Daryl Christine Hannah (born
December 3, 1960) is an American film actress. After making her screen
debut in 1978, Hannah starred in a number of Hollywood films throughout
the 1980s, notably Blade Runner, Splash, Wall Street and Roxanne and in
2003 appeared in Kill Bill.
Hannah was born in Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of Susan Wexler, a
producer, and Don Hannah, a tugboat and barge company owner. Her parents
divorced shortly after her birth and her mother subsequently married
Jerrold Wexler, a businessman and brother of Haskell Wexler, a
cinematographer. She grew up with siblings Don and Page Hannah, as well as
half-sister Tanya Wexler, in Long Grove, Illinois.
Hannah became interested in movies at a young age, partly due to insomnia.
She was very shy and diagnosed as "borderline autistic." Hannah attended
the progressive Francis W. Parker School (where she played on the soccer
team) before enrolling at the University of Southern California.
Hannah made her film debut in 1978 with a brief appearance in Brian De
Palma's horror film The Fury. She turned down many roles early on in her
career, including the role of Emmeline Lestrange for The Blue Lagoon (that
ultimately went to Brooke Shields). Her first notable role came as the
acrobatic and violent replicant Pris in Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic
Blade Runner, in which she performed some of her own gymnastic stunts.
That same year she appeared in the summer hit release Summer Lovers. She
then was cast as a blonde mermaid in Ron Howard's 1984 fantasy Splash,
which starred Tom Hanks and was a major financial success, establishing
Hannah as a high-profile film actress.
Hannah's successes in the remainder of the 1980s ranged from Steel
Magnolias and the Academy Award-winning Wall Street (the part for which
she received her Razzie Award) to the 1986 film version of the best-seller
The Clan of the Cave Bear. She starred in the title role of Fred
Schepisi's 1987 film Roxanne, a modern retelling of Edmond Rostand's play
Cyrano de Bergerac, a performance which was described as "sweet" and
"gentle" by film critic Roger Ebert.
She also appeared in The Pope of Greenwich Village with co-stars Mickey
Rourke and Eric Roberts and played the daughter of Jack Lemmon's character
in both of the Grumpy Old Men comedies. In 1995, Hannah was chosen by
Empire magazine as #96 of the "100 Sexiest Stars in Film History". That
same year she appeared as homicidal sociopath Leann Netherwood in The Tie
Of her most recent roles, the most memorable may be that of the one-eyed
assassin Elle Driver in Kill Bill, directed by Quentin Tarantino. Her
performance in this film, as well as her appearances in Speedway Junky,
Northfork, Michael Radford's Dancing at the Blue Iguana, John Sayles' Casa
de los Babys and Silver City, have been described by some as a comeback.
Hannah wrote, directed and produced a short film, "The Last Supper", which
won an award at the Berlin Film Festival. She directed, produced and was
cinematographer for the documentary Strip Notes. It aired on Channel 4 in
the UK and on HBO and was about the research Hannah did for her role as a
stripper in Dancing at the Blue Iguana. Hannah currently has several
projects in post-production, including Shannon's Rainbow and A Closed
Recently she appeared in Robbie Williams' video for the song "Feel",
portraying Williams' love interest.
Hannah and actress Hilary Shepard Turner created two board games, "Love It
Or Hate It" and "LIEbrary", with Hannah previewing the latter on Ellen
DeGeneres' talk show in 2005.
Hannah, a keen environmentalist, has her own weekly video blog called
DHLoveLife on sustainable solutions. She is often the sound recordist,
camera person and on-screen host for the blog. Her home runs on solar
power and is built with green materials. She drives a car that runs on
biodiesel. In late 2006, she volunteered to act as a judge for
Treehugger.com's "Convenient Truths" contest. On December 4, 2008, Hannah
joined Sea Shepherd's crew aboard the MV Steve Irwin, as part of Operation
Hannah has never married, although she had long-term relationships with
singer Jackson Browne and John F. Kennedy, Jr. She is the sister-in-law of
music producer Lou Adler, who is married to Hannah's sister, Page.
On June 13, 2006, Hannah was arrested, along with Taran Noah Smith, for
her involvement with over 350 farmers, their families and supporters,
confronting authorities trying to bulldoze the nation's largest urban farm
in South Central Los Angeles. She chained herself to a walnut tree at the
South Central Farm for three weeks to protest the farmers' eviction by the
property's new owner. The farm had been established in the wake of the
1992 LA riots to allow people in the city to grow food for themselves.
However, the land's new owner, who had paid $5 million for it, sought to
evict the farmers to build a warehouse. He had asked for $16 million to
sell it but turned down the offer when the activists raised that amount.
Hannah was interviewed via cell phone shortly before she was arrested,
along with 44 other protesters, and said that she and the others are doing
the "morally right thing". She spent some time in jail.
Hannah has also worked to help end sexual slavery and has been traveling
around the world to make a documentary.
Daryl Hannah was among 31 people arrested on June 23, 2009 in a protest
against mountaintop removal in southern West Virginia, part of a wider
campaign to stop the practice in the region. The protesters, who also
included NASA climate scientist James E. Hansen, were charged with
obstructing officers and impeding traffic after they sat in the middle of
State Route 3 outside Massey Energy's Goals Coal preparation plant on
Tuesday, the The Charleston Gazette reported. In a Democracy Now! phone
interview on June 24, 2009, Ms. Hannah spoke briefly on why she went to
West Virginia and risked arrest.