Marilu Henner’s Exceptional Memory

Actress Marilu Henner is best known for playing Elaine Nardo on the 1978-83 sitcom Taxi. However, she has a talent that doesn’t involve acting that makes her unique and unusual. She has a highly superior autobiographical memory (HSAM) — a rare condition identified in only 100 people worldwide. If you give her a random date from the past, she can recall details of the day with amazing clarity. She was once given the date April 30, 1980 and she quickly responded that the date was on a Wednesday. She said she was in Cancun, Mexico, with the man who is now her husband, and she recalled wearing a cream-colored jumpsuit with harem pants and a stretchy strapless top with a turquoise jacket. For most people, such vivid memories are usually associated with major life events like their wedding day, the day their child was born, or traumatic moments like where they were when they heard about the attacks on the World Trade Center. That’s not the case for Henner, who can recall past dates in almost photographic detail. She even served as a consultant for the TV series Unforgettable, which starred Poppy Montgomery as a police detective with HSAM who used her detailed recollections to help solve crimes. Henner says her belief in the power of memory has spurred her to work with the Alzheimer's Association and UsAgainstAlzheimer’s.