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Holly Hunter

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Also Known As: Holly P Hunter Died:
Born: March 20, 1958 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Conyers, Georgia, USA Profession: actress, waitress

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Petite, fiery, and altogether confident, Holly Hunter was an Academy Award-winning actress and producer who rose to prominence in the late 1980s and early 1990s with a string of roles in challenging and critically acclaimed films. After a series of supporting roles, Hunter had her first starring role in the Coen Brothers' comedy "Raising Arizona" (1987), and that same year, she also earned an Oscar nod for her performance in "Broadcast News" (1987). Following an Emmy-winning turn as a fictionalized Jane Roe in "Roe v. Wade" (NBC, 1989), Hunter earned the biggest accolades of her career - as well as a Best Actress Oscar - for her renowned performance as a mute pianist in "The Piano" (1993). From there, she delivered quality supporting and leading turns in "The Firm" (1993), "A Life Less Ordinary" (1997), "Crash" (1997) and "Jesus' Son" (1999). In the new millennium, Hunter was exemplary as a frustrated mother in "thirteen" (2003) and enjoyed voicing Elastigirl in the Pixar hit "The Incredibles" (2004). She stepped away from the big screen to star in the short-lived, but critically acclaimed cable series "Saving Grace" (TNT, 2007-2010), proving that her extraordinary talents could make the successful...

Petite, fiery, and altogether confident, Holly Hunter was an Academy Award-winning actress and producer who rose to prominence in the late 1980s and early 1990s with a string of roles in challenging and critically acclaimed films. After a series of supporting roles, Hunter had her first starring role in the Coen Brothers' comedy "Raising Arizona" (1987), and that same year, she also earned an Oscar nod for her performance in "Broadcast News" (1987). Following an Emmy-winning turn as a fictionalized Jane Roe in "Roe v. Wade" (NBC, 1989), Hunter earned the biggest accolades of her career - as well as a Best Actress Oscar - for her renowned performance as a mute pianist in "The Piano" (1993). From there, she delivered quality supporting and leading turns in "The Firm" (1993), "A Life Less Ordinary" (1997), "Crash" (1997) and "Jesus' Son" (1999). In the new millennium, Hunter was exemplary as a frustrated mother in "thirteen" (2003) and enjoyed voicing Elastigirl in the Pixar hit "The Incredibles" (2004). She stepped away from the big screen to star in the short-lived, but critically acclaimed cable series "Saving Grace" (TNT, 2007-2010), proving that her extraordinary talents could make the successful transition to the small screen.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 Lawless (2014)
3.
 Paradise (2013)
4.
 Jackie (2013)
5.
 Romeo and Juliet (2013)
6.
 Won't Back Down (2012)
7.
 Nine Lives (2005) Cast
8.
 Big White, The (2005)
9.
 Little Black Book (2004) Barb
10.
 The Incredibles (2004) Helen Parr/Elastigirl
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Began acting in her high school drama club
1973:
At age 15, invited to a summer apprenticeship at a repertory theater in upstate New York
1981:
Film acting debut, "The Burning"
1981:
Off-Broadway debut, "Battery"
1982:
Broadway debut, Beth Henley's "Crimes of the Heart"
1983:
Made TV-movie debut in "Svengali" (CBS)
1984:
Had supporting part in Jonathan Demme's "Swing Shift"; role was substantially cut before the film's release
1984:
Originated role of Carnelle in Henley's off-Broadway play "The Miss Firecracker Contest"
1987:
Landed first starring role in the Coen brothers' "Raising Arizona"
1987:
Earned first Best Actress Academy Award nomination playing a highly competent TV news producer in "Broadcast News"
1989:
Reprised off-Broadway role of Carnelle Scott for the feature film adaption of Henley's "Miss Firecracker"
1989:
Won Emmy for playing a fictionalized Jane Roe in the drama "Roe v. Wade" (NBC)
1989:
Starred opposite Richard Dreyfuss in Steven Spielberg's "Always"
1991:
Reteamed with Dreyfuss for the romance "Once Around"
1993:
Won numerous accolades, including a Best Actress Oscar, as the mute Ada in Jane Campion's "The Piano"
1993:
Earned Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nomination for her role as a secretary in "The Firm"
1993:
Offered Emmy Award-winning turn as the title character in HBO's "The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom"
1995:
Co-starred in the ensemble "Home for the Holidays," directed by Jodie Foster
1997:
Portrayed an angel in Danny Boyle's unsuccessful "A Life Less Ordinary"
1998:
Cast in leading role opposite Danny DeVito and Queen Latifah in "Livin' Out Loud"
1998:
Returned to the NYC stage in Beth Henley's "Impossible Marriage"
1999:
Played a recovering alcoholic romanced by a recovering drug addict in "Jesus' Son"
2000:
Played a pregnant bank teller in the female-driven "Things You Can Tell Just By Looking at Her"; received Emmy nomination (aired on Showtime in 2001 in lieu of theatrical release)
2000:
Reteamed with the Coen brothers for "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"
2000:
Earned an Emmy nomination playing the wife of a union-organizer in Showtime's "Harlan County War"
2001:
Portrayed Billie Jean King in ABC movie "When Billie Beat Bobby"; earned Emmy nomination
2003:
Co-starred in and produced coming-of-age drama "Thirteen"; received Golden Globe, SAG and Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress
2004:
Voiced the character Elastigirl in Pixar animation film "The Incredibles"
2005:
Cast in the ensemble "Nine Lives"; Rodrigo García directed a series of vignettes, offering glimpses into the lives of nine women
2005:
Played the deranged wife of Robin Williams in the dark comedy "The Big White"
2007:
Cast in first starring role in a TV series, as a tormented police detective on TNT drama "Saving Grace"; earned Golden Globe (2007), SAG (2007, 2008, 2009) and Emmy (2008, 2009) nominations for Best Actress in a Drama Series
2008:
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (May)
2009:
Nominated for the 2009 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in Drama Series
2012:
Played the teacher's union president opposite Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal in inner city school drama "Won¿t Back Down"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Carnegie Mellon University: Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania - 1980

