[Inspiration for] Rain Man died

This year has been brutal for famous celebs.

Kim Peek inspired the rainman character expertly portrayed by Dustin Hoffman.
Kim had a massive heart attack and died.


I’ve seen Kim in several documentaries. His memory was phenomenal.

Whoa, that’s sad.

But for a sec, I thought you meant Dustin Hoffman was dead. Not that that’s necessarily worse…I just never heard of Kim Peek, but do know of Dustin Hoffman.

Extraordinary man and life who did an enormous amount to help the rest of us understand savant abilities. His father, Fran, must be devastated. Savants at the extreme of the spectrum, such as Kim Peek, Stephen Wiltshire and Daniel Tammet seem to enjoy all the testing and proof of their extraordinary gifts. Their willingness to do so has added enormously to our understanding of the way the human brain works.

Makes you wonder why ‘psychics’ usually refuse scientific testing.

Gee, wonder why? :wink:

Seriously, though, I would change the title to “Inspiration for Rain Man died”, mods. I know who Kim Peek is(was), so that probably wouldn’t be descriptive enough.

That’s sad to hear. I knew of the real-life inspiration for Raymond Babbitt, so the title didn’t throw me. But yeah, there could be an addendum to the title to clarify that it wasn’t Dustin Hoffman who passed away.

Kim Peek, in his relatively short life (only 58), taught us much about the inner workings of the human mind. I will play “I Saw Her Standing There” and think of him. I’m not sure if he actually liked that song like Raymond did, but there is that connection to the movie character, and ultimately, back to him.

Good idea.

Are they going to keep his brain for study?

Wait a minute? Where is Dan O’Bannon’s corpse right now?

I remember seeing a 60 Minutes segment with one of the inspirations for Hoffman’s character but it doesn’t look like the guy in the photo. Rest in peace.

The guy from 60 Minutes demonstrated among other things that he had the perpetual calendar memorized -you could give him any date, for example December 25, 1674 AD and he could tell you on which day of the week it fell. He also remembered the weather for virtually every day of his life. And I think that was about it.

He couldn’t instantly count a mass accumulation of objects à la the toothpick scene from Rain Man and he couldn’t instantaneously perform complex arithmetic equations (What’s 795,422 divided by 68,119). Always got me to wondering if these super powers were complete creations by the script writers.

Kim Peek could do the date thing as well. He could also remember every page of every book he read and every fact on anything. He increased his functionality after the movie Rain Man came out and learned to relate facts to people’s lives. If you said you went to UCLA, he could regale you with facts about the basketball team and so forth.

All that, and you had to hold his arm while you walked with him so he wouldn’t wander off.

I was surprised to learn the Rain Man character as portrayed by Hoffman was inspired by a real person, since he resembled no autistic person I have ever met. Just tonight I learned that Peek, in fact, was not autistic. He had multiple brain abnormalities, including a damaged cerebellum and complete absence of the corpus collosum (the structure that normally connects the two hemispheres of the brain).

Yes, while Kim wasn’t “classic autistic” he was not nereotypical. People with brain differences can have behaviors that mimic autisim but aren’t autism if that makes any sense.

The toothpick abilty bit was based on the autistic “savant” twins that Oliver Sacks wrote about in Man Who Mist. The human calculator bit has been seen in some savants…Can’t remember the speifics but I know I’ve read about them before.