Famous People With Autism

Below is a list of famous people with autism, some with unspecified forms, high-functioning, autistic savants and severe autism.


Famous people with unspecified
forms of autism

The following people have been diagnosed as being somewhere on the autistic spectrum but the specific classification is unknown.
  • Daryl Hannah, an American actress best known for her roles in Splash, Blade Runner and Kill Bill was diagnosed as a child as being 'borderline autistic' [1]
  • Christopher Knowles, American poet [2]
  • Matthew Laborteaux, actor on Little House on the Prairie [3]
  • Katherine McCarron, autistic child allegedly murdered at the age of three by her mother, Karen McCarron. [4]
  • Jason McElwain, high school basketball player [5]
  • Michael Moon, adopted son of author Elizabeth Moon [6]
  • Jasmine O'Neill, author of Through the Eyes of Aliens [7]
  • Sue Rubin, subject of documentary Autism Is a World. Sue Rubin has no oral speech but does communicate with facilitated communication. [8]
  • Birger Sellin, author from Germany, [9]
  • Robert Gagno, actor from Vancouver,[10]

Famous people with
Asperger syndrome

  • Dan Aykroyd, comedian and actor: Aykroyd stated he has Asperger's, but some feel he was joking. [11]
  • Richard Borcherds, mathematician specializing in group theory and Lie algebras [12]
  • William Cottrell, student who was sentenced to eight years in jail for fire-bombing SUV dealerships [13]
  • Craig Nicholls, frontman of the band The Vines [14]
  • Gary Numan, British singer and songwriter [15]
  • Dawn Prince-Hughes, PhD, primate anthropologist, ethologist, and author of Songs for the Gorilla Nation [16]
  • Judy Singer, Australian disability rights activist [17]
  • Vernon L. Smith, Nobel Laureate in Economics [18]
  • Satoshi Tajiri, creator of Pokémon [19]
  • Daniel Tammet, British autistic savant, believed to have Asperger Syndrome [20]
  • Liane Holliday Willey, author of Pretending to be Normal, Asperger Syndrome in the Family; Asperger syndrome advocate; education professor; and adult diagnosed with Asperger syndrome at age 35 [21]

People with high-functioning autism

  • Michelle Dawson, autism researcher and autism rights activist who has made ethical challenges to Applied Behavior Analysis [22]
  • Temple Grandin, a designer of humane food animal handling systems. [23]
  • Hikari Oe, Japanese composer [24]
  • Bhumi Jensen, Thai prince, grandson of King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand; killed by drowning in the tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake [25]
  • Dylan Scott Pierce, wildlife illustrator [26]
  • Jim Sinclair, autism rights activist [27]
  • Donna Williams, Australian author of Nobody Nowhere and Somebody Somewhere; after testing for deafness in late childhood, and being labelled 'disturbed', Donna was formally diagnosed as autistic in her 20s [28]
  • Stephen Wiltshire, British architectural artist [29]
  • Axel Brauns, German author of the autobiographical bestseller Buntschatten und Fledermäuse and filmmaker [30]

Famous autistic savants

  • Alonzo Clemons, American clay sculptor [31]
  • Tony DeBlois, blind American musician [32]
  • Leslie Lemke, blind American musician [33]
  • Jonathan Lerman, American artist [34]
  • Thristan Mendoza, Filipino marimba prodigy [35]
  • Jerry Newport is an author, savant, and has Asperger's. His wife, Mary Newport, is also a savant on the autistic spectrum [36]
  • Derek Paravicini, blind British musician [37]
  • James Henry Pullen, gifted British carpenter [38]
  • Matt Savage, U.S. autistic jazz prodigy [39]
  • Henriett Seth-F., Hungarian autistic savant, poet, writer and artist [40]

People with severe autism

  • Tito Mukhopadhyay, author, poet and philosopher [41]


