The cinematic world has witnessed many outstanding individuals, and Daryl Hannah is undoubtedly one of them. The actress and environmental activist, who is popularly known for the role of the Mermaid Madison she played in Splash, is an admirable character on-screen and off-screen.
Daryl Christine Hannah was born on the 3rd of December 1960 and was raised in Chicago, Illinois. She is mainly known as a fantastic actress, but her brilliancy spans beyond the theatres. Daryl is a natural for show business. She played keyboard and sang backup for Jackson Browne, even as far back as in her twenties.
How it All Started
Daryl Hannah is one of those few actresses whose acting journey spans many years, long before they found fame. Her career goes back to when she was an undergraduate at the University of Southern California- School of Theatre. In her early days, she also attended Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, where she studied drama. She later practiced ballet with Maria Tallchief.
Daryl made her on-screen debut in Brian De Palma’s supernatural horror movie, The Fury, in 1978. She later went on to act in more minor roles and was featured as Kim Basinger’s kid sister in Hard Country (1981). Her breakout role was as the beautiful, acrobatic replicant android punk Pris in Blade Runner (1982). Pris was the vixen character who wanted to live beyond her allotted years and risked the wrath of the title character.
Her Early Life
Hannah was born to Susan Jeanne Metzger, a former school teacher and farmer, and Donald Christian Hannah, a barge company and a tug boat owner. Her parents eventually divorced, and her mother married businessman/music journalist Jerrold Wexler, brother of the cinematographer Haskell Wexler. Hannah was raised as a Roman Catholic and grew up with her siblings, Don and Page, alongside her maternal half-sister, Tanya Wexler, in Long Grove, Illinois.
Her interest in movies and acting started at a very tender age, partly due to her insomnia. As a young child, she was known to struggle in school and was emotionally isolated. She was later diagnosed with Autism, and medical professionals subsequently urged her parents to have her institutionalized.
A Child with a Disorder
Although the medical professionals’ advice came as the most suitable option, her mother temporarily relocated to Jamaica with Hannah. The motive for the relocation was that Susan hoped that the change in the environment would help her daughter cope with the condition.
According to Daryl, being diagnosed with the condition at age five made her shyness worse. “I would come home from school and cry myself to sleep,” she explained. Her entire school career was a struggle as she was tall, stick-thin, skinny, kind of goofy, and, at the very least, not very communicative.
Coping with the Condition
Everyone at Daryl’s school picked on her because she was different; she had white hair. These challenges were compounded daily by the impact she felt from Autism. Nonetheless, she found a way to cope with the condition. She started by learning to rock herself back and forth because it helped her calm down.
This famous personality, who was once uncomfortable with the idea of being the focus of attention, is now relatively comfortable with having eyes on her. She later realized that she had wasted too much time being insecure, scared, and self-conscious. Her conclusion was, “Life is too short to stress about small things anymore.”
A Versatile Personality
Daryl Hannah remains one of the most versatile actors in the movie world, and she has constantly shown this in her cinematic excellence. The Danish, Irish, English, Scottish, Norwegian, and German ancestry actress has starred in movies like Splash, Blade Runner, Wall Street and is a recurring feature in the Kill Bill series.
Her role in the movie Splash, a fantasy romantic comedy film from 1984, was that of a mermaid, Madison, who fell in love with Allen Bauer, a character played by Tom Hanks. She played the role of a Cro-Magnon woman in The Clan of the Cave Bear (1986) and Roxanne in the eponymous Steve Martins’ contemporary adaptation of the Cyrano de Bergerac story.
Independent Cinema Advocate
Daryl remains a solid and consistent supporter of independent cinema. She has proven that as both an actor and producer of indie films. She starred in indie films such as John Sayle’s “Casa de Los Babys” (2003), his political satire “Silver City” (2004), and in several other films with the revered Robert Altman. She also made several films with the Polish Brothers, including Jackpot (2001) and Northfork (2003).
It doesn’t end there. She has starred in projects like in the experimental improvised film “Dancing at the Blue Iguana” (2000) by Micheal Radford. Moreover, she later released a one-hour companion documentary based on her experiences researching her role as a stripper in the movie.
More than Just an Actress
Many people know the admirable Daryl Hannah to be a fantastic actress who has been featured in some of the best classics of her time. However, she presents herself as an individual who has much more to offer than just acting. Although Hannah got her fame through her acting career, she constantly touches human lives beyond the theatres.
