Whether you want to star on the big screen, score the winning goal in a championship game or be CEO of a company, any dream is possible—even when struggling with dyslexia. These five celebrities prove that with hard work and dedication, dyslexia can’t stand in the way of your success.
- Tom Cruise. There is no doubt about it that Tom Cruise is the king of the big screen. But becoming one of Hollywood’s most famous actors didn’t come easy for him. “I would go blank, feel anxious, nervous, bored, frustrated, dumb,” he told People magazine. Cruise attributes overcoming dyslexia with “sheer will.” He is founding board member of Hollywood Education and Literacy Project. Mission: Un-impossible.
- Will Smith. Before Will Smith was ‘gettin jiggy with it’ he was trying to overcome dyslexia. Like most people with this disability, he excels at seeing patterns. This inspired him to use a more mathematical approach when making movies. By the looks of his success, we’d say whatever he’s doing is working!
- Keira Knightley. The “Anna Karenina” actress used dyslexia to her advantage. She made a deal with her parents that if she studied hard despite the disability, they would provide her with an agent. “I worked hard to get better and by the time I got to secondary school, it was much better.” It looks like Knightley held up her end of the bargain!
- Orlando Bloom. At the 2010 gathering for the Child Mind Institute, our favorite pirate spoke about his struggle with dyslexia. "I had to work three times as hard to get two-thirds of the way. I was frustrated with that learning disability. It makes you feel stupid." The actor’s high IQ score proved him otherwise.
- Vince Vaughn. Watching Vince Vaughn crash weddings and dodge balls makes it seem like he has a down to earth life, but the actor has his share of difficulties. He had the double whammy of having both dyslexia and ADD. “When you have these setbacks, you develop a really good work ethic because you have to try harder,” the comedic actor said.
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- Teresa Roca is a NYC writer who is obsessed with celebrities, sports and movies. Her favorite cause is bullying and violence.