In honor of Oscar and the Academy Awards which aired on television recently, here is a list of actors who have received an Oscar (or two) who also have hearing loss. These professionals have made quite an achievement despite their hearing loss….just as ordinary people do every day. Hearing loss is manageable with supportive care from your local audiologist.
Halle Berry won an Oscar in 2001 for Best Actress for her role in Monster’s Ball where she played the wife of an executed death-row prisoner. In real life, she was a victim of domestic violence which left her with an 80 percent hearing loss in her left ear. She often speaks about her hearing loss to raise awareness and help other women break the cycle of violence.
Robert Redford has been nominated for four Academy Awards and has received one in 1980 for Best Director for the film Ordinary People. His other nominations were: 1973, Best Actor, The Sting; 1994, Best Picture, Quiz Show; 1994, Best Director, Quiz Show. At 78, Redford performed his own stunts while filming his critically acclaimed 2013 movie, All Is Lost. Playing a solo sailor stranded in the Indian Ocean, he was submerged in a massive water tank day after day and pelted with water from an off-camera hose. He sustained a severe ear infection that permanently robbed him of 60 percent of his hearing in his left ear.
Holly Hunter has received several award nominations but she won a Best Actress Academy Award in 1994 for work in The Piano. A childhood bout with mumps left Hunter deaf in her left ear. But this Academy Award winner known for her edgy roles and acute attention to detail told CNN that her disability has been a boon to her career: “I’ve had to listen so intently to what people are saying,” she said — and she transfers that attention to detail to her roles.
Jodie Foster has been in the entertainment industry since she was an infant and she has amassed an amazing body of work including two Academy Awards for Best Actress. The first in 1988 for The Accused and again in 1991 for The Silence Of The Lambs. Foster confessed to a Chicago Tribune reporter that she’s not very good about taking care of her own health needs, especially “this hearing-loss thing” and her mysterious attacks of vertigo. She has been spotted wearing a hearing aid.
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