Hannah has constantly taken part in various endeavors. The actress, who designed her popular dhlovelife.com website, which became live in 2005, has dedicated her time to sharing solutions on how we can live harmoniously with the planet and all other living things. She has made more than 40 video blogs that she shared on various websites, including her own.
What Movie Changed Her Life?
As a child who grew up with Autism, Hannah’s childhood days weren’t delightful. The constant bullying and irritable scorn by neighbors and kids at school made her early days challenging. Although she received reasonable support from caring friends and family, Hannah also found support from watching movies.
Movies like the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Bedknobs, and Broomsticks helped her cope well. Still, one particular movie which did stand out pretty well for her was the famous Wizard of Oz. According to her, “it was the idea of another world existing beyond our own that appealed to me, and I loved going to magical places like these in my imagination.”
From Movies to Autobiography
Daryl loved and transcended the storyline of the Wizard of Oz so much that she took a step further after watching the movie to read Judy Garland’s autobiography. She didn’t stop there but also read the life stories of other actors in movies that she liked.
“I read Garland’s book when I was in fifth or sixth grade,” she said. “The book said that Garland was an actress who went to Hollywood and was discovered at an audition.” The autobiographies Hannah had read helped her put two and two together and realized that movies weren’t some distant world that existed. Someone caught it on camera, and somehow it ended up on TV.
The New Reality
Understanding that movies aren’t real but instead captured gave Hannah a vehicle for her vivid imagination. “The realization that it was a paying job could have made me actively pursue it. I would leave school at lunchtime and use a payphone to call an agent for a job. ”
Although most of the responses didn’t turn out to be as positive as she expected, Daryl was not ready to give up on this newfound reality. “I wanted to live in the land of Oz and meet the Tin Woodsman, The Cowardly Lion, and the scarecrow,” she says. It wasn’t that I wanted to be an actress, but instead, I wanted to transport myself to those other realities physically”.
Getting started with Acting
Daryl, who wanted to reach those places she had always admired on TV physically, decided to attend acting classes and bring her dreams to reality. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as she ever envisioned. From her words: “I went to every acting school I could think of, known to man, but most of them were complete garbage.”
This statement came as a result of schools making her feel more insecure rather than confident. According to her, “Many people kept asking what acting techniques I use and my responses were mainly, I don’t know, I’m just pretending. That made me feel inadequate”. She further went on to explain that “acting is the ability to use imagination to make the circumstances and emotions of the character feel real.”
Putting Her Imagination to Work
Acting school and acting lessons arguably made Hannah insecure at first, but eventually, she arrived at what she worked for her. She found a teacher who wanted her to explore her imagination. “It was like walking into heaven,” she admitted. “Nobody wanted me to analyze what I was doing; they just wanted me to feel it, just like what children do when they play.”
Even though she was still unable to travel to the famous land of Oz and couldn’t meet with the Tin Woodsman, she found a way to put her imagination to work. The new teacher was able to help her exercise her creative muscles, which had helped her in her acting career.
Her Coping Mechanism
These newer forms of learning might have helped Hannah maximize her acting potential and eased her entrance into the movie industry. Nonetheless, she still found the public side of acting daunting. “I would try to avoid those things at all cost,” she said. “Not that I was trying to be difficult; it was just that those things scared me.”
“Public gatherings and functions like the Academy Awards, where there are going to be thousands of screaming people, and bright lights still freak her out.” To cope with this, she always imagined that it was a bunch of people coming to her party, and they were the ones who were nervous and uncomfortable. Hopefully, that has helped her cope over the years.
Hannah has admitted to being oddly shy and introverted several times, but she remains an elegantly striking woman. In addition, she’s also self-assured, outwardly confident, and everything you might hope to find in a Hollywood diva. She carries herself perfectly and continues to win many people’s admiration.
However, she revealed that confidence and self-possession are a defensive façade which she used during her more than 30 years in the spotlight. It’s a mask meant to help her survive in an industry where images outshine reality. The appearance seems to be working for her.
A Battle with Age
Hannah might have had to deal with a lot of snickering and ridiculous comments growing up, but she currently still has to deal with regular internet trolls, which is appalling. Many people feel free to comment on her looks and accuse her of having had cosmetic surgery. She had tried to cope with these comments, but it had not been entirely easy.
