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Stuttering Foundation praises 'Speech'

Colin Firth arrives on the red carpet for The King's Speech Premiere at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York City on November 8, 2010. UPI/John Angelillo
Colin Firth arrives on the red carpet for "The King's Speech" Premiere at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York City on November 8, 2010. UPI/John Angelillo | License Photo

NEW YORK, Nov. 26 (UPI) -- The Stuttering Foundation is praising the film "The King's Speech" for the way it shows how Britain's King George VI overcame his speech impediment.

Set just before England entered World War II, the movie stars Colin Firth as the monarch and Geoffrey Rush as the teacher who helps him find his voice. It is in theaters now.

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"I am delighted that 'The King's Speech' will introduce a new generation of young people to the inspiring story of King George VI," Jane Fraser, the foundation's president, said Friday. "He continues to be a powerful role model whose broadcasts of hope kept the spirits of the British people alive during the dark days of World War II. Moreover, he inspired my father, Malcolm Fraser, to found the Stuttering Foundation in 1947."

Fraser said King George VI was the only role model her father -- who dreaded public speaking but became a successful businessman -- had in the 1940s because people didn't talk about disabilities at that time. The younger Fraser said 3 million people now suffer from the disorder in the United States.

"While the film will be viewed as entertainment by the movie-going public, it will particularly resonate for people who struggle with stuttering on a daily basis," Fraser said.

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