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Helen Hunt

Helen Hunt

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Also Known As: Helen Elizabeth Hunt Died:
Born: June 15, 1963 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Culver City, California, USA Profession: actor, director

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Despite decades of potential career minefields, actress Helen Hunt emerged as an Oscar and Emmy winner en route to becoming one of the most popular actresses of the 1990s. Early in her career, Hunt made the risky transition from precocious TV kid and mainstay in melodramatic movies-of-the-week to land a seven-year run on one of the era's most awarded sitcoms, "Mad About You" (NBC, 1992-99). During that time, she diversified her talents by directing several episodes, a skill she would use elsewhere later in her career. Meanwhile, Hunt went from sitcom star to feature film leading lady with performances in the blockbuster "Twister" (1996) and the award-winning romantic comedy "As Good as It Gets" (1997), which earned her the Best Actress Academy Award. From there, she was the star of the moment with leading roles in "Pay it Forward" (2000), "What Women Want" (2000) and "Cast Away" (2000), only to step back from the limelight following her divorce from famous husband, Hank Azaria. Hunt later reemerged with "Empire Falls" (HBO, 2005), directed her first feature, "Then She Found Me" (2008), and earned buzz for her indie turn in "The Sessions" (2012). Always grounded and intelligent, Hunt brought strength,...

Despite decades of potential career minefields, actress Helen Hunt emerged as an Oscar and Emmy winner en route to becoming one of the most popular actresses of the 1990s. Early in her career, Hunt made the risky transition from precocious TV kid and mainstay in melodramatic movies-of-the-week to land a seven-year run on one of the era's most awarded sitcoms, "Mad About You" (NBC, 1992-99). During that time, she diversified her talents by directing several episodes, a skill she would use elsewhere later in her career. Meanwhile, Hunt went from sitcom star to feature film leading lady with performances in the blockbuster "Twister" (1996) and the award-winning romantic comedy "As Good as It Gets" (1997), which earned her the Best Actress Academy Award. From there, she was the star of the moment with leading roles in "Pay it Forward" (2000), "What Women Want" (2000) and "Cast Away" (2000), only to step back from the limelight following her divorce from famous husband, Hank Azaria. Hunt later reemerged with "Empire Falls" (HBO, 2005), directed her first feature, "Then She Found Me" (2008), and earned buzz for her indie turn in "The Sessions" (2012). Always grounded and intelligent, Hunt brought strength, sensitivity and relatable complexity to her characters, all of which earned her a loyal fan base among modern independent women.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Ride (2014)

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Ride (2014)
2.
3.
4.
 Soul Surfer (2011)
5.
 Every Day (2010)
6.
7.
 Bobby (2006)
8.
 Good Woman, A (2004) Mrs. Erlynne
9.
 Curse of the Jade Scorpion, The (2001) Betty Ann 'Fitz' Fitzgerald
10.
 What Women Want (2000) Darcy Maguire
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1966:
Lived in with family in NYC
1973:
Made TV debut in the ABC movie "Pioneer Woman"
1974:
TV debut as a series regular, playing the title character's daughter on NBC's "Amy Prentiss"
1975:
Landed role on adventure series "Swiss Family Robinson" (ABC)
1977:
Made feature debut in "Rollercoaster"
1977:
Cast as the next door neighbor on "The Fitzpatricks" (CBS)
1983:
Played a teenage girl who fights to play on her high school football team in the CBS TV-movie "Quarterback Princess"
1984:
Played recurring role of Dr. Jack Morrison's (David Morse) girlfriend on NBC medical series "St. Elsewhere"
1985:
Co-starred with Sarah Jessica Parker in dance feature "Girls Just Want to Have Fun"
1988:
Cast in small role playing Mark Harmon's sister in "Stealing Home"
1989:
Made Broadway debut in a revival of Thornton Wilder's "Our Town"; replaced Penelope Ann Miller as Emily Webb
1992:
Co-starred opposite Billy Crystal in "Mr. Saturday Night"
1992:
Co-starred with Paul Reiser on hit NBC sitcom "Mad About You"; made a producer during the 1996-97 season; received Golden Globe (1993, 1996, 1998) and Emmy (1993, 1994, 1995) nominations for Best Actress
1996:
Co-starred with Bill Paxton as storm chasers in Jan De Bont's blockbuster "Twister"
1997:
Won an Academy Award as Best Actress for her leading role in the comedy-drama "As Good As It Gets"
1998:
Made TV directorial debut with episodes of "Mad About You" (NBC)
2000:
Co-starred in Robert Altman's ensemble feature "Dr. T and the Women"
2000:
Cast opposite Kevin Spacey and Haley Joel Osment in "Pay It Forward"
2000:
Starred opposite Mel Gibson in Nancy Meyers' romantic comedy "What Women Want"
2000:
Played Tom Hanks' love interest in the Robert Zemeckis directed "Castaway"
2001:
Cast in lead role in Woody Allen's "The Curse of the Jade Scorpion"
2005:
Co-starred with Ed Harris and Philip Seymour Hoffman in HBO miniseries "Empire Falls"
2006:
Joined cast of Emilio Estevez's directorial debut "Bobby"
2007:
Made directorial debut (also starred) with "Then She Found Me," a drama co-adapted by Hunt from Elinor Lipman's novel of the same name; premiered at the Toronto Film Festival; released theatrically in 2008
2011:
Co-starred in "Soul Surfer," playing the mother of Bethany Hamilton, who lost her left arm in a shark attack when she was 13 years old
2012:
Played a sex surrogate opposite John Hawkes and William H. Macy in Ben Lewin's drama "The Sessions"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of California, Los Angeles: Los Angeles , California -

Notes

"In terms of acting technique, I studied with my dad. I'm lucky because he and I are as much friends as we are father and daughter. I've studied with some wonderful teachers but I've never met anyone as egoless in his teaching as he is." --Hunt in BUZZ, September 1994.

Hunt's father, Gordon, has directed episodes of "Mad About You" including one featuring Carl Reiner. Hunt received one of her American Comedy Awards for that particular episode.

"I had an instant attraction to her, like everybody does. It's always been a very wonderful friendship with the occasional romantic sparks that are appropriate for the projects we're doing--but without the baggage of real-life romance." --Eric Stoltz quoted in US, May 1996. Stoltz co-starred opposite Hunt in "The Waterdance" and later appeared as her former boyfriend on episodes of "Mad About You"

"She had this savvy about her as a teen that you would equate with that of someone in the business 20 years. I remember meeting her and thinking 'She looks like she's 17, but she's going to take care of me." --Anthony Edwards on meeting Hunt on the set of the ABC sitcom "It Takes Two", quoted in VANITY FAIR, May 1996

"It was totally brutal." --Hunt describing the 93-day film shoot of "Twister" in ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, May 17, 1996

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Matthew Broderick. Actor. Born March 21, 1962; acted with Hunt in "Project X" (1987); no longer together.
husband:
Hank Azaria. Actor. Became engaged in 1997; married on July 17, 1999; separated c. May 2000; Hunt filed for divorce on December 18, 2000.
companion:
Matthew Carnahan. Director, screenwriter.

Family close complete family listing

grandmother:
Dorothy Fries. Voice coach.
father:
Gordon Hunt. Director; acting coach. Directed award-winning episode of "Mad About You"; divorced Hunt's mother in 1981.
mother:
Jane Hunt. Photographer. Divorced Hunt's father in 1981.
uncle:
Peter Hunt. Director.
daughter:
Makena Lei Gordon Carnahan. Born May 13, 2004; father is writer-producer Matthew Carnahan.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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