Helen Hunt

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This article is about the American actress. For the Hollywood hair stylist, see Helen Hunt (hair stylist).
Helen Hunt
Helen Hunt 2011.jpg
Hunt in 2011
Born Helen Elizabeth Hunt
(1963-06-15) June 15, 1963 (age 51)
Culver City, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress, director, screenwriter
Years active 1973–present
Spouse(s) Hank Azaria (1999–2000)
Partner(s) Matthew Carnahan (2001–present)
Children 1

Helen Elizabeth Hunt (born June 15, 1963) is an American actress, film director, and screenwriter. She starred in the sitcom Mad About You for seven years before being cast as single mother Carol Connelly in the 1997 romantic comedy film, As Good as It Gets for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. Some of her other notable films include Twister, Cast Away, What Women Want, Pay It Forward, Soul Surfer and The Sessions. She made her directorial debut in 2007 with Then She Found Me. In addition to her Oscar, Hunt has won four Emmy awards, four Golden Globe awards, and two Screen Actors Guild awards.

Early life[edit]

Hunt was born in Culver City, California. Her mother, Jane Elizabeth (née Novis), worked as a photographer, and her father, Gordon E. Hunt, is a film director and acting coach.[1] Her uncle, Peter H. Hunt, is also a director. Her Iowa-born maternal grandmother, Dorothy (Anderson) Fries, was a voice coach.[2] Hunt's paternal grandmother was from a German Jewish family, while Hunt's other grandparents were of English descent (her maternal grandfather was born in England).[3][4][5] When she was three, Hunt's family moved to New York City, where her father directed theatre (Hunt attended plays as a child several times a week).[6] Hunt studied ballet, and briefly attended UCLA.[6][7][8]

Career[edit]

Hunt began working as a child actress in the 1970s.[6] Her early roles included an appearance as Murray Slaughter's daughter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, alongside Lindsay Wagner in an episode of The Bionic Woman, an appearance in an episode of Ark II called Omega, and a regular role in the television series The Swiss Family Robinson.[6] She appeared as a marijuana-smoking classmate on an episode of The Facts of Life. Hunt also played a young woman who, while on PCP, jumps out of a second-story window, in a 1982 TV movie called Desperate Lives (a scene which she mocked during a Saturday Night Live monologue in 1994).[9] That same year, Hunt was cast on the ABC sitcom It Takes Two, which lasted a single season. In the mid-1980s, she had a recurring role on St. Elsewhere as Clancy Williams, the girlfriend of Dr. Jack "Boomer" Morrison. She played Jennie in the television movie Bill: On His Own, co-starring Mickey Rooney. She also starred in the 1985 film Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, with Sarah Jessica Parker and Shannen Doherty.

Hunt at the 70th Academy Awards, March 23, 1998

In the 1990s, after playing the lead female role in the short-lived My Life and Times, Hunt starred in the series Mad About You, winning Emmy Awards for her performances in 1996, 1997, 1998, and 1999.[6] Hunt directed several episodes of Mad About You, including the series finale. Her big-screen directorial debut came with the film Then She Found Me, in which she also starred, with Colin Firth and Matthew Broderick.[1] In 1998, Hunt won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Carol Connelly in the movie As Good as It Gets; the character is a waitress and single mother who finds herself falling in love with Melvin Udall, an obsessive-compulsive romance novelist played by Jack Nicholson.[6] After winning the Academy Award, she took time off from movie work to play Viola in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, at Lincoln Center in New York.[10] In 2000, Hunt starred in four films: Dr. T & the Women, with Richard Gere; Pay It Forward, with Kevin Spacey and Haley Joel Osment; What Women Want, with Mel Gibson; and Cast Away, with Tom Hanks.[6] In 2003, she returned to Broadway in Yasmina Reza's Life x 3.[10] In 2006, Hunt appeared in the ensemble cast film Bobby alongside Demi Moore, Anthony Hopkins, Sharon Stone and William H. Macy. In 2012, she starred alongside John Hawkes and William H. Macy in The Sessions as sex surrogate Cheryl Cohen-Greene. The movie and her performance were very well reviewed and earned her several award nominations, including an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

She owns a production company with Connie Tavel, Hunt/Tavel Productions under Sony Pictures Entertainment.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Hunt started dating actor Hank Azaria in 1994 and they married in 1999, only to get divorced 17 months later (July 17, 1999 – December 18, 2000).[1] She has been in a relationship with producer/writer/director Matthew Carnahan since 2001. They have a daughter, Makena Lei Gordon Carnahan, born on May 13, 2004.[1][11]

Filmography[edit]

Accolades[edit]

Hunt has been recognized extensively in her career. In 1998 she won a Golden Globe Award, an Academy Award and an Emmy Award in the same year. Hunt was nominated for an Emmy Award for lead actress in a comedy seven years in a row, from 1993 through 1999, winning in the last four years.[12]

Year Work Award Result
1993–95 Mad About You Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress - Comedy Series Nominated
1993/96/98 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Television Series Musical or Comedy Nominated
1994–96 American Comedy Award for Funniest Female Performer in a TV Series Won
1994/95/97 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Television Series Musical or Comedy Won
1995 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Won
1995–98 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
1996–98 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
1996–99 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress - Comedy Series Won
1997–99 Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Nominated
1999 American Comedy Award for Funniest Female Performer in a TV Series Nominated
People's Choice Award for Favorite Female Television Performer Won
1996 Twister Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actress – Action/Adventure Won
Saturn Award for Best Actress Nominated
MTV Movie Award for Best Performance Nominated
1997 As Good as It Gets Academy Award for Best Actress Won
American Comedy Award for Funniest Actress in a Motion Picture (Leading Role) Won
Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actress – Video Won
Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress Won
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Won
Satellite Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Won
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role Won
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress Nominated
Empire Award for Best Actress Nominated
MTV Movie Award for Best Performance Nominated
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress Nominated
2000 What Women Want Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actress – Comedy/Romance Won
Pay It Forward Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actress – Drama/Romance Nominated
Cast Away Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actress – Drama Won
MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss (shared with Tom Hanks) Nominated
2005 Empire Falls Gracie Allen Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Drama Special Won
2006 Bobby Hollywood Film Festival Award for Ensemble of the Year Won
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Nominated
2007 Then She Found Me Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award for Best Leap from Actress to Director Won
Ashland Independent Film Festival Rogue Award Won
Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature Won
2012 The Sessions Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award for Best Depiction Of Nudity, Sexuality, or Seduction Won
Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female Won
San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress Won
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress Won
Sundance Film Festival - U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Prize for Ensemble Acting Won
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated
BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role Nominated
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress Nominated
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated
Detroit Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture Nominated
Houston Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated
San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress Nominated
Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated

References[edit]

External links[edit]