This blog aims to highlight famous people who we’re most likely autistic! Autism is often overlooked in the world of fame; however there are often autistic people behind the worlds best inventions or movements.
Albert Einstein is a German theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity. Possibly the most famous mathematician of all time, Einstein had a number of interesting characteristics that indicated he could be on the Autistic Spectrum. This includes difficulties socialising and his delayed speech as a child. As well as this, he was evidently very technical, leading experts to believe that he may have been on the Autistic spectrum.
Sir Isaac Newton
Sir Isaac Newton was an English physicist, astronomer, theologian and author. Thanks to research by the University of Cambridge, it is thought that Isaac Newton had Asperger’s and often isolated himself as much as he could. Other traits he possessed was being ‘notoriously awkward’ and relying on strong routines in his everyday life.
A leading Trinity College professor and psychiatrist, Michael Fitzgerald, researched and published a scholarly paper concluding that Charles Darwin had Asperger’s. Using historical records, it was clear that Darwin was a very quiet and isolated child who avoided social interaction. It was revealed he communicated in different ways such as writing letters and reports.
Many experts believed Andy Warholl, the famous artist, was autistic. After all, a lot of his work focused on the repetition of shapes and colours. When conducting interviews, Warhol often gave short and simple answers suggesting he may have had verbal dyslexia. However, much of his personality traits have been said to ‘enhance a sense of mystery’ amongst his viewers.
Dan Aykroyd is a famous actor, producer, comedian and musician who is famous for his role in the film The Blues Brothers and Ghostbusters. He was diagnosed with mild Asperger’s Syndrome as a child after struggling and being expelled from two schools. Since then, Aykroyd has been honest about his experiences with autism. He has spoken freely about how his diagnosis of asperger’s contributed to his character in Ghostbusters.
Over the past year, young climate change activist Greta Thurnberg has taken the world by storm. She has been responsible for the new climate change movement, where protests and meetings with world leaders have taken place throughout the world. She spoke out over her Asperger’s diagnosis after she was criticised for having it, saying it makes her ‘different’ but she considers it a ‘superpower’.
Susan Boyle is a Scottish singer and made her way to fame after her spectacular performance back on Britain’s Got Talent in 2009 where she then went on to sell a staggering 14 million albums. Boyle was diagnosed with Asperger’s in 2012, which she revealed a year later, where she said she feels ‘relieved and a bit more relaxed about myself’.
Tim Burton is an American filmmaker, artist, writer and animator. He is best known for his fantasy films such as Batman, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice in Wonderland. Although Tim hasn’t been diagnosed, his long term partner actress Helena Bonham Carter once speculated that he was ‘possibly autistic’ during an interview. She revealed she had an ‘a-ha moment’ after she researched an autistic character for a film and compared much of the characteristics to Burton. Helena said ‘Autistic people have application and dedication. You can say something to Tim when he’s working and he doesn’t hear you. But that quality also makes him a fantastic father; he has an amazing sense of humour and imagination. He sees things other people won’t see.’
Temple Grandin has become possibly the most famous autistic person on the planet. A renowned author and professor who didn’t start speaking until she was 3 and a half, she communicated by screaming, peeping and humming. Doctors recommended she should be institutionalised. Fortunately, her parents didn’t agree with this conclusion. Grandin has gone on to be an autism-rights activist, animal science professor and named one of the TIME’s 100 most influential people.
Wall street actress Daryl Hannah first publicly revealed her autism 6 years ago. She is most famous for her staring roles in films including Blade Runner and Splash. She said her autism left her with a ‘debilitating shyness’ and made public events a terror for her. At the time of diagnosis as a child she said that medical professionals recommended she should be medicated and institutionalised, but thankfully she didn’t and persued her career as an actress. Since then, she has remained quieter within the industry and has instead decided to focus on environmental issues and other passions.