The beautiful 52 year old American Actress Daryl Hannah has recently shared with the media her struggle with ASD which caused her to take a step back from acting and the Hollywood lifestyle. (Revised Oct 1, 2013)
The star of many eighties movies like Splash, Blade Runner and Wall Street was diagnosed in the late Sixties, where not much was known about Autism, but decided to keep it quiet so she could pursue her career in acting.
Her shyness was so overwhelming that she would become terrified and rock backwards and forwards to calm herself. But she found that by focussing and dedicating her mind via meditation, her Autism and Autistic traits could be tamed.
Talking to American People magazine she said:
“I’ve never been comfortable being the centre of attention, it’s always freaked me out. If I’d have known 20 years ago what I know today, it would have all been easier to deal with.”
Hannah first alluded to her challenges back in 2007 during an interview with the British Sunday Times. While prominently mentioned along side Hannah’s picture in the article as well as being referenced in her bio on Wikipedia, the admission seems to have gone unnoticed until her recent interview with People Magazine. (Editor Note: Thanks to Jack Pitney for update – Daryl Hannah has been talking about her autism diagnosis for decades.)
Describing her acute shyness, she said in 2007:
“I maybe had asperger’s. It wasn’t widely understood at the time.”
Hannah’s last on screen performance was in Quentin Tarentino’s 1999 epic series Kill Bill, since then she has turned to environmental activism and rescuing animals, including a pot bellied pig called Molly. Even driving a truck which is fuelled solely on up-cycled chip grease.
She’s been arrested several times for her environmental activism, the last time being 2012 after protesting about an oil line to be drilled from Canada directly to the Gulf coast.
She lives with her boyfriend of three years in a farmhouse in California, harvesting solar power and pumping well water. A lifetime away from her Holywood years.