Actress Marilu Henner says she has a memory like no-brainer, because she remembers every single day of her life and can recall each birthday party and her first day at school. Ask her the year, she will tell you, but you might remember her as Elaine Nardo from the hit TV show “Taxi.” Do you remember that? Of course you do.
She can recall, off the top of her head, the exact day she got the part.
“It was June 4 of 1978. It was a Sunday and I found out at the ‘Grease’ premiere party,” Henner said. “‘Taxi’ is so vivid to my mind. The very first rehearsal was July the 5th of 1978. That was a Wednesday and our first show was shot the 14th, a Friday.”
The actress, who has also starred in “L.A. Story” (1991) and “Man on the Moon” (1999), is one of only 12 people in the world diagnosed with hyperthymesia, also known as Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory.
She said her earliest memory is of being baptized.
“I just remember the water, and I remember the white,” she said. “Whenever I go back into memory, I’m always in my body looking out.”
Henner said her memory works like a scene selection menu on a DVD, with “little videos moving simultaneously.”
“When somebody gives me a date or a year or something, I see all these little movie montages, basically on a time continuum, and I’m scrolling through them and flashing through them,” she said.
She said it is a gift that helped her as an actress, but not in the way you might think.
In her new book, “Total Memory Makeover,” in stores on April 24, Henner tries to help others unlock their memories.