The wrinkles and jowls currently noticeable on her facial sections have been one particular reason behind people constantly vilifying her, and that’s wrong. She claims a significant number of people will look at her face and ask, “What have you done to yourself?” The actress insisted she had never had a facelift in her life and whatever is currently noticeable is just part of the natural aging process.
Private and Sacred Life
For most celebrities, managing emotions can be challenging, but Daryl has been able to keep this under control significantly. Her secret: “I have a great and supportive family.” She believes that dwelling on people’s comments, particularly those over the internet who barely knew her, is a waste of time. Aging is part of the process of life, and she doesn’t dwell on the comments.
As part of her emotional management process, she had decided to live a private life. The actress politely declines any questions that are asked about her family and relationship. “Those relationships are very sacred and private to me,” she says. “I don’t discuss them, not even the historical ones.”
Steps Back from Hollywood
Of course, as an actress, avoiding getting into the spotlight might be almost impossible. Hannah knows about that. Her persistent shyness and introversion had persuaded her to take some steps back from the Hollywood limelight about a decade ago. She has been noticed to divert her energy to more important things.
Daryl hit a professional lull in her career after the worldwide success of Kill Bill, in which she acted as Elle Driver, a professional sword-wielding assassin. Hannah, who has now retreated to her ranch and private compound outside of Los Angeles, has become an environmental activist. Something she now regards ahead of acting.
A Proud Rancher
Hannah’s acting years might slowly be coming to an end, but she has taken an interest in something else, which she proudly shows off. “I have collected and maintained an amazing menagerie over the years,” she said. It’s a rotating misfit circus of the most beautiful animals. I have chickens, horses, a cat, a one-eyed dog, and a rescue pig named Molly. And at some point, I would like to get a goat. ”
Hannah’s ranch has a current market value of around US $4 million, but it is also environmentally friendly. Her home was built with timber reclaimed from an 1870s stagecoach way station. The house is solar-powered, has a greywater system, and she’s also able to grow her vegetables, which she also sells at farmers’ markets.
Hannah’s newfound love for the environment has seen her protect the planet as much as she can in her little way. She strives for nothing short of green energy in her ranch and has ensured that her lifestyle matches her environmental beliefs. “I am off the electrical grid, supplying my power and have been for around 25 years,” she once said.
The handrails and balustrades in her home are also made from fallen timber from the scrubs. Though seen driving a couple of cars, the actress has also tried to live without petroleum products. Her classic 1960s truck runs on biodiesel (cooking oil). The Trans Am Muscle car she had used in the movie Kill Bill had been modified to run on alcohol distilled from starchy waste products.
The Three-Day Movie
The opportunity to act as Mermaid Maddison in Splash has indeed been a turning point in this actress’s career journey. Nonetheless, she has thrilled fans with her exceptional acting and the unique content she continues to produce. One truly amazing thing is her ability, alongside that of Neil Young and Micah Nelson, to produce a movie in three days.
“We had no crew, no budget,” Hannah said. “We just had to do it ourselves.” Hannah, who wrote the film “Paradox,” about a musical journey that follows a pack of musicians in western attire and steampunk, traipsing through the elegant strips of the American West. The film premiered on the streaming network Netflix.
A Try at Something Different
Although many people continue to compare Hannah’s movie, Paradox, to Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing, the movies are quite different from each other. For Whedon’s, he had to gather his friends in a house in Santa Monica, California, and make a movie. Hannah’s film, on the other hand, was not created by professionals.
Hannah had to be resourceful, but also, everybody had to do everything. “There wasn’t anybody else, so I had to be hands-on,” she said. The hands-on coaching proved helpful, as everyone knew what Hannah wanted them to do and what not to do. She also admitted to having made improvisations along the way and even reused her main cast again as an extra.
Sustained Acting career
Hannah isn’t as active as she was years ago, arguably due to her age. We have noticed that high-profile acting roles eluded her in recent years, but Hannah is still in demand. She continued to appear in different feature films and series such as Sense8, which runs on Netflix.
Sense8, which she is featured in, is written and produced by the tinsel town wunderkind Andy Wachowski and his transgender sister Lana. The series tells eight people from different cultures – a transgender woman from the US, a Nairobi taxi driver, and a German criminal, amongst others. They find themselves linked by their feelings and senses.
Less Common Random Roles
Hannah’s acting career has been seen to be structured with random roles less common for the actress. One of the few exceptions to this is her feature in Sense8. “I didn’t have an agent when the role was offered to me, so it was kind of random,” she admitted. “What I knew was that I had heard the Wachowskis were working on a secret project which was wild.”
