5 famous people who have autism or Asperger’s

Stephen Wiltshire - famous artist with autism

Featured Image by Gobierno CDMX, commons.wikimedia.org

Blog post updated on 7th March 2022

Find out about famous people who have Autism!


Autism is a neurodivergent condition that affects how a person interacts with other people and perceives the world around them. For example, a person with autism may struggle with social interaction and find it hard to cope with crowds, loud noises or bright lights. They might also rely on routine and become distressed if their routines are not adhered to.

Despite their difficulties, people with autism can have intense interests that can lead them to become actors, artists, singers or activists in the cases of the people mentioned in this article.

Here are 5 famous people who have autism or Asperger syndrome:


Temple Grandin (Activist)

The autism Activist Temple Grandin looks in a certain direction as she holds a pen in her hand.

Image by Counse, flickr.com

Temple did not start talking until she was three and a half years old. As a child, she ‘wanted to feel the comfort of being held,’ but ‘withdrew from touch’ at the same time. She could also not follow the ‘rhythmic give and take of conversation,’ would ask the same question repeatedly ‘because it was pleasurable to hear the answer’ and became fixated on spinning a coin or a lid because it drowned out unwanted noise. All these factors indicate that Temple was diagnosed with autism as a child.

As an adult, Temple raises awareness for animal rights, in terms of designing more humane livestock handling facilities, as well as mental health issues and autism. She was initially shocked that her way of thinking is different from other people whom she interviewed. While Temple thought in pictures, the people she interviewed thought in languages. Although her visual thinking pattern allowed Temple to apply it to her designs of livestock facilities.

Daryl Hannah (Actress)

The actress Daryl Hannah is standing in front of a backdrop that promotes the event she is attending.

Image by Luis Tormo, flickr.com

Daryl was also diagnosed with autism in childhood, but she did not publicly open up about it until 2013. In her youth, she would spend time watching films throughout the night due to her obsession with them. This obsession ultimately led to her career in acting. Film roles Daryl is best known for are Madison in ‘Splash’ (1984) and Elle Driver in ‘Kill Bill’ (2003).

Not only is Daryl an actress, but she is also an environmentalist. This is implied by her home being completely solar powered and her car running on biofuels such as ‘vegetable oil collected from fast food restaurants.’

Dan Aykroyd (Actor)

The actor Dan Aykroyd is sitting in a record shop. He is wearing a baseball cap, some sunglasses and a dark polo shirt.

Image by Gregory Wild-Smith, flickr.com

Dan was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome in the early 1980s. He was also diagnosed with Tourette syndrome when he was 12. He became obsessed with ‘ghosts and law enforcement,’ both of which led him to star as Doctor Raymond Stantz in Ghostbusters (1984) and Ghostbusters II (1989).

Stephen Wiltshire (Artist, see also the featured image)

The artist Stephen Wiltshire is drawing a panoramic landscape.

Image by Gobierno CDMX, commons.wikimedia.org

Stephen is an artist who draws panoramic landscapes from memory after having only seen the actual landscape once. He was diagnosed with autism at the age of three and was initially non-verbal, but he finally learnt to ‘speak fully when he was nine.’

Throughout his childhood, Stephen’s pastime was drawing. He became fascinated by drawing city landscapes at the age of seven and continued to draw them well into adulthood. One notable landscape of his is that of the New York City skyline that he drew on live television over five days.

In December 2005, Stephen spent a week sketching the Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong after he went on a 20-minute helicopter ride around the area.

Susan Boyle (Musician)

The singer Susan Boyle stands beside a waxwork model of herself.

Image by Globovisión, flickr.com

Susan rose to fame in 2009 when she appeared on Britain’s Got Talent. Despite impressing all three judges with her rendition of ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ from Les Misérables at her audition, she came second place to the dance troupe Diversity in the final, but that didn’t stop her from launching her singing career.

Susan was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome in 2012 after having been misdiagnosed with brain damage as a child. She made her diagnosis public a year later. An outburst she had at Heathrow Airport in 2016 was attributed to her Asperger syndrome.


If you have Autism or Asperger Syndrome and would like some support finding work, please feel free to send us your CV. For more information on Autism, please click HERE.

Blog Author

April Slocombe