Keira Knightley Net Worth and Her Battle with Dyslexia

Keira Knightley is best known for her appearances in Pride & Prejudice, Bend It Like Beckham, and The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Here’s Keira Knightley’s net worth and how she turned to acting after a dyslexia diagnosis.

How Keira Knightley became famous

Keira Knightley | Kristy Sparow/WireImage
Keira Knightley | Kristy Sparow/WireImage

Knightley made her acting debut in a 1993 episode of the television series Screen One titled “Royal Celebration.” After two more television roles she made her film debut in the 1995 movie Innocent Lies, in which she played the role of Young Celia. She then appeared in the 1996 television movie The Treasure Seekers and the 1998 TV mini-series Coming Home. The following year, Knightley made an appearance in Star Wars: Episode I–The Phantom Menace, in which she played the character Sabé.

Keira Knightley’s movies

Keira Knightley attends the European Premiere of Disney's The Nutcracker And The Four Realms | David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage
Keira Knightley attends the European Premiere of Disney’s The Nutcracker And The Four Realms | David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage

So far, Knightley’s highest-grossing film is Star Wars: Episode I–The Phantom Menace (1999), with a lifetime gross of $474,544,677. Her other high-grossing films include Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006), with a lifetime gross of $423,315,812; Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007), with a lifetime gross of $309,420,425; and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003); with a lifetime gross of $305,413,918, according to Box Office Mojo.           

Keira Knightley’s battle with dyslexia

Keira Knightley | Jeff Spicer/Getty Images
Keira Knightley | Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

In an interview with the organization Made by Dyslexia, Knightley discusses her struggles with dyslexia as a child. Knightley said she hid the fact she didn’t know how to read by memorizing books that were read to her. However, by the time she was six, her secret was discovered:

School when I was about five was amazing because I was top of my class. And I was reading in front of people and I thought of myself as being unbelievably intelligent. And then when I was six, they realized I hadn’t been reading at all and that my mom read to me all the time. We had lots of books at home, and I’d memorized them. And it was only when someone finally gave me a book that my mom hadn’t read me that they realized I hadn’t been reading at all and couldn’t read at all. So, when I was six, I went from being the top of the class to the absolute bottom of the class, and I still remember what a shock that was. And I still remember how I saw myself completely differently from that moment.  

Keira Knightley at ELLE's 25th Annual Women In Hollywood Celebration |Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for ELLE Magazine
Keira Knightley at ELLE’s 25th Annual Women In Hollywood Celebration |Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for ELLE Magazine

Although Knightley struggled academically, she found a refuge in the arts. The actress says she excelled at creative writing and acting. As her passion for acting grew, her teacher and parents used that to motivate her to do well in school. “The teachers there said to my parents, ‘You need to find a carrot to dangle in front of Keira. There’s no reason that she shouldn’t be able to read and there’s no reason she shouldn’t be able to do well at school.” Fortunately for me, I wanted to act. So, it was my head teacher, who was a brilliant man called David Cooper, who said to my mom, ‘If she wants to act, then you let her act, but she’s only allowed to do it if her grades either stay the same or go up.’” Knightley says she’s grateful she was diagnosed early so she could get the proper help.

Keira Knightley’s net worth

Keira Knightley has an estimated net worth of $60 million.

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