On the reason she took the role, she said: “I just fell madly in love with them when I met them. They came up with ideas nobody had ever thought of putting up on the screen”. Daryl plays the role of Angel, a mysterious character whose death sparks the link between the eight people.
As an individual who has suffered from congenital shyness since childhood, it would be a paradox to assume that her acting career had been to alienate these conditions. Hannah is a proud introvert, and she never stopped making that known. “Some people are extroverts; some are introverts. I am one of the latter, “she says.
She had also admitted that she was able to deal with it better as she grew older. “I wish I knew when I started what I know now,” she added. “I wouldn’t have wasted all that energy and time being so timid.” The actress and activist were known to divert all that energy out into the world rather than her fears.
Daryl started her career as an actress, but currently, she also doubles as an environmental activist. In more recent times, she’s even been known mainly for her role in speaking up for the environment rather than for her appearance in movies. The actress is one of the few individuals who have been willing to fight for environmental protection even at a high personal cost.
Hannah’s contribution and exploration of ways to prevent man-made climate change have been noteworthy. She will continue to do her part in ensuring that society moves away from burning fossil fuels to a cleaner energy alternative. She does that by building a green home and getting more and more people on board each year.
Programs Directed at Environmental Protection
Hannah’s push for a safer environment has been remarkable, and she continually supports programs devoted to clean energy alternatives. She had participated in programs like the iMatter March, the Ride for Renewable projects and produced a documentary to showcase the connection to climate change denial.
Her actions towards a green planet will continue to remain extremely impressive. She has protested continuously in front of the White House against corrupt climate policies and has sent letters to former President Barack Obama. This actress channels her popularity towards something incredible.
Blogging as Her Instrument
The internet is a powerful tool that could be used for advocating social change. Hannah understands this principle and is known for continually using her website to push for a greener society. Her advocacy work is featured on her blog, DHLoveLife, where she is often the sound recordist, cameraperson, and on-screen host.
On her blog, Hannah features a series of five-minute films that help to offer viewers short insights into how people around the world are trying to save the planet. In one of her clips, the actress is seen licking the gas cap off her 1983 biodiesel El Camino to demonstrate how the French fry grease that powers the vehicle has such a low level of toxicity that you can practically eat it.
Sacrificing More Than Time
The actress is so committed to her belief in a greener society that she has been willing to devote not just her time and energy to talk about it, but she has also sacrificed her freedom several times. The actress, who was arrested in June 2016 while trying to help save the future of a large urban farm in South-Central Los Angeles, has also been arrested five times for protesting against environmentally damaging projects all around the United States.
The actress’s most recent arrest was for protesting against the Keystone XL pipeline. That was not the first time she got arrested for protesting this particular pipeline. In 2011, she was one of the nearly 100 people arrested for organizing a sit-in outside the White House to protest the $7 billion pipeline.
Despite the challenges of frequent arrests, Hannah has continued to hold her belief in a sustainable environment closely to her heart and feels optimistic about the future. “I do feel hopeful for the future because I feel like more people are now opening up to this thought process than ever,” she says.
Hannah’s environmental beliefs are not a matter of political stance but just common sense. She holds the belief that she should have stood for this a long time ago. She believes not everyone needs to go to extremes to achieve a greener lifestyle, but a simple effort to try and adjust their lifestyle can make a massive difference in the long run.
Addressing More Than Environmental Issues
Although Hannah is at the forefront of many environmental issues and is consequently regarded as an environmental activist, she has also been a critical player in the fight against sexual slavery and sex trafficking that still occurs worldwide. She has been noticed traveling the globe to document this terrible atrocity.
Hannah travels around the world and makes documentaries to give a voice to the fight against sexual slavery. She believes that if more people devoted themselves to the exact causes, we might be living in a different world. She continues to champion talks not just about environmental issues but also about sexual abuse.
Daryl Christine Hannah is one of those few celebrities who have tried to keep their personal life from prying public eyes as much as possible. Although that is rare, she keeps most of her life private from the public. For a long time, she was known to be in a relationship with John F. Kennedy Jr.
She had also been known to have been with the musician Jackson Browne for a while. The actress and environmental activist began seeing Browne in 1983, but they eventually broke up in 1992 amid allegations that Browne was physically abusive to her. These claims are still highly disputed.
