of a bout of malaria.

In the past I have spoken but I always dreaded the time leading up to it. Whenever I spoke, I felt awful and hated enduring it. After I listened to Speak Up Without Fear, I spoke in front of a group of about 30 individuals.
For the first time in my life I felt comfortable and confident the entire time. My fear of speaking was no longer an issue. -Tammi Koep, MD
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Anthony QuinnAnthony Quinn – (April 21, 1915 ? June 3, 2001) Anthony Quinn launched his career by making several movies in 1936, the older he got the more successful his movies turned to be. He has taken many macho roles and has played in movies of all sorts. Anthony Quinn was a good actor and an accomplished artist, often working on paintings and sculptures finding his inspiration from the most simple things.

Jimmy StewartJimmy Stewart – James Maitland Stewart (20 May 1908 ? 2 July 1997), popularly known as Jimmy Stewart especially in the United States, was an iconic, Academy Award-winning American film and stage actor. Throughout his seven decades in Hollywood, Stewart featured in classics such as The Philadelphia Story, Harvey, It’s a Wonderful Life, Rear Window, Rope, and Vertigo. His stuttered speech, long legs and clumsy hands seemed to give his characters a familiar quality with which most Americans could easily identify. Jimmy Stewart, whose shy stutter and range of classic film roles made him the most loved and admired of all American actors. He died aged 89 having suffered from a variety of illnesses in the past decade, and had rarely ventured into public since the 1994 death of his wife, Gloria.

Nicholas BrendonNicholas Brendon – (born April 12, 1971, as Nicholas Brendon Schultz in Los Angeles, California), is an actor best known for his character Xander Harris in the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003). At the age of 20 he decided to try his hand at acting to help him overcome his stuttering problem but gave it up after two years because, “I couldn’t stand the politics in Hollywood.” Brendon’s role on Buffy the Vampire Slayer as Xander Harris, was initially that of the occasional comic relief and plucky sidekick to the lead female characters, but after the earlier seasons less comedic lines were given to the part. When the series ended in 2003, Brendon joined the cast of a new Fox sitcom, Kitchen Confidential. Brendon has played a major part in the Stuttering Foundation of America. He was the first person to serve the role of honorary chairperson of the Stuttering Foundation of America’s Stuttering Awareness Week for three consecutive years, from 2000-2003.

Eric RobertsEric Roberts - Eric Anthony Roberts (born on April 18, 1956, in Biloxi, Mississippi) is an Academy Award-nominated American film and stage actor. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1985 for his role as the escaped convict Buck in the film Runaway Train. In 1987, he won the Theatre World Award for his Broadway debut performance in Burn This. His sisters Julia Roberts and Lisa Roberts Gillan are also actors. Eric recently revealed he still suffers occasional stuttering relapses, most notably on a late night talk show.

Rowan AtkinsonRowan Atkinson – (born 6 January 1955) Rowan is an English comedian, writer and actor famous for his British roles in the television series Mr.Bean and Blackadder. He has been listed as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy. Rowan’s first Mr.Bean television appearence was in1990 on New Years Day in a half hour special for Thames Television. His strong talent in facial expressions has made him capable of doing visually based comedies with little or no dialogue, he has sometimes been called “the man with the rubber face”. Atkinson had a stutter as a child and had problems with the letter B. He oversomes it through over-articulation which he turned into a comic device.

Sam NeillSam Neill – (born 14 September 1947) Sam Neill is a New Zealand television and film actor most renown for his role as Alan Grant in the hit movie Jurassic Park. After working at the New Zealand National film unit as an actor and director he was given a role in the Australian classic film Sleeping Dogs. As a child, Sam had a stutter which he worked very hard to control. In a rare instance, you may still make this stutter out in some of his movies.

Samuel L. JacksonSamuel L. Jackson – (born December 21, 1948) Samuel L. Jackson is an American academy award winning actor and is well known for many of his movies. He is mostly involved in serious roles where his character is both strong and intelligent. Most of his career’s success began with Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction movie, from there most of his movies were instantly a hit and only a few of his performances were not well known or liked by the public. Whenever this would happen he would always regain the spotlight with more successful projects. As a boy, he was afflicted with a debilitating stutter, and Jackson initially took up acting only at the urging of his speech therapist.

Winston ChurchillWinston Churchill – Churchill described himself as having a “speech impediment”, which he consistently worked to overcome. After many years, he finally stated, “My impediment is no hindrance.” Although the Stuttering Foundation of America has claimed that Churchill stammered, the Churchill Centre has concluded that he lisped. Churchill’s impediment may also have been cluttering, which would fit more with his lack of attention to unimportant details and his very secure ego. According to several sources Winston Churchill was not dyslexic and had no learning disability whatsoever.

AristotleAristotle – (384 BC ? 322 BC) Aristotle was a Greek philosopher writing on many different subjects including zoology, biology, ethics, government, politics, physics, metaphysics, music, poetry and theater. He was also a great teacher for Alexander the Great. Aristotle was one of the first to point out that epilepsy and genius were often closely connected. Aristotle had an inaccurate conception of the cause of stuttering. He thought it was caused by a malfunctioning tongue.

Sir Isaac NewtonSir Isaac Newton – (4 January 1643 ? 31 March 1727) Noted scientist who is responsible for founding the three laws of motion along with studies concerning Universal Gravitation. He studied many scientific disciplines but mainly stayed inside the field of mechanics. It is said that Newton had mainly discovered gravity by examining a falling apple. Was thought by many a product of psychosis but he may just have been in his right mind. Isaac Newton once asked that the windows of Parliament be closed so the public wouldn’t hear his stuttering.

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Julia RobertsFear of public speaking is more common than you think! Read how other famous figures have overcome their fears. If they can do it, so can you! Read More >>


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