Autism Awareness Week: Top 10 famous people in the spectrum, including Anthony Hopkins, Tim Burton, Darwin and Mozart
For people who have been diagnosed with autism, Asperger's Syndrome, or any other form of developmental disorder in the broad Autism Spectrum, the world can be an incredibly lonely place if the right help is not accessible. Even though autism is still in the works when it comes to being recognized by society as something that shouldn't be shunned, one thing is definitely clear: those who have autism are capable of extraordinary success. If you find that hard to believe then take it up with one of these famous people!
Being World Autism Awareness day today (April 2), we thought it would be a good idea to let everyone know that different doesn't mean anything when it comes to talent. Here is a list of the top 10 famous people on Earth who are in the Autism Spectrum:
1. Tim Burton
Burton is known the world over for his dark, witty, and downright eccentric horror films such as 'Beetlejuice', 'Edward Scissorhands', and 'The Corpse Bride'. The filmmaker was not diagnosed as a child but his wife, Helena Bonham Carter, spotted something odd in his behavior and suggested that he may have Asperger's Syndrome. The man then watched a documentary and felt that it was indeed relatable to his behavior.
2. Darryl Hannah
Hannah was a huge star in the late 80s with roles in films like 'Blade Runner', 'Wall Street', and 'Steel Magnolias'. According to the actress, however, her bright career almost came to an end when she was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. She said in an interview: "I never went on talk shows, never went to premieres. Going to the Academy Awards was so painful for me. I’d almost faint just walking down the red carpet. I was so socially awkward and uncomfortable that I eventually got blacklisted."
3. Dan Harmon
Adult comedy fans will definitely know this one as the co-creator of Adult Swim hit-series, 'Rick and Morty'. Harmon realized that he probably had Asperger's Syndrome when he started researching the disorder for a character he had been creating at the time. The research slowly made him realize that he could relate to a lot of the symptoms. In an interview with Wired Magazine, he said: "I started looking up these symptoms, just to know what they are. And the more I looked them up, the more familiar they started to seem. Then I started taking these internet tests."
4. Sir Anthony Hopkins
The man who famously portrayed and won an Oscar for playing Hannibal Lecter in 'Silence of the Lambs' is considered one of the greatest living actors around. The actor has been diagnosed with high-functioning Asperger's Syndrome even though Hopkins has never actually said at what point in his life he received the diagnosis. When the actor was asked once about how being on the Spectrum affects him, he replied saying: "I don’t go to parties, I don’t have many friends, but I do like people."
5. Satoshi Tajiri
The thing about Tajiri is that everyone across the world knows his most famous creation, Pokemon, but nobody knows who he is. The man has stated in the past that he is on the high-functioning end of the Spectrum. He has since confirmed on multiple occasions that he has Asperger's Syndrome but he doesn't talk about his diagnosis in public as a general rule. Tajiri has said that he prefers if all of his accomplishments can speak for themselves.
6. Albert Einstein
British mathematician Ioan James mentioned in his paper, Singular Scientist, that Einstein showed many signs of autism that may have basically been overlooked. The article, which was published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, described the scientific genius as a reclusive child whose head was filled with dreams. He was also socially very inactive and did not do so well with people. He was also known to be full of obsession when he was a child.
7. Lewis Carroll
The author of the world-famous novels, 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland', Carroll has also been in the spotlight for reasons aside from his fantastical penmanship. He loved to be in the company of young girls and this earned him a pedophile title that he couldn't really care less about. Some people think that he was more comfortable communicating with children because his interactive skills were bad. He later became an accomplished mathematician as well as a minor inventer. These qualities are generally linked to people who are in the Spectrum.
8. Emily Dickinson
An American poet who wrote brilliant poems and had a spark of imagination that couldn't be denied, Dickinson is one of the famous people who had Asperger's Syndrome. Dickinson, whose works used to center a lot around themes of death and immortality, was said to be socially awkward and preferred to be alone. Her biographer, Lyndall Gordon, believed that autism wasn't really the reason behind her reclusive nature, however, and that it was because of epilepsy.
9. Charles Darwin
Known across the world for his theories on evolution, and his "Survival of the fittest" motto, Darwin was one of those famous people who were completely unaware of his condition. Professor Michael Fitzgerald was the one who brought that aspect to the forefront through his research. The professor presented several proofs in his study that included: intriguing behavior, self-love, exceptional thinking and observation skill, and shy nature. All of these indicated that Darwin was suffering from autism.
10. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
One of the greatest musicians of all time and a man who was known even by his peers as a prolific composer, Mozart was a genius who wrote his first musical piece when he was just five-years-old. It was reported that he had shown signs of neurological disorders that included Asperger's Syndrome. The things that pointed towards this diagnosis were his obsession with thoughts and static objects, frequent mood swings, repetitive movements, and other odd behavior.