Daryl Hannah is out of the club! The actor and activist recently got married FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER at the age of 57, to 72-year-old music legend Neil Young. The two have been dating for about four years. Not that I read tabloid news or anything.
The willowy blonde (I think she still looks willowy, anyway) has long been a standard- bearer for single women over a certain age – whether she meant to or not.
Professionally, Hannah has made some interesting career choices, like when she charmed Tom Hanks as a naked mermaid in “Splash” or frolicked in the future as a sexy robot (albeit one with really bad eye makeup) in “Blade Runner.” She isn’t all about work, though. Hannah is a serious environmental activist. Unlike a lot of wealthy entertainment industry types who make donations to the Natural Resources Defense Council while ignoring the ginormous carbon footprints created by their their Beverly Hills mansions and many high-performance cars, Hannah walks the walk. She lives in a solar-powered home and drives a biodiesel-fuel-powered vehicle. She’s also been arrested – more than once – for protests involving environmental issues, like the Keystone XL pipeline.
And when she wasn’t busy acting and being an activist, Hannah was dating: really hot guys, like John F. Kennedy Jr. and musician Jackson Browne. What she wasn’t doing was getting married. At least until now.
Why Hannah chose this time in her life to embrace tradition and tie the knot has been the focus of lots of wild speculation, via social media and on various websites devoted to celebrity gossip. Not that I visit them. Since she and I are not bff’s, I will never know what was behind her decision. Was it Neil Young’s idea? Was it hers? After all these years as a singleton, did she finally say to herself, “This feels right. I might as well get hitched.”
Hannah is one of the famous “old maids” that I profiled in my book, The New Old Maid: Satisfied Single Women, which takes a deep dive into what it’s like to be single in a society that relentlessly promotes coupledom. In the book, I also examine the lives of many non-celebrity old maids. To a woman, they say they are thoroughly enjoying their lives (except for when they’re pestered about why they’re still single). It took some of them awhile to get to a place of self-acceptance, to shed the “loser” label they’d taken on – because they weren’t married – and to feel good about themselves just as they are.
However, every woman I spoke to said she is still open to the idea of getting married. Not in desperate need of it, but open to it. It’s an important distinction. The other big takeaway: they would only consider matrimony if it wouldn’t curtail the freedom and autonomy they’d come to relish.
So Daryl Hannah is out of the “old maid” club, with my best wishes. She leaves our ranks and heads toward what I sincerely hope will be wedded bliss. That’s ok. We’ve still got Tyra Banks, Marissa Tomei, Diane Keaton, Dr. Condoleeza Rice, Jacqueline Bisset, Sheryl Crow, Kristen Davis, Edie Falco, Chelsea Handler, Dr. Mae Jemison, Debbie Harry, Winona Ryder and Oprah Winfrey, along with countless other non-celebrity never-married women who don’t need husbands to help them feel fulfilled.
But as Daryl Hannah has shown, if the right man (finally) comes along…it may be the right time to get married.