  • Daryl Hannah at TV.com [1] (accessed June 13, 2006)
  • Christopher Knowles at Gavin Brown, Art in America [2] (accessed June 13, 2006)
  • The Internet Movie Database [3], (accessed June 13, 2006)
  • Death Ruled A Homicide, Week.com [4] {accessed June 13, 2006)
  • Autistic Teen's Hoop Dreams Come True, cbsnews.com [5] (accessed June 13, 2006)
  • Autism: Past, Present, Future, Speculative, Elizabeth Moon [6] (accessed June 13, 2006)
  • A Place for All, Jasmine Lee O'Neill [7] (accessed June 13, 2006)
  • The Internet Movie Database [8], (accessed June 13, 2006)
  • Sellin, Birger. I Don't Want to Be Inside Me Anymore: Messages from Autistic Mind.
  • The Internet Movie Database [9], (accessed July 13, 2006)
  • Dan Aykroyd stated in an interview with Terry Gross that he had Asperger's and Tourette syndrome as a preteen. Since the diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome did not exist when he was a preteen (it became a diagnosis in 1994; Aykroyd was 42 at the time), it is possible that he was joking, or it may just be that he thinks of his behavior at that age as similar to what he has heard about these conditions.
  • Richard Borcherd's diagnosis is discussed in Simon Baron-Cohen's book The Essential Difference
  • Calif. student gets 8 years for SUV vandalism, Reuters [10] (accessed June 13, 2006)
  • Stop making sense, Guardian.co.uk [11] (accessed June 13, 2006)
  • Gary Numan: It’s Easy to be Happy When You’re Financially Secure, www.trackitdown.net [12] (accessed June 13, 2006)
  • Dawn Prince-Hughes's Asperger diagnosis is described on pages 173-175 of Songs of the Gorilla Nation, by Dawn Prince-Hughes
  • ASpar Home [13] (accessed June 13, 2006)
  • Mild autism has 'selective advantages', CNBC [14] (accessed June 13, 2006)
  • A Salute to Japanese Game Designers, Ampednews.com [15] (accessed June 13, 2006)
  • A genius explains, Guardian.co.uk [16] (accessed June 13, 2006)
  • Pretending to be Normal: Living with Asperger’s Syndrome, Liane Holliday Willey (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 1999)
  • No Autistics Allowed, Michelle Dawson [17] (accessed June 13, 2006)
  • Emergence: Labeled Autistic, Temple Grandin with Margaret Scariano, 1986, updated 1991), ISBN 0-446-67182-7
  • The Music of Light: The Extraordinary Story of Hikari and Kenzaburo Oe, Lindsley Cameron (Simon & Schuster, 1998). ISBN 0-684-82409-4
  • Remembering Khun Poom, Just PK [18] (accessed June 13, 2006)
  • Channel One Highlights Newsmakers for the Week of December 12, 2005, Business Wire [19] (accessed June 14, 2006)
  • Why I dislike "person first" language, Jim Sinclair [20] (accessed June 13, 2006)
  • Somebody Somewhere and Autism: An Inside-Out Approach, Donna Williams
  • Official site [21] (accessed 14 June 2006)
  • The Internet Movie Database [22], {accessed June 13, 2006)
  • www.artsales.com[23] ((accessed 14 June 2006)
  • Official site [24] (accessed June 14, 2006)
  • Leslie Lemke: An Inspirational Performance, Darold Treffert, MD [25] (accessed 14 June 2006)
  • Jonathan Lerman: The Drawings of a Boy with Autism, George Braziller (2002)
  • Thristan "Tum-Tum" Mendoza, Darold Treffert, MD [26] (accessed 14 June 2006)
  • Against the Odds: a Love Story; Jerry and Mary Newport grew up as outcasts. Now, they have found each other--and clues to the medical mystery that tormented them, Los Angeles Times [27] Accessed (June 13, 2006)
  • Derek Paravicini, Darold Treffert, MD [28] (accessed 14 June 2006)
  • The childhood and the life of James Henry Pullen, the victorian idiot savant (1832–1916), O. Conor Ward. Abstract of article found here [29] (accessed 14 June 2006)
  • The Prodigy, People Magazine June 17, 2002. Article found here [30]
  • Official site [31] (accessed 14 June 2006)
  • Boy Sheds Light on Autism Mysteries, ABC news [32] (accessed 14 June 2006)

See also

  • List of fictional characters on the autistic spectrum
  • People speculated to have been autistic

Fictional characters described by the
authors as being on the
autistic spectrum:

  • Boo Radley from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (debated)
  • Albino from The Technopriests by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Zoran Janjetov
  • Lou Arrendale and his associates from The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon.
  • Caleb Applewhite from the television show Desperate Housewives
  • Raymond Babbitt from the film Rain Man played by Dustin Hoffman [1]
  • Christopher John Francis Boone in the book The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
  • Kazan from the film Cube
  • Roy Cropper From Coronation Street
  • Jerry "Hands" Espenson from the television show Boston Legal
  • Lily Montgomery (Jackson Montgomery's daughter) on the television show All My Children.
  • Jade from Fahrenheit
  • Simon Lynch from the film Mercury Rising [2].
  • Dr. Kio Masada from C. S. Friedman's This Alien Shore is an autistic savant with a talent for computer science. The book also mentions his deceased wife, a musically gifted autistic savant, and includes Masada's musings on the nature of their relationship. Within the text, members of their culture refer to them as iru, but Friedman has confirmed that this term is meant to be analogous to autism.
  • Darryl McAllister from A Wizard Alone, part of Diane Duane's Young Wizards series. His autism gives him an unusual perspective of the world that in turn gives him unique abilities as a wizard.
  • Ellen Ripley from the film Alien: Resurrection, described as "emotionally autistic" after her resurrection.
  • Cody from the film Bless the Child.
  • Sheperd from the book By the Light of the Moon.
  • Arnie O' Conner from Dean Koontz's Frankenstien.
  • Seth Wyler from Stephen King's book The Regulators.
  • Charlie Godfrey from Betsy Byars' novel Summer of the Swans.
  • Reed Richards: Alicia Masters and Susan Storm speculated that Reed's social inadequecy and scientific aptitude were a result of Asperger's Syndrome in Fantastic Four: 1234 by Grant Morrison.
  • Protagonist Raam of the 2005 internationally-acclaimed Tamil film Raam (film).
  • J, a recurring character in the video game Final Fight.
  • Mayuko (Rie Tomosaka) in the 2000 dorama Kimi ga oshiete kureta koto
  • Teru (Fumiya Fujii) in the 2000 dorama Tenshi ga kieta machi
  • Natalie Flanagan from Gennifer Choldenko's 2004 youth novel Al Capone Does My Shirts
  • Marty Zellerbach from Robert Ludlum's novel, The Hades Factor
  • Legion (Marvel Comics) [3]

Fictional autistic people

There are 4 pages in this section of this category.

List of fictional autistic people:



Cassandra Murata


Rain Man


Tommy Westphall

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