Often, when we hear news about health conditions affecting people’s memories, we brace ourselves for the worst. But that isn’t the case for practiced actor Marilu Henner. Henner coins herself as a “memory expert” on her Instagram and has shared details about the medical condition responsible for her ability to recall every day of her life. Henner was diagnosed with hyperthymesia, nicknamed Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory, according to ABC News. “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 told the outlet, explaining how her memory is similar to a scene-selection screen when watching a movie.
Henner discovered her rare gift with memory when she was young, but she assumed it was just an interesting quirk – not one of the rarest medical conditions in the world. “Even when I was 5 years old, people would say to my parents, ‘What’s with that kid and her memory? She remembers the last time I was here and everything that happened,'” she said (via Brain and Life). As she got older, Henner’s career choice benefited from her ability to quickly memorize lines. But it wasn’t until much later that she learned that she had a Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory.