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20 Famous Deaf People

List Of 20 Famous Deaf People:

#1 Rikki Poynter

She is a Deaf activist and YouTuber with a focus on Deaf accessibility, awareness, and the importance of Closed Captioning.

Rikki Poynter has been mentioned in several publications, including BBC, Upworthy, and Mic News.

#2 William Shatner

He is a Canadian author, actor, director, producer, and singer. In his 7 decades of television, William became a cultural icon for his portrayal of James T. Kirk, captain of the USS Enterprise, in the ”Star Trek” series.

William Shatner is affected by a ringing in the ears (tinnitus). He said:

“My tinnitus began while I was filming a Star Trek episode [called] ‘Arena.’ I was standing too close to a special effects explosion and it resulted in tinnitus.”

#3 Jane Lynch

She is an American author, actress, comedian, and singer who is best known for her role as Sue Sylvester in the television series ”Glee.” Jane Lynch is deaf in her right ear.

#4 Grimes

She is a Canadian songwriter, singer, visual artist, and record producer. In the late 2000s, she released two albums, Geidi Primes and Halfaxa, on Arbutus Records.

Her music has been noted by journalists and critics for its atypical combination of vocal elements, as well as a wide array of influences across hip hop and R&B, pop and electronica, medieval and experimental music.

In late 2012, at the age of only 24, she was forced to cancel several shows and her entire European tour because of problems with hearing loss and tinnitus.

#5 Jodie Foster

She is an American director, actress, and producer who has received three British Academy Film Awards, two Academy Awards, the Cecil B DeMille Award, and two Golden Globe Awards.

Jodie Foster has been photographed wearing a hearing aid.

#6 Stephen Colbert

He is an American television host, comedian, and author who has hosted ”The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” a television talk show on CBS, since September 8, 2015.

Stephen is completely deaf in his right ear after an operation to correct a perforated eardrum.

#7 Halle Berry

She is an American actress who became the first African-American woman to win the Academy Award for Best Actress, which Halle Berry received for her role in the film Monster’s Ball (2001).

Halle Berry lost nearly 80 percent of her hearing in her left due to a blow to the head during a domestic violence incident.

#8 Kiefer Sutherland

He is a Canadian producer, director, actor, and singer-songwriter who is best known for his role as Jack Bauer in the drama series 24.

Years of action scenes with explosion and gunshots effects have left Sutherland with profound hearing loss in one ear.

#9 Whoopi Goldberg

She is an American comedian, author, actress, and television hostess who is one of the few entertainers to have won a Grammy Award, an Emmy Award, a Tony Award, and an Academy Award.

According to the National Enquirer, Whoopi wears a small hearing aid to help her pick up low tones.

#10 Moby

He is an American musician, author, and animal rights activist who is best known for songs like “Porcelain” and “Go,” and albums like ”Play” and ”Everything is Wrong.” Moby has spoken out as a sufferer of tinnitus (the hearing of sound when no external sound is present).

#11 Nyle DiMarco

He is an American actor, model, and deaf activist. He was born into a multigenerational deaf family.

In 2015, he was the first deaf winner of The CW’s America’s Next Top Model Cycle. Prior to his breakout debut on America’s Next Top Model, DiMarco was involved with freelance work. 

In 2018, Nyle appeared in two episodes of the series ”This Close.”

#12 Thomas Edison

He was an American inventor who holds the world record: 1,093 patents. Edison set up his first lab in his parents’ basement at the age of 10. Many of his inventions still have a major impact on our lives today. 

Thomas had hearing problems from childhood (since he was affected with ear infections and scarlet fever in the early years of his life) and was thought to be completely deaf by his early teenage years.

#13 Rush Limbaugh

He is an American conservative political commentator and radio talk show host. In late 2001, Limbaugh acknowledged that he had become almost completely deaf, although he continued his show.

Research findings suggest his addiction to Vicodin (the combination of the pain medications hydrocodone and paracetamol) could be the culprit behind his attack of deafness. Fortunately, Rush Limbaugh was able to regain much of his hearing with the help of a cochlear implant in 2001.

ALSO READ: Famous People With Autism

#14 Derrick Coleman

He is an American football fullback and the only deaf player in the NFL (The National Football League). Furthermore, Derrick Coleman is the first deaf offensive player in NFL history.


He is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, DJ, voice actor, record producer, and philanthropist, who is best known as the founding and lead member of the group ”The Black Eyed Peas.”

Due to exposure to loud prolonged music, developed tinnitus in the early years of his life.

#16 Pete Townshend

He is an English songwriter and musician who is best known as the second vocalist, lead guitarist, and principal songwriter for the band ”Who.”

Pete Townshend has tinnitus and partial deafness.

ALSO READ: Famous People With Mental Illness

#17 Ludwig Van Beethoven

He was a German pianist and composer as well as a crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in classical music.

He started to lose his hearing at the age of 26, with a suspected disease called typhus (lead poisoning). At age 52, Ludwig Van Beethoven was presumed to be completely deaf. But it wasn’t only deafness that had made his later years hard to bear. Beethoven also complained of bleeding from his nose and ears and crippling stomach pain.

#18 Bill Clinton

He is an American politician from Arkansas who served as the 42nd President of the US.

Bill Clinton was fitted with completely-in-the-canal hearing aids at 51 years old when he was still president of the US in 1997.

#19 Marlee Matlin

She is an American author, actress, and activist who won the Academy Award for Best Actress for ”Children of a Lesser God.” Even in the present day, Marlee Matlin is the only deaf performer to have won an Academy Award.

Matlin was diagnosed with profound hearing loss at just 18 months. She is completely deaf in one ear and has only 20 percent hearing in the other.

ALSO READ: Famous People With Disabilities

#20 Shoshannah Stern

She is an American actress. One of her grandmothers is a Holocaust survivor. Shoshannah Stern was born deaf. Stern is amongst the 4th generation of deafness in her family.


Cäsar Jacobson

Friday 14th of June 2019

Canadian/Norwegian Actress, Author, and Winner of Miss Canada Bilaterally profoundly Deaf with unilateral Cochlea Implantation with Advanced Bionics Advocate of maintaining sign-language/Deaf Culture Scientist First Deaf Canadian United Nations Champion for Women and Equal Rights focusing on LGBTQ* and marginalizations