Hunter in 2010
Holly Patricia Hunter
March 20, 1958
Conyers, Georgia, U.S.