From Dating to Much More
In 2014, Hannah started dating the musician Neil Young, and in 2018, they got married. The “Heart of Gold” singer confirmed that the two lovebirds had tied the knot when he referred to her as his wife in a note he shared on his website. The reports of the possible union started swirling on social media months before the confirmation.
Hannah and the rock legend were known to have started dating as far back as 2014 when Young and his former wife split up after two children and 36 years of marriage. The stars, who had been dating for months before the wedding, didn’t hide the relationship. Young and Hannah merged their personal and professional lives when Young starred in the movie Paradox, written and directed by Hannah.
Her Support for Women
The environment is not Hannah’s only focus. She also lends her voice to social issues and, in this case, borders around women. When Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual assaults that lasted over thirty years, Hannah was among the numerous women who spoke out against him.
Along with many other women and actresses, she was an outspoken supporter of Weinstein’s survivors. Moreover, Hannah also stated that Weinstein had sexually harassed her on multiple occasions during the production of Kill Bill. She claims he had once tried to break into her hotel room, forcing her to flee through the back door.
A Different Side to Her Acting Career
Hannah is famous for the various roles in different movies, but her movie career goes beyond just acting. She is also a proud director and producer of other movies. As a filmmaker, Hannah has written, directed, and produced movies such as The Last Supper- an award-winning short film (1995). She also shot, directed, and produced the short documentary Strip Notes (2002), inspired during her research for Dancing at the Blue Iguana (2000).
Daryl had recently signed on as the executive producer for the documentary Greed Lying Bastard. The $1.5 million project, directed by first-time filmmaker Craig Rosebraugh, is an investigation into the influence the fossil fuel industry has on the political efforts and process of combating climate change. Rosebraugh remains elated to have her on the project.
Hannah’s commitment and influence towards environmental protection are not only noticeable in her actions in support of a greener environment and her new role in the Rosebraugh documentary, but she has also remained a green consultant for events like the famous Virgin Music Festival, which has an attendance of over 150,000 people.
She has been to different meetings, conferences, and auditoriums for relevant discussions and enlightenment supporting her environmental protection beliefs. Hannah discusses several issues with her audiences, including topics on food, global warming, and erosion. She’s also discussed the topic of wildlife extinctions.
Hannah has given important speeches, some of which have been noteworthy, including being a keynote speaker at the UN Climate Change Summit, The Natural and Organic Products Expo, and the UN Global Business Conference on the environment, as well as her numerous attendance to national and international universities, conferences and events.
Hannah engages people via her blog and writes substantial articles on sustainability and self-sufficiency for many magazines, and has done a wide range of interviews on the topic for thousands of publications. She is the founder of the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance (SBA), a member of the World Future Council, and sits on many other associations’ boards.
Balancing Acting and Activism
Daryl Hannah’s role as an environmental activist includes requesting recycling bins and greener energy. She has protested the government on a series of actions and legislation. The actress wrote a couple of letters to the U.S. ex-president Barack Obama, and many wonder how she balances acting with all these efforts.
According to Hannah, she hasn’t had many issues balancing two worlds, acting and environmental activism. “My life is my life, and my work is my work,” she said. “I balance them rather appropriately, as, at my productions, I will request that they avoid the use of styrofoam plates and cups and put recycling bins on sets.”
Awards and Achievements
Hannah has had a successful acting career, amongst many other things. The actress rose to the limelight from the popular Splash movie from the 1980s but has somehow retained her fame. Throughout her acting career, she received many awards and nominations.
Amongst the long list of awards she has received is the Best Асtrеѕѕ Ѕаturn Аwаrd at the МТV Моvіе Аwаrdѕ, the Influеnсеr оf thе Yеаr Аwаrd- Nаtіоnаl Віоdіеѕеl Воаrd, аnd Оngоіng Соmmіtmеnt Аwаrd-Еnvіrоnmеntаl Меdіа Аwаrd аmоng mаnу оthеrѕ. She had also received significant recognition for her role in activism for sustainable planet earth.
Hannah is rumored to have been pregnant by her husband Neil Young, whom she got married to in 2018 after several months of dating. This speculation comes after Neil Young reportedly posted an image of him holding a “Prego” tomato sauce jar.
The pictures came alongside a caption that read, “We are preggo.” Neil Young, who is 75, seems pretty excited about the prospect of a new baby. The baby will be the couple’s first child together; Hannah’s first child and Neil’s last. While it is rare for someone to become pregnant after 50, Hannah is currently 60, in good health, and monitored.