Image Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty ImageWho is Temple Grandin? Her name was called out seven times at last night’s Emmy Awards, where the rancher-attired Grandin herself was “a palpable presence,” in the L.A. Times‘ words, “at one point, rising and excitedly swinging her hand lasso style from the audience.” Grandin was there, of course, as part of the HBO movie named after her, in which she was played by the Best Actress in a Miniseries or Movie-winning Claire Danes.
Born in 1947, Grandin was diagnosed as autistic at a young age due to her inability to speak or function socially like other children. As an adult, Grandin became a renowned public advocate for those born on the autistic spectrum. Her high-functioning autism ultimately allowed her to earn a doctorate in animal science, become a university professor, and pen an autobiography about her experiences. She has also made notable contributions to the ethical treatment of livestock. Grandin, who believes that her autism helps gives her insight into the feelings of farm creatures, famously designed more humane corrals for cows headed for slaughter.
Grandin has been the subject of several film treatments before HBO’s award-winning movie, including a BBC documentary (“The Woman Who Thinks Like A Cow”) and an episode of director Errol Morris’ First Person. (Click through to the jump to see clips from both of those shows.)
In our review this February, EW’s Jennifer Armstrong said HBO’s Temple Grandin “put[s] us right inside the mind of its subject” and praised Danes for “transcend[ing] a standard awards-bait performance.” According to Deadline Hollywood, Danes said after the Emmys last night that she “never worked harder on a performance.”
Were you a fan of HBO’s Temple Grandin? Pleased by the Emmys love? Let’s hear it. And to read what EW wrote about Emmy’s other big winners in the movie and miniseries categories — The Pacific and You Don’t Know Jack — click here and here.