celebrities dyslexia

Dyslexia is a neurological difference that can have a significant impact during education, in the workplace and in everyday life. The British Dyslexia Association reveals that 10% of the population are believed to be dyslexic, but it is still often poorly understood. As each person is unique, so is everyone’s experience of dyslexia.

Dyslexia is typically associated with misreading, writing, or speaking words or letters out of order, but it encompasses more than that. The condition may also involve confusion with certain letters, difficulty organising words into sentences, trouble acquiring a vocabulary or pronouncing words, and/or challenges following directions.

There are also positives to thinking differently and many people with dyslexia show strengths in other areas, such as reasoning, visual and creative fields. It’s no surprise that many celebrities are also known to be dyslexic. Below, 17 celebrities share their experience with being dyslexic…

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Holly Willoughby

Holly Willoughby says she is ‘proud’ of being dyslexic after she was criticised for her spelling when she was young. Promoting a friend’s book Conker the Chameleon, which teaches kids to ask for help, during Children’s Mental Health Week, Holly wrote:

‘Probably something that bonded us hugely was the fact we are both dyslexic… that’s why this post is even more special and actually writing this I feel very emotional…’

Holly told Red magazine, ‘I’ve struggled with dyslexia since I was young and it used to hold me back. At school, reading out loud absolutely terrified me because I’d get all the words wrong and I was convinced everybody thought I was stupid. It still happens now – most of the mistakes I make on This Morning are because of it, but it doesn’t do what it did to me back then because I don’t let it have power. I now know that it’s all about how you package it in your head.’


Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston opened up about the dyslexia diagnosis she received in her early 20s with The Hollywood Reporter.

‘The only reason I knew [that I had it] was because I went to get a prescription for glasses,’ she revealed. ‘I had to wear these ‘Buddy Hollyglasses. One had a blue lens and one had a red lens. And I had to read a paragraph, and they gave me a quiz, gave me 10 questions based on what I’d just read, and I think I got three right. Then they put a computer on my eyes, showing where my eyes went when I read. My eyes would jump four words and go back two words, and I also had a little bit of a lazy eye, like a crossed eye, which they always have to correct in photos.’

‘Until then I thought I wasn’t smart. I just couldn’t retain anything. Now I had this great discovery. I felt like all of my childhood trauma-dies, tragedies, dramas were explained.’


Paloma Faith

Paloma Faith described how having dyslexia didn’t stop her loving books as a child, encouraging children to enter the BBC’s 500 Words short story competiton.

‘My favourite book as a kid was called There’s An Awful Lot of Weirdos in our Neighbourhood. I think it’s really important that kids are encouraged to enjoy books and literacy from a really young age. I personally had quite a lot of learning difficulties and it never really swayed my mum from encouraging me to enjoy books.’


Salma Hayek

Salma Hayek was diagnosed with dyslexia in her teens, but it didn’t prevent her from succeeding in school in Mexico. ‘I’m really a fast learner. I always was, which is maybe why in high school they didn’t realise I had dyslexia,’ she told Today. ‘I skipped years without studying too much.’

‘[Being dyslexic] doesn’t bother me now. Some people read really fast, but you’ll ask them questions about the script and they’ll forget. I take a long time to read a script, but I read it only once. I directed [The Maldonado Miracle], and I never brought the script to the set.’


Mollie King

Mollie King is an ambassador for the British Dyslexia Association. She was diagnosed with dyslexia when she was in primary school.

Molly says her dyslexia has never held her back – and she’s not met anyone who’s dyslexic that hasn’t had the ‘fire in their belly’ to work hard. ‘Dyslexia is definitely not something to hold you back, and in some ways can actually be a superpower.’


Florence Welch

Florence and the Machine front-woman Florence Welch was diagnosed with both dyslexia and dyscalculia when she was younger and told Rolling Stone that in her first paid job as a barmaid, she felt a ‘sting of shame’ when her manager exposed her inability to count change.


Joss Stone

Singer Joss Stone spoke about how she ‘absolutely hated school’ with The Guardian, revealing ‘I’m dyslexic and not enough was done to help kids like me. You need a different kind of teaching, because telling a kid “learn this” when they’re feeling pissed off doesn’t work.’