Notes

When she was a struggling actress living in NYC, Hunter shared an apartment with fellow aspiring performer Frances McDormand.

Hunter served as a juror at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival.

"I've always been attracted to very different characters. Early in my career I could have done a television sitcom, 'Designing Women' or something. I could have done that and made a comfortable living. I don't want to put that down, it's just not what I wanted."---Holly Hunter quoted in US, November 1995.

"I actually think the more personal information you have about an actor, the more you have to carve out for yourself when you go to a movie and see them in it. More and more movies have been pressured to allow reporters and TV cameras to come onto the set while you're working, and I find that a real violation. Acting, for me, is the last vestige of doing something that I would like to feel really naive about, and I like to feel very protected when I'm doing it. It's an arena where you may not know what the answers are, may not know what a scene is about when you're doing it. It's a creative place and it's too private, too personal to be violated."---Hunter to Jodie Foster in Interview, November 1995.

"She has a relentless drive to find the truth in whatever part she's undertaking... There's no character, no matter how demented, that Holly couldn't play and make her sympathetic"---director Michael Ritchie on Hunter's abilities as an actress, from USA Today, November 12, 1993.

"With Holly, there's no bulls---. Period. You know where you stand. If you spend three minutes with her, you get to see who she is."---Albert Brooks, Hunter's co-star in "Broadcast News" quoted to New York, December 14, 1987.

"I want to change how I approach acting as I get older. I want there to be a reason I'm playing certain characters at certain times. I think characters come to me when I'm ready to play them."---Hunter quoted in The New York Times, October 11, 1998.

"I like to take chances professionally because it helps me personally. Because I'm taking them, too, I'm not separated from my professional self. They're just in different context from my own life."---Holly Hunter to Stephen Schaefer quoted in USA Today, November 11, 1998.

"Good scripts are very rare for an actor and particularly an actress. It is a crap shoot as to whether you will read any good material. Good material is an 'almost never' situation. I have actually read a hundred scripts without reading a good one."---Holly Hunter quoted in The Daily Telegraph, May 8, 2000.

"I have a natural intensity that is just a part of who I am. And I think my intensity comes from somewhere else. I think that my intensity comes from being profoundly deaf. I have no hearing at all in my left ear."

Before there is time to ask more, she says quickly, "I was nine, the mumps." Then she adds, "I think that has made me an acute listener and acutely tuned in to what people are saying ... "

---From The Daily Telegraph, May 8, 2000.

"She's a thoroughbred. When you ride a thoroughbred you know you're on a great horse, you're not just getting from A to B."---Tony Bill, director of "Harlan County War", to Us Weekly, June 12, 2000.

"Having that sense of entitlement is something that most actors actually lack. Entitlement is a very, very fragile area for artists, actors in movies especially, who have tremendous amounts of money, status and trappings can begin to feel that that's what entitles you. Whereas, training really enhances and supports the more fragile side: your imagination and approach, your desire to explore, all of those things I think are enhanced by going to a school like Carnegie, or Yale, or any of the top schools."---Hunter on how training gives actors a sense of entitlement, to Venice Magazine, 2003.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Arliss Howard. Actor. Together in the early 1990s.
husband:
Janusz Kaminski. Director of photography. Married on May 20, 1995; separated on October 31, 2001; Kaminski filed for divorce on December 19, 2001.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Charles Edwin Hunter. Sporting goods manufacturer's representative. Died in 1982.
mother:
Opal Marguerite Hunter.

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