26 Famous People With Autism

famous people with autism grimes and elon musk arriving at an event
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Autism is a developmental disorder found in nearly one in 54 children in the United States. It impacts social interaction, communication, and behavior. Although this condition can be challenging to live with, many children with autism have become some of the most well-known people in the country.

If you’re interested in reading more about some of the most famous people with autism, you’re in the right place. Get comfortable as we talk about some individuals on the spectrum.

1. Anthony Hopkins

anthony hopkins arriving for an event
Image from Shutterstock.

Anthony Hopkins, known for his acting career, is first on our list of famous people with autism. He revealed learning was tricky as a child, and he’s always struggled to hold relationships, something which his later autism diagnosis helped explain. 

2. Tim Burton

tim burton in an interview
Image from Shutterstock.

One of the most famous autistic people of all time is Tim Burton, who is known for his unique dark directing style with creations like Edward Scissorhands and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

He’s never officially been diagnosed with autism, but he has been very outspoken about the fact that he believes he has it. He’s always had trouble in social situations and has never quite fit in, which led him to confess he suspects has autism in an interview in 2019

3. Dan Aykroyd

dan aykroyd on the set of a film
Dan Aykrod on set in 1987. Image is in the public domain.

Dan Aykroyd, revered for his career as an actor and comedian, is one of the most well-known celebrities with autism. Known for his performance in movies like Ghostbusters, he was diagnosed with Asperger’s in his 50s. 

His diagnosis has led to his involvement in several autism charities, and he spends a lot of time speaking out about his experiences. 

4. Albert Einstein

albert einstein in front of a chalkboard
Albert Einstien in 1921. Image is in the Public Domain

Although Albert Einstein was never officially diagnosed with autism, many believe he held traits attributed to Asperger’s, such as issues with social interactions and communication. 

As one of the greatest scientists of all time, no list of autistic celebrities would be complete without him. 

5. Sia

sia on the red carpet in her hat and face covering
Image from shutterstock.

Sia recently revealed she was diagnosed with autism in her 40s, which led her to better understand her issues with crowds. The singer has been very open about her diagnosis since it occurred and wants to increase public knowledge of the dangers of autism masking

6. Greta Thunberg

greta thunberg holding a microphone at a rally
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Greta Thunberg is one of the most famous autistic people, well-known for her powerful stances on environmental activism. She’s been very open about her Asperger’s diagnosis, revealing it’s a form of superpower as she goes about her life.

7. Armani Williams

two race cars drifting on a track
(No licensable photo available) Image by Ralfs Blumbers on Unsplash

There are famous people with autism everywhere, even in the professional sports world. Armani Williams is a stock car racing driver who was diagnosed at two years of age, and he continues to speak about autism as he navigates life as a professional NASCAR driver. 

8. Chris Packham

chris packham giving a speech
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Next on our list of famous autistic people is Chris Packham, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s when he was 44. The British TV presenter is an ambassador for the National Autistic Society and is very open about what it’s like living with autism.

9. John Denver

john denver shaking nancy reagans hand
12-4-1988 Kennedy Center Honors reception, President Reagan and Nancy Reagan greeting John Denver in the receiving line in blue room. Image is in the Public Domain.

John Denver is known for his iconic voice, and he spent most of his life belting glorious country tunes. Although he has since passed away, he is now thought to have had Asperger’s, which could explain some of his mental struggles during his life. 

Related: How Did John Denver Die?

10. James Taylor

james taylor playing guitar on stage
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James Taylor, a singer and songwriter known for his unique, comforting voice, is next in our group of autistic celebrities. The artist lives with Asperger’s, which hasn’t stopped him from having a solid music career.

11. Courtney Love

kurt cobain and courtney love
Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love Image from Shutterstock.

Courtney Love is also one of our celebrities with autism, as she was diagnosed with a mild form of autism when she was nine. She’s a powerful singer and actress known for marrying late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain

12. Susan Boyle

susan boyle on the red carpet
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Susan Boyle is a singer who rose to fame after showing off her incredible singing ability on Britain’s Got Talent. She revealed she was diagnosed with Asperger’s in 2012 after her famous run on the BGT show. While she struggled with the condition at first, she didn’t let it stop her from singing, and she went on to audition for America’s Got Talent in 2019.

13. Elon Musk

famous people with autism grimes and elon musk arriving at an event
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Elon Musk is well known as the exemplary founder of SpaceX and Tesla, two revolutionary companies in the technology and science world. What many don’t know is that Musk is among the celebrities with autism. 

Musk was diagnosed with mild Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of Autism, which hasn’t prevented his ability to push the limits of what humanity can accomplish. 

