Living with a disability is considerably challenging. Although some people, like our Mammaw, consider deafness a “minor inconvenience.” Life is all about perspective. So, when she lost her hearing at the age of 5 she didn’t let it stop her. It was 1938, and going to a “special” school was not on her to-do list. She chose to learn to read lips and stayed with it. She graduated and even went to technical school. Though she’s not famous, she is a star in our eyes.
Stephen Collins isn’t deaf, but he’s another star in our opinion. If you take the time to review this man’s history, you’ll find that he’s been acting since 1971. Add to that the fact that he’s a musician, writer, and director, and we are sure you can see why he’s on our celebrity list. Besides, who didn’t love him in 7th Heaven and Law & Order? But, since he’s not deaf, we would like to move on to even more impressive people.
Top 5 Deaf People That Will Surprise You
Keep in mind, not all the people on our list are completely deaf. However, they all have issues with their ability to hear and that makes them incredible given their accomplishments. Of course, we could start the list with the likes of Helen Keller and Marlee Matlin, but you already know them. Instead, we would like to offer you the top 5 deaf (or hard of hearing) people that will surprise you:
- Halle Berry– She tops our list because we are just as surprised as you are to learn that she’s lost 80% of her hearing ability in one of her ears. She was in an abusive relationship when she was younger. The man struck her and caused the hearing loss. Now, she is adamant about wanting women to stand up for themselves rather than remaining in abusive relationships. Read this.
- Pete Townshend- You might be wondering how a musician could be partially deaf, but our Mammaw is completely deaf and yet plays the piano beautifully. Pete Townshend on the other hand, lost all the hearing in one ear during a concert in the 60s. He is one of the best guitarists in the world, but his hearing is not very good at all.
- Michelle Banks- Michelle lost her hearing at the age of one. She suffered from spinal meningitis, but later became the founder of the Onyx Theatre Company. She has appeared in TV shows like Girlfriends, Soul Food, and Strong Medicine. She also appeared in the movie, Malcolm X. She traveled the nation doing a one woman show entitled: Reflections of a Black Deaf Woman.
- Lou Ferrigno– You know him best as the Incredible Hulk from the 70s television show. His hearing deteriorated due to a series of ear infections as toddler. He was diagnosed with 75-80% hearing loss at the age of 3. He believes that this has made him a better man, teaching him to endure hardship and overcome it.
- Terrylene Sacchetti– You will recognize her from Natural Born Killers, After Image, and Listen Carefully. She is from a family with four generations of deafness. She is the executive director of the Deaf Arts Council, and has received significant grants in that capacity. She’s been appearing in TV shows since the late 80s. Learn more.
If this list isn’t impressive enough for you, we suggest you read this.