There was a time when Daryl Hannah was the hottest thing around. That time, my children, was the ‘80s. She did a quick succession of interesting hit movies like Splash, Roxanne, Wall Street, Steel Magnolias, and one of my favorite films of all time, Legal Eagles. This was around the same time that she was dating John F. Kennedy Jr. I think they even lived together in NYC for several years too, but Jackie Kennedy basically told John-John that Daryl was not marriage material and so he broke it off and ended up with Carolyn Bessette. And you know how the rest of it played out.
Anyway, getting back to Daryl – her career sort of faltered for a while and then she had a minor comeback (with Kill Bill) and then… not so much. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that she still had a lot of friends in the industry, but it also wouldn’t surprise me to learn that many people who know her think she’s a bit wacky (in a harmless way). So… this makes sense, sort of. Apparently, Daryl is autistic?
Daryl Hannah has revealed that she was diagnosed with Autism as a child and struggled ‘debilitating shyness’ as a result of the disorder. Now 52, Hannah – who reached the very peak of her profession through roles in smash hits like Splash, Blade Runner, Wall Street and Steel Magnolias – is able to quietly manage her symptoms.
But as she rose through the Hollywood hierarchy it was a different story altogether.
‘I’ve never been comfortable being the center of attention,’ the stunning blonde – who dated John Kennedy Jnr. – star told People. ‘It’s always freaked me out.’
The Chicago reared beauty said at times her shyness would become so overwhelming that she would rock back and forward constantly.
‘I’m a grown up now,’ she told the magazine. ‘I’ve learned a couple of things that really would’ve made my life easier if I’d known them 20 years ago.’
Hannah, who became famous as a teenager, said that she concealed her autism from movie producers and refused to do promotional interviews or talk show appearances, ‘not because I was above it, but because I was terrified.’
She added: ‘I wasted so much time scared, self-conscious and insecure.’
Now the limelight has moved elsewhere, the comfortable star says her roles have changed but she’s happy. With a boyfriend of three years, a rescue pig called Molly and and a farm near L.A, her life has changed dramatically.
‘Life is too short to stress the small things anymore.’
I remember how she used to be, and I don’t think people called her snobby or whatever. Most people just thought she marched to the beat of her own drummer. I think she was considered sort of spacey hippie bohemian type. But the autism diagnosis is very interesting and it makes me reconsider her career and her past interviews. I’m guessing that she was diagnosed with one of the more manageable forms of autism, like Asperger’s Syndrome. You know who else has Asperger’s? Steven Spielberg. I always associate Asperger’s Syndrome with “savant” qualities, but just as often, it can just mean extreme social and private awkwardness.
Though this is the first time I’ve ever heard about Daryl’s autism diagnosis, apparently she has referenced it before in a handful of other interviews.
Photos courtesy of WENN.