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Deaf Awareness Week: 5 celebrities you may not have known are deaf or hard of hearing

From Millie Bobby Brown to Halle Berry

Arya Jyothi

With over 12 million people living with hearing loss in the UK alone, the annual Deaf Awareness Week remains incredibly important. This year, the campaign runs from 3 May to 9 May, with the theme of 'Coming Through it Together'.

To mark this week and the campaign, we've looked into five celebrities who are deaf or who have some form of hearing loss.

MORE: 'Mask-wearing has made me feel vulnerable and anxious': how the pandemic is affecting the deaf community

Millie Bobby Brown

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Millie admits she sometimes can't hear cues on set

Most famous for her role as Eleven in Stranger Things, Millie Bobby Brown shot to fame as a teenager and is now a renowned actor, model and producer.

With over 45 million Instagram followers, the 17-year-old is not one to shy away from the spotlight - but there is one thing not many fans know about her.

Millie is deaf in one ear. Born with partial hearing loss, which then turned into full deafness following years of tubes, she doesn't always hear the director's "action" cue when shooting a scene unless it's loud.

MORE: Millie Bobby Brown reveals devastating family news during lockdown

The star is also starting to explore her singing abilities, which she says came to her naturally, but with her hearing loss, she can't fully hear herself perform, though this has never stopped her.

"I just started to sing, and if I sound bad I don't care, because I'm just doing what I love," Millie told Variety in 2017. "You don't have to be good at singing. You don't have to be good at dancing or acting. If you like to do it, if you genuinely enjoy doing it, then do it. No one should stop you."

Halle Berry

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Halle Berry has come a long way since the incident

As the first Black woman to have won the Best Actress Oscar in 2002 for Monster's Ball, Halle Berry has a myriad of significant acting roles under her belt, including Catwoman, X-Men and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. From modelling to acting, she's always looking for the next best thing.

MORE: Halle Berry looks unreal in animal print bodysuit and over-the-knee boots

However, in 2004, she revealed that she had been with a number of abusive boyfriends, and one hit her so hard it caused a puncture in her left eardrum and left her with hearing loss.

Opening up in 2011 during a speech at The Mayors Fund Benefit in New York City, Halle said: "It was only when I was in an abusive relationship and blood squirted on the ceiling of my apartment and I lost 80 percent of my hearing in my ear that I realised, I have to break the cycle."

MORE: Halle Berry shares incredibly rare photo with lookalike daughter on 13th birthday

Since her experience, she has been an active advocate for domestic abuse victims and has worked with organisations such as the Jenesse Center, a "domestic violence prevention and intervention organization".

Whoopi Goldberg

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Whoopi has warned of the dangers of listening to loud music

Academy-award winning actress and comedian Whoopi Goldberg rose to fame after her role in Steven Spielberg's 1985 The Color Purple. She is also one of the very few people to have attained the EGOT, meaning she has won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony.

In 2011, Whoopi admitted that she wears hearing aids to help her hear low-pitch sounds. Opening up to the National Enquirer, she said, "I attribute my own hearing loss - which, by the way, is suffered by thousands of people in varying degrees - to years and years of listening to music so loudly and so close to the delicate ear drum."

MORE: Whoopi Goldberg reveals the hilarious reason she got her name

During an episode of American talk show The View, which she co-hosts, the Sister Act star also reminded young viewers to not make the same mistakes she made and save themselves from developing hearing loss in the future.

"If you have any hearing loss, make sure you go and get yourself checked out, because… if you can stop it, you should. Stop it in its tracks because not being able to hear is a bit of an [expletive], I can tell you that from experience."

Ben Cohen

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Kristina helped Ben 'hear' the music in other ways 

Former rugby player Ben Cohen is clinically deaf, though it's been somewhat of a secret until a few years ago.

Appearing on Strictly Come Dancing in 2013, the now 42 year-old revealed that because he was deaf, his dance partner, and now girlfriend, Kristina Rihanoff had to find new and creative ways to help him 'hear' the music.

WATCH: Ben Cohen shares sweet video with his three daughters

Talking to HELLO! in 2019, Ben admitted he was just not allowed to talk about it. "It was something that was overlooked – I couldn't hear the music or the beat just a noise, so [Kristina] would squeeze my palm and nod – I wanted to achieve something and I set my mind to it," he said.

With only 46 per cent hearing and suffering from severe tinnitus, Ben put off getting checked for 30 years due to being in denial. Now, however, Ben seems to be happier than ever as he praises "modern technology" for allowing him to take back control of his hearing.

MORE: Strictly's Kristina Rihanoff 'excited' as she welcomes 'baby boy Ray' to the family

"I have had tinnitus as long as I can remember so it's easier to live with unlike other people who develop tinnitus later on in life," he said. "Modern technology has helped immensely with ways to cope with the difficulties of hearing and every day challenges."

Jodie Foster

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Jodie has immersed herself in work, and admits she doesn't always look after herself

Actress, director and producer Jodie Foster has won multiple awards throughout her career for roles in hit films including Taxi Driver, Bugsy Malone, The Accused and The Silence of the Lambs.

More recently, Jodie has appeared in hit Netflix shows such as Orange is the New Black and House of Cards.

MORE: Jodie Foster and her wife Alexandra celebrate her Golden Globes win

While she's mostly private about her personal life, she once confessed to a Chicago Tribune reporter that she sometimes neglects taking care of her health, especially "this hearing loss thing".

She revealed that she suffers from vertigo and hearing loss, and has been spotted wearing a hearing aid since at least 2007.

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