Popular Culture

Marilu Henner Memory Talent Wows America


Marilu Henner, the former star of the ’70s sitcom Taxi, wowed America this weekend when she demonstrated her “superior autobiographical memory” on national television.

You see, Marilu has the uncanny ability to remember every day of her 58 years of life — a “gift” the actress put to the test with a battery of memory quizzes with CBS’ Lesley Stahl on 60 Minutes Sunday.

Marilu, 58, is one of only six known people on the Planet who can remember details with amazing recall. We’re talking everything from which shoe was wore on which day to what to what they ate for dinner on a Thursday evening 30 years ago.

When asked by her son which day of the week Valentine’s Day fell on in 1979, Marilu easily whipped out the exact day of the week.

“It was a Wednesday,” she promptly replied.

When Lesley asked her about the date Oct. 26, 1976.

“October 26, 1976 was a Tuesday,” Marilu replied. “I [was] shooting a ring around the collar commercial in Venice, Italy and you saw a second and a half mood shot of Venice and then a gondolier singing, ‘Of Love I Sing, tra-la-la-la, for you got ring around the coll-la-la.’ And I went, ‘My powder didn’t work,'” she laughed.

Doctors admit people with the superior autobiographical memory talent often demonstrate obsessive-compulsive disorder like behaviors. For one of the 60 Minutes panelists, it was hand washing, for Marilu, it was her well-organized closet.

“I like the shoes a certain way: Right foot going this way, left foot going that way, so you can always see the toe and the heel on every pair,” she said.

Though there are some days we’d all would rather just forget, thrice-wed Marilu insists her amazing memory has served her well over the years.

“I’ve always loved having this memory. I feel as an actress and writer it has been indispensable and as a mother and as a wife certainly.”

The actress is set to release a book documenting her rare talent. An Unforgettable Life – Yours: Lessons Learned from an Autobiographical Memory will debut in the Spring of 2011.


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