The Eighties Club
The Politics and Pop Culture of the 1980s
Stars of the '80s
Daryl Hannah
Born in Chicago, Illinois on 3 December 1960, Daryl Christine Hannah was such a shy child that she was diagnosed as borderline autistic. She played football in high school, and graduated from the University of Southern California School of Theatre. She also studied ballet with Maria Tallchief and drama with the famous Stella Adler at Chicago's Goodman Theatre. Making her screen debut in Brian de Palma's The Fury (1978) while still in high school, Hannah continued to pursue an acting career while playing keyboard and singing backup for Jackson Browne in her twenties. In 1981 she starred as Kim Basinger's sister in Hard Country, and the following year had her breakout role as the acrobatic android Pris in Ridley Scott's sci-fi classic, Blade Runner. She became a star two years later in the comedy hit Splash, in which she played a mermaid.
Standing 5'10" tall, with blonde hair and striking blue-green eyes, Hannah was undeniably one of the most beautiful women in film during the 1980s. She was also a versatile actress, playing a Cro-Magnon woman in The Clan of the Cave Bear (1986), a ghost in High Spirits (1988) and a mental patient in 1990's Crazy People. She played opposite superstars like Mickey Rourke (The Pope of Greenwich Village), Robert Redford (Legal Eagles) and Michael Douglas (Wall Street). In the 1990s she went on to star in successful TV remakes of Rear Window and Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman, and appeared in such feature films as Grumpy Old Men (1993) and The Gingerbread Man (1998).  Hannah also participated in several fashion shows and for a time was chosen to promote the Karl Lagerfeld perfume Sun Moon Stars. In 2000 she took on the role originally played by Marilyn Monroe in a London stage production of The Seven Year Itch. A highly publicized romance with John F. Kennedy, Jr. did not culminate in marriage, it is said, because Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis disapproved of her son marrying an actress.

1980s Filmography
Hard Country (1981)
Blade Runner (1982)
Summer Lovers (1982)
The Final Terror (1983)
Splash (1984)
Reckless (1984)
The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984)
The Clan of the Cave Bear (1986)
Legal Eagles (1986)
Roxanne (1987)
Wall Street (1987)
High Spirits (1988)
Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)
Steel Magnolias (1989)


Critics' Comments
Splash (1984)
"Hannah showed a major talent in her first crack at comedy; she's a beauty with a rambunctious Carole Lombard bounce."
-- People Weekly

The Clan of the Cave Bear (1986)
"Hannah plays an outsider whom the Clan regards a peculiar. It's easy to see why, since everyone else is heavily made up with jutting brows and pounds of hair, while Daryl is her blond, all-American self. She's supposed to be one of the Others, which makes sense only if the Others are a bunch of collegians who are running a mammoth-burger franchise nearby so they'll have some spending money at Malibu."
 -- People Weekly

Legal Eagles (1986)
"Hannah is very effective as the spaced-out daughter, who spends most of the movie seeming sexy and/or guilty as hell."
-- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Roxanne (1987)
"Last, and least, there's Daryl Hannah. She's lovely to behold. Unfortunately, as post-feminist Roxanne -- an attractive, brilliant astronomer who's looking for a man "with half a brain" -- she's in over her (how does one put this?) not-quite-ready-for-Fulbright head. Ms. Hannah has been a fish out of water since Splash."
-- Desson Howe, Washington Post

Steel Magnolias (1989)
" A deglamorized Hannah is surprisingly winning." -- Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

Daryl Hannah as a mermaid in Splash

Awards
1985 - Best Actress, Splash, Saturn Awards
(Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films)


Hannah was listed as one of the twelve "Promising New Actors of 1984" in Vol. 36 of John Willis' Screen World.

She was chosen as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars (#96) in film history by Empire magazine in 1995.

Hannah is missing part of the index finger of her left hand, and sometimes uses a prosthetic finger.

She won the Best Short Film award at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1994 for The Last Supper, which she wrote, directed and produced.