Prison Break star Wentworth Miller announces autism diagnosis

Actor said news came as a ‘shock’ to him as a ‘middle-aged man’

Ellie Harrison
Tuesday 27 July 2021 15:47
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Prison Break actor Wentworth Miller has revealed he has been diagnosed with autism as an adult.

The star, 49, shared the news on his Instagram on Monday (26 July), saying the official diagnosis came as a “shock” to him even though he himself had previously speculated that he might have autism.

“This fall marks 1 year since I received my informal autism diagnosis. Preceded by a self-diagnosis. Followed by a formal diagnosis. It was a long, flawed process in need of updating. IMO. I’m a middle-aged man. Not a 5-year-old,” he wrote.

Wentworth emphasised that he simply wants to share his news, not become a “loud, ill-informed voice” in the autism community.

He added: “I don’t know enough about autism. (There’s a lot to know.) Right now my work looks like evolving my understanding. Re-examining 5 decades of lived experience thru a new lens…

“The #autistic community (this I do know) has historically been talked over. Spoken for. I don’t wish to do additional harm. Only to raise my hand, say, ‘I am here. Have been (w/o realising it).’”

Reacting to the news, Tom Purser from the National Autistic Society told The Independent: “Many autistic adults will see a lot of themselves in Wentworth Miller’s powerful words. This is especially true for the many autistic people who also weren’t diagnosed until well into adulthood – and may have gone through life without a proper understanding of who they are and the right support.

“This is why it’s important and encouraging that a growing number of people with a high-profile are talking about their autism publicly, including Wentworth Miller, the author Holly Smale and the Second Sea Lord, Vice Admiral Nick Hine.

“Almost everyone has heard of autism now. But few people understand what it’s actually like to be autistic – both the strengths and how hard life can be without the right support. By speaking out, people like Wentworth can help change this. Better public understanding of autism across society could transform hundreds of thousands of autistic people’s lives.”

Wentworth was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance in Prison Break, in which he played Michael Scofield, a man who deliberately sends himself to prison so as to break out his elder brother, Lincoln Burrows (Dominic Purcell), before his execution for a crime he did not commit.

He has also starred in The Flash, Madam Secretary and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.

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