Countless celebrities today have got involved to help within the autism community. Many of them have been personally affected by having a family member who’s on the autism spectrum. These are just a few. Know of a celebrity not on this list? Let us know in the comments!
Dan Marino (Former NFL Quarterback)
— Autism Speaks (@autismspeaks) March 16, 2015
Highlights: Hall-of-Fame QB in the NFL who played for the Miami Dolphins. Started the Dan Marino Foundation in 1992 after being inspired through his experience of raising his son with autism. Opened The Dan Marino Center in 1998 to pursue his work to advocate for others.
Shawn Stockman (Singer)
Highlights: One of the members of the multiplatinum R&B group Boys II Men. Shawn’s son Micah was diagnosed with autism at 2. Throughout the years, he has worked with Autism Speaks and later founded the non-profit “Micah’s Voice.”
Gary Cole (Actor)
Highlights: Actor who is well known for his roles in Office Space and Entourage. Gary’s daughter Mary was diagnosed with autism in 1995.
Doug Flutie (Former NFL Quarterback)
Highlights: Pro-Bowl QB in the NFL who played for several teams including the Bills, Chargers and Patriots. Started the Doug Flutie Foundation to help improve the quality of life for people and families affected by autism.
Joe Mantegna (Actor)
Highlights: Actor known for his role in shows such as Criminal Minds. Joe’s daughter Mia was diagnosed with autism. Joe’s wife Arlene created the Autism Families Together Network to help spread awareness and education of autism.
Ed Asner (Actor, writer, director)
Highlights: Historic actor for his roles in Up, Elf, and several others. Ed has both a son and grandson on the autism spectrum. Today he advocates with his son Matt for individuals with autism with organizations such as Autism Speaks.
Tommy Hilfiger (American fashion designer)
Highlights: A fashion icon for his Tommy Hilfiger brand. Tommy has both a daughter and son on the autism spectrum. Tommy has worked closely with organizations such as Autism Speaks to help spread awareness and funds for the cause and along with wife Dee are on the Board of Directors for the organization.
Sean Rodriguez (MLB player)
Highlights: Current utility MLB player for the Pittsburgh Pirates who has a young son on the autism spectrum. Has partnered with several organizations including Autism Speaks.
John Schneider (NFL General Manager)
— Seattle Times Photo (@SeaTimesPhoto) April 21, 2015
Highlights: Current General Manager of the former NFL Champion Seattle Seahawks. Started the foundation, Ben’s Fund, in honor of their son Ben who was diagnosed with autism at the age of three.
Ernie Els (Former professional golfer)
Highlights: Former PGA Golfer who started the Els for Autism Foundation in 2009 and later broke ground on The Els Center of Excellence. Inspired to get involved with the cause based on their son Ben who was diagnosed with autism.
D.L. Hughley (Comedian)
— Kerry Magro (@Kerrymagro) August 5, 2015
D.L. Hughley was in the news in 2015 for his emotional interview during an episode of “Oprah: Where Are They Now?” where he discussed his son Kyle who was diagnosed with autism.
Stephen Stills (Folk rock star)
Rock star Stephen Stills made his mark with the folk rock band Crosby, Stills & Nash. Stephen’s son Henry was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome at a young age. Stephen has gone on to be featured in the documentary Autism: The Musical and to partner with Autism Speaks to raise funds for autism through the concert series Light Up The Blues.
Sylvester Stallone (Actor, writer, director)
Just in case you forgot how tall Ivan Drago was. The man was a walking eclipse. pic.twitter.com/oyBAxQNeec
— Sylvester Stallone (@TheSlyStallone) April 13, 2015
Highlights: One of the most historic action stars of all-time known for his roles in the Rocky and Rambo film series, Sylvester’s son Seargeoh was diagnosed with autism at 3. Sylvester helped spread awareness about the Autism Society and funds for Autism Speaks.
Holly Robinson Peete (Actress)
Highlights: Rose to fame for her roles on television on 21 Jump Street and Hangin with Mr. Cooper. Married to former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete. In 1997, Holly and her husband Rodney started the HollyRod Foundation to support those suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. Later when their son Rodney Peete, Jr was diagnosed with autism they expanded their mission to help individuals on the spectrum. Holly is well known for her commitment as a spokesperson to help spread autism awareness and education while partnering with organizations such as Autism Speaks.
Toni Braxton (Singer)
Highlights: Multiplatinum recording artist and 7 time-Grammy winner Toni Braxton is known as one of the most prolific R&B singers of all-time. Toni’s son Diezel in 2006 was diagnosed with autism where she quickly got involved in the autism community. Today she is a spokesperson for Autism Speaks.
Didi Conn (Actress)
— Closer Weekly (@closerweekly) July 27, 2015
Highlights: Didi who played Frenchy in the films “Grease” and “Grease 2” also has a son on the autism spectrum who was diagnosed at the age of 2. Today Didi has been a spokesperson for several organizations including Autism Speaks.
Shonda Schilling (author)
Highlights: Shonda Schilling is a best-selling author who came out with the book The Best Kind of Different that was published in 2010 and soon there after became a New York Times Bestseller. She’s a mother of 4 with her son Grant having autism. She is also the wife of former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling.
Jacqueline Laurita (Reality TV star, fashion designer)
Highlights: A former cosmetologist. Jacqueline became a TV-celebrity when she appeared in the first five seasons of The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Has become an active part of the autism community in New Jersey since her son was diagnosed and has used her TV platform to help spread awareness of the disorder. Has worked with organizations such as Autism Speaks to help the effort.
Tisha Martin (Actress)
Highlights: TV actress known for her starring roles in Martin and My Wife and Kids. Today Tisha works with organizations such as Autism Speaks to advocate for the cause since her son was diagnosed over a decade ago. In addition, she has produced a short film called Colored My Mind to help spread awareness along with releasing a children’s book called My Brother Doesn’t Want to Play.
Christina Mendez (Model)
Highlights: Christina who is mainly known for her modeling career in NYC has become a lead advocate for those with autism. Her main charity has become Autism Speaks after her son was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2.
Nick Lachey (Member of 98 Degrees)
ABC US News | World News Highlights: Nick who rose to fame with the boy band 98 degrees in the 90’s and today is still well known as a singer-songwriter, actor, producer, and television personality! Nick also has been younger brother is on the autism spectrum. To help with the cause Nick Lachey was Autism Speaks 2014 Lindt spokesperson to support people like his brother. You can read more here.
Jordan Spieth (PGA golfer and masters winner)
One of the rising stars in golf today, Jordan after his first Masters win embraced with his younger sister who is on the autism spectrum. You can read more here.
Jacquelyn Jablonski (Victoria Secret model)
Snow day w. Tommy ❄️ A photo posted by jacquelynjablonski (@jacquelynjablonski) on
Jacquelyn has become an ambassador for Autism Speaks and is known for hosting and participating in several awareness events to help with the cause. You can read more here.
Nikki Reed (Actress)
Well known for her breakout role in the Twilight movies, Nikki came out about having a brother on the autism spectrum to People.com. Nikki was Autism Speaks 2015 Lindt spokesperson to help with the cause. You can read more here.
Branford and Wynton Marsalis (Famous musicians)
In the early 1980’s Branford, a saxophonist and Wynton Marsalis, a trumpeter made waves in Jazz music with songs such as “Swinging at the Haven” and “The Surrey with the Fringe On Top.” They also have a brother on the autism spectrum who you can learn more via this blog here.
Anyone we miss? Tell us in the comments!
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