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.
Early lifeHannah was born in Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of Susan Jeanne (née Metzger), a producer and former schoolteacher, and Donald Christian Hannah, a tugboat and barge company owner. Her parents divorced 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 and half-sister Tanya Wexler, in Long Grove, Illinois.
Hannah became interested in movies at a young age, partly due to insomnia. She says she was very shy and may have had Asperger Syndrome. Hannah attended the progressive Francis W. Parker School (where she played on the soccer team) before enrolling at the University of Southern California.
CareerHannah 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 science fiction 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 1986's film version of the best seller The Clan of the Cave Bear and also in 1986 Legal Eagles and the Academy Award-winning Wall Street (for which she received her Razzie Award). She starred in the title role of Fred Schepisi's 1987 film Roxanne (also 1987), a modern retelling of Edmond Rostand's play Cyrano de Bergerac, a performance described as "sweet" and "gentle" by film critic Roger Ebert. and ended the decade with Crimes and Misdemeanors (alongside Woody Allen) and Steel Magnolias (both 1989).
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 Stars in Film History." That year she appeared as homicidal sociopath Leann Netherwood in The Tie That Binds.
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 and 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 Book.
She appeared in Robbie Williams' video for the song "Feel", portraying Williams' love interest.
Hannah also is an accomplished theatre actress, reprising Marilyn Monroe's starring role in The Seven Year Itch in 2000 at London's West End. Reviews of the play commended Hannah's performance, with Lizzie Loveridge of Curtain Up! saying that the play was the "perfect vehicle" for Hannah to "show her talents as a comedienne." She was also in films Cord and First Target in the same year.
Personal lifeHannah 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, an active environmentalist, has her own weekly video blog called DHLoveLifeon 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 Musashi.
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.
Hannah is a strict vegan.
On June 13, 2006, Hannah was arrested, along with actor 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, Ralph Horowitz. 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, Horowitz, 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.
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, Hannah spoke briefly on why she went to West Virginia and risked arrest.
In 2010 and in 2011, Hannah supported environmental activist Tom Weis' project Ride for Renewables to promote renewable energy.
On May 14, 2011, Hannah and actress Sheryl Lee attended the iMatter March in Denver, Colorado to raise awareness about climate change.
She was arrested on August 30, 2011 in front of The White House as part of a sit-in to protest the proposed Keystone oil pipeline from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast. In October 2011, Hannah and other pipeline opponents rode horses and bicycles and walked from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to the Rosebud Reservation to protest the project.
She is a member of the World Future Council.