- (Reuters/Jason Reed)
Daryl Hannah revealed her struggle with autism this week, stunning fans and bringing new attention to the disorder. The famous actress admitted that she struggled with autism but was able to function and went on to have a successful career.
"I've never been comfortable being the center of attention; it's always freaked me out," Hannah told People magazine. "I've grown up now. I've learned a couple of things that really would've made my life easier if I'd known them 20 years ago. I wasted so much time scared, self-conscious and insecure."
Hannah never told anyone about her autism, fearing that she would not be chosen for parts in commercials, TV shows, or movies. The actress eventually established a successful career and went on to appear in hits such as "Steel Magnolias," "Wall Street," and "Blade Runner."
Her autism peaked in childhood, and Hannah described having such intense bouts of shyness and anxiety that she would rock back and forth to comfort herself. She still doesn't particularly like being in the limelight but is able to cope with her anxiety and does what she needs when feelings get too intense.
She currently lives on a farm with her boyfriend of three years and a rescue pig. Hannah still works in Hollywood but is also a known activist and vegan who documents her life on a weekly basis per a video blog. She has been arrested several times for her activism regarding farmers' land rights, mountaintop removal, and the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline.
Hannah famously dated John F. Kennedy, Jr. but the two separated in 1994. Rumors swirled that Kennedy's mother, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, was not keen on the relationship.
"Jackie never came out and said so," a friend of Kennedy's told People at the time, "but you got the feeling that she didn't approve of his relationship with Daryl and all that it implied."
JFK, Jr. died in an airplane crash along with wife Carolyn Kennedy in 1999.