‘Mum and Dad were understanding about the fact that I wasn’t academic and just said, “That’s not your thing. You can do something else.” My grammar has got better as I’ve grown up.’


Amy Childs

Amy Childs has been very open about her dyslexia. ‘I was (and still am) severely dyslexic so I found school hard,’ she told Healthy. ‘Weirdly, I was really good at French but everything else was a struggle… I’m lucky though because I was always really confident, and because I had such a passion for beauty and fashion, I knew I’d find a way to make a career in those industries.’

Amy shared a post on Instagram during Dyslexia Awareness Week writing, ‘I’m proud to be Dyslexic 🥰 Despite some of the challenges I have faced over the years, it’s never stopped me succeeding.’


Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg has dyslexia, but during her childhood, she wasn’t given a diagnosis. ‘I knew I wasn’t stupid, and I knew I wasn’t dumb. My mother told me that,’ she said in an interview with the Academy of Achievement.

‘I had a mother who understood there was something different about the way I learned. I think perhaps it made me more introspective. Made me more thoughtful, maybe slightly slower in how I do things because it takes me a minute sometimes to figure things out.’


Princess Beatrice

Princess Beatrice was diagnosed with dyslexia when she was seven years old.

Beatrice chatted with Giovanna Fletcher for a special Back to School digital issue of Hello! magazine and opened up about being diagnosed with dyslexia. She described the condition as a ‘gift’ that any child of hers would be ‘lucky’ to have.

‘I really see it as a gift, and I think life is about the moments, it’s the challenges that make you.’



Cher struggled with reading all through childhood and at age 16, she dropped out of school. It wasn’t until she was 30 years old that she was diagnosed with dyslexia.


Georgia Steel

Love Island alumni Georgia Steel was diagnosed with dyslexia as a child. Georgia has been open about the condition with her fans, writing on Twitter: ‘Just wanna say yeah I do get spellings wrong constantly that people might laugh at. But I am dyslexic and I have never been able to spell. I just write it how it sounds!’


Bella Thorne

Actress Bella Thorne has been very open about her experience of dyslexia in the past, as her character on the Disney Channel show Shake it Up was also dyslexic.

‘I remember when I started first grade. Right away, it was awful because I couldn’t read as well as the other kids,’ she said during a Disney Channel segment. ‘My brain mixed up letters like ‘B’ and ‘D’ and ‘M’ and ‘W.’ Dyslexia is different for everyone who has it. For me, it just makes it harder to read or write.’


Keira Knightley

Keira Knightley was diagnosed with dyslexia at age six, after she struggled with reading in school.

‘Dyslexia is like a wall… it’s very difficult to see over it,’ she said in an interview with the BBC. ‘I was really lucky because I had acting… it was like a carrot that was being dangled in front of me because I had to be able to read those lines in order to do it.’

‘It doesn’t mean that you’re stupid… it just means that you work in a different way.’



Singer-songwriter Jewel is another celebrity who’s been open about her experience with dyslexia. ‘I never thought I’d become a writer, I never thought I’d do this for a living,’ she said in an interview with Rolling Stone.

‘I had a very difficult time learning to read when I was young — I was undiagnosed with dyslexia. And I moved around a lot, I think we had a different school almost every year. And… that’s hard, right? Moving around, new kids all the time. The dyslexia thing was really hard: I had no idea I was smart, I had no idea… It was all just hard; school was hard, math was really hard.’


Kara Tointon

Actress Kara Tointon spoke to the Metro about about the day she discovered she had dyslexia, aged 7.

‘They said I was dyslexic but I came out of the test feeling great,’ she says. ‘They said I had a very high IQ for someone of my age and I was cross-lateral, which means I don’t have a dominant side of my brain – I write with my left hand but catch with my right. It was interesting. You need to look at the positives in life if you’re going to make the best of things.’


Mel B

Spice Girl Mel B revealed she was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 43, after spending her whole life thinking she was ‘thick’.

Speaking on day time talk show Loose Women, Mel explained: ‘All my life I thought my brain was wired different. I have hidden it but I don’t know what I was hiding, I see words backwards. It takes me five months to read a book. All these years, I really struggled. At school I was the naughty girl. I couldn’t work out what they were writing on the blackboard. I felt really dumb, I was thick. Everyone could understand it apart from me.’

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