Who Are Some Celebrities With Hearing Loss?

Shaeleen M Fagre, AuD

Audiologist at the University of Minnesota

07 December 2020

Many celebrities suffer from hearing loss and have been open about their experiences with it. Here’s our ever-growing list of celebrities with hearing loss:

  • Whoopi Goldberg: The Academy Award winner has spoken out encouraging others to protect their hearing, citing excessive noise exposure during concerts as the possible cause for her hearing loss.
  • Luis Miguel: The singer suffers from tinnitus, and even had to cancel some of his performances due to the impact tinnitus was having on him.
  • Lou Ferrigno: TV’s Incredible Hulk actor and former bodybuilder has suffered from hearing loss since a young age. He attributes his loss of hearing to an ear infection that had had lasting effects. As an adult, Ferrigno opted for an implantable Esteem Device, which he says has made his hearing better than he could have hoped for.
  • Rob Lowe: The actor reportedly lost hearing in one ear as an infant, and has been open about the difficulty he experiences hearing in background noise.
  • María Antonieta de las Nieves: The actress, comedian and singer wears hearing aids, but still finds that she struggles to hear in certain environments. She announced that she will no longer give telephone interviews due to her hearing loss.
  • Bill Clinton: The former President noticed his hearing worsening slowly overtime, and it became worse with age. He noted that his his was especially troublesome when communicating in background noise, causing him to have a difficult time distinguishing sounds. The former President now uses two hearing aids to make communication easier.
  • Halle Berry: The actor has spoken out about an abusive relationship she had 20 years ago that resulted in the loss of hearing in her left ear. By sharing her experience, Berry hopes to raise awareness about domestic violence.
  • Stephen Colbert: The political satirist has hearing loss in one ear that he has had since childhood. The loss of hearing is reportedly due to a growth in his ear that required surgery that resulted in the loss of his eardrum.
  • Rush Limbaugh: The talk show host suffers from severe loss of hearing in both ears. The cause is up for debate, and includes autoimmune disorder of the inner ear as well as opioid abuse.
  • Pete Townshend: The songwriter and guitarist suffers from both hearing loss and tinnitus that he attributes to years of exposure to loud music.
  • Jane Lynch: The actor has hearing loss in one ear that she first noticed when she was seven years old could not hear her radio equally from each ear.
  • Robert Redford: The actor suffered an ear infection after continual water submersion for a role he was playing in a film. Unfortunately, the ear infection caused permanent hearing loss in one ear.
  • Holly Hunter: The Academy Award winner has hearing loss in one ear due to suffering from mumps as a child. She reportedly finds that she must pay closer attention to compensate for her hearing loss, and that she is then more aware of details in conversation.
  • Jodie Foster: The actor has been spotted wearing a hearing aid and has admitted that she could be better about seeking hearing healthcare. She also has suffered from vertigo.