For years, movie star Daryl Hannah suffered from autism at times so severe that it prevented her from making public appearances and promoting her movies, the "Splash" actress told People
Hannah told the magazine in an article that will available on newsstands Friday that she was diagnosed with autism as a child but hid that fact from filmmakers most of her career, according to RadarOnline.com
"I’ve never been comfortable being the center of attention," Hannah said in the People interview. "It’s always freaked me out."
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Autism is a complex developmental disability, resulting from a neurological disorder that affects a person's communication and social interaction skills, according to MedicalNewsToday.com
. People with autism suffer from issues involving non-verbal communication, a wide range of social interactions, and activities that include an element of play and/or banter.
Hannah, 52, told People that her autism manifested itself in "debilitating shyness," though adding she has learned several tricks that now allows her to get past those moments.
"I’m a grown up now," the actress said. "I’ve learned a couple of things that really would've made my life easier if I’d known them 20 years ago."
Hannah became a A-list actress portraying a mermaid opposite Tom Hanks in the 1984 Ron Howard-directed "Splash," which also starred John Candy and Eugene Levy, according to IMDb.com
She appeared in some of film's biggest hits in the 1980s to the early 2000s, including "Kill Bill: Vol. 1," "Wall Street," "Steel Magnolias," "Grumpy Old Men," and "Blade Runner."
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Hannah has made most her headlines these days for her activism, with the Keystone XL Pipeline being her latest target of interest. The actress was arrested in Houston in 2012 and Washington, D.C. in February protesting the potential pipeline that would bring crude oil from Canada to refineries in the United States, according to The Associated Press
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