14. Steve Jobs

president reagan giving an award to steve jobs
2/19/1985 President Reagan during a ceremony to present the 1985 National Technology Awards to Steven Jobs in the East Room. Image is in the Public Domain.

Steve Jobs was one of the prominent technology innovators of our time, creating Apple and developing the powerhouse business they are today. Although he was never open about an official autism diagnosis, his struggles with social interactions and perfection indicate the association. 

15. Eminem

eminem giving a speech at a podium
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Next up on our list of famous autistic people is Eminem, who is known worldwide as one of the best rappers of our time. The star revealed he was diagnosed with Aspergers as a kid and has been very open about his struggles, even creating a song (“Legacy”) discussing his diagnosis. He hopes that his music can help other autistic children feel that they aren’t alone. 

Related: 45 Interesting Facts About Eminem

16. Daryl Hannah

daryl hannah in public holding her hand in the peace sign
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One of the most well-known autistic celebrities is Daryl Hannah, an actress with roles in Kill Bill, Blade Runner, and more. She was diagnosed with autism as a child and struggled through her preteen and teen years. She states that she didn’t come to terms with her diagnosis until she became an actress. 

17. Christine McGuinness

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Christine McGuinness is a model and television personality, married to the famous Paddy McGuiness from Top Gear. She was officially diagnosed at 33, and all three of her children also fall on the spectrum.

18. Adam Young

adam young of owl city arriving at an event
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Also on the roster of famous people with autism is Adam Young, better known as Minnesota’s own Owl City. Young is self-diagnosed, believing he fits several symptoms, such as being incredibly shy and struggling with social interactions.

19. Melanie Sykes

melanie skyes on the red carpet
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Melanie Sykes, a TV presenter and personality on Let’s Do Lunch and Today with Des and Mel, is next on the list of celebrities with autism. She was diagnosed with autism in her 50s.

20. Marty Balin

marty balin on stage playing guitar
Image is in the Public Domain.

Marty Balin, the founder of Jefferson Airplane, which later shifted into Jefferson Starship, is one of the few celebrities with autism who isn’t as open about his diagnosis. He received a diagnosis of mild autism as an adult and rarely speaks about it in interviews. 

21. Temple Grandin

temple grandin arriving at an event
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Temple Grandin is another addition to our list of celebrities with autism. She made a career for herself as one of the most renowned animal behaviorists and autism advocates in the world. She was diagnosed with autism as a child and states that the only way she was able to cope was by spending time with animals. This time devoted to animals resulted in her developing a deep understanding of the creatures in the world and led to a lifelong career in animal behavioralism. 

22. Heather Kuzmich

an action device on a movie set
Image by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Many famous people with autism found fame on TV shows, and the same applies to America’s Next Top Model’s Heather Kuzmich. She received her Asperger’s diagnosis when she was 15, but this didn’t stop her from pushing to become the first model on the show with autism.

23. Clay Marzo

a man surfing through a barrel wave
Image by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash.

Clay Marzo is one of the most famous autistic people who is also an athlete. The surfer received his diagnosis in 2007, which he states helped him to better understand his odd quirks and difficulty with fixating on something. Over the years, he has used his problem with fixation to his benefit, letting himself fixate on becoming a better surfer.

24. Stanley Kubrick

a statue dedicated to stanley kubrick in london
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Stanley Kubrick is another standout in the pool of autistic celebrities. The poignant direction, known for movies like A Clockwork Orange, was never officially diagnosed yet held symptoms such as literal interpretation, inflexibility, poor social skills, and more.

25. Lionel Messi

lionel messi running on a soccer field
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Like Tim Burton, Lionel Messi is one of the few celebrities with autism who hasn’t officially been diagnosed. In an interview, he stated that he suspected he has Asbergers but that it was a blessing in disguise as it helped him to stay focused during soccer matches. While other players are distracted by the fans, or what is going on in the field, Messi states that he can easily stay focused on the ball and his goal to get it in the net. 

26. Satoshi Tajiri

a pokeball sitting on pokemon cards
Image by Thimo Pederson on Unsplash.

Although you might not recognize Satoshi Tajiri by name, he’s the creator of one of the biggest franchises in history –Pokemon. Satoshi is last on our list of famous people with autism, as he was diagnosed with Asperger’s as a child. As a result of his diagnosis, he often struggled with social interactions, which led to him creating a cast of imaginary characters who would always be there for him – aka, Pokemon. 

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Written by Hope Davis

Long-time music lover Hope became a full-time writer in 2020 after being laid off from her regular job due to COVID-19. She now spends her time traveling the world to see her favorite bands while writing about them!


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