Temple Grandin: Emmy Awards' Mystery Star

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During the Emmy Awards last night, cameras kept panning to a woman dressed in a cowgirl shirt. Her name is Temple Grandin. But who is that, exactly?

The HBO biopic Temple Grandin, starring Claire Danes in the title role, was critically acclaimed, nominated for seven awards Sunday and winning five.

Ty Burrell, Julie Bowen

But for many Emmy viewers, the movie's high-profile wins were the first they'd heard of the extraordinary autistic woman named Temple Grandin.

Claire Danes won an Emmy for portraying Temple Grandin.

Temple, who was diagnosed with autism in 1950 at the age of 2, stood up as she was thanked by those being celebrated for portraying her life story.

Despite so many setbacks, Grandin went on to earn multiple advanced degrees, including a doctorate in animal science from the University of Illinois.

She is considered one of the top advocates of both autism-spectrum understanding and animal welfare, and might be best-known for her invention of more humane slaughterhouse practices, for which she has been recognized by PETA.

The HBO movie, Temple Grandin, for which Danes prepared by listening to audiotapes of Grandin's speaking engagements and by working with a choreographer to perfect Grandin's mannerisms - tells the story of Grandin's struggles.

In that era, autism was a mystery even to doctors.

Grandin is the author of several books and papers about autism and animal welfare, and has been featured in Time magazine, the New York Times, and an amazing mini-documentary by Oscar-winning filmmaker Errol Morris.

In addition to her ongoing work as an advocate for autism, Temple Grandin is a professor at Colorado State University and a consultant to the livestock industry.

She's led an amazing life against long odds and it's terrific to see her story get the attention it deserves, complete with her personal appearance Sunday.


This was such an inspiring movie-thank you to Temple, HBO and everyone involved. What an extraordinary story and what an extraordinary person Temple is. Thanks for bringing it to HBO! It should be brought to network television also as it is soo important for pepople to become educated on the topic of autism. Thanks again! and Claire Danes did such a wonderful job! WOW!


I have gotten to watch this lady speak and I have learned more from her than any doctor or teacher or therapist ever told me. I have autisitic son which we didn't find out he was till later in middle school. Thank you Temple.


@THG, Thank you for the update on Temple Grandin. Her inspiring story *is a winner for all involved.


I went to see Temple Grandin in Visalia Calif. where she went to speak. She is amazing! I currenrtly write Social Stories for autistic students in my school district so I am a little familiar with autism.I didn't have HBO but when she told us that she had a movie coming out in Feb. I ordered HBO just to watch it. The movie was great!The actress that portrayed Temple was fantastic! Having met and hearing and seeing Temple Grandin, she portrayed her to a "T".I'm glad for all the recognition this movie got.


Temple Grandin has accomplished in REAL LIFE what celebs can only wish for.Way to go Temple and all I can say WOW !!! I honestly do not think there's an award fitting for her achievements ! If anyone has never watched specials or the movie about her,you need to !


Thanks for posting this, THG. Temple Grandin was a fantastic movie and the woman herself is an incredible role model for autism. I appreciate that you made this post more about the issue, less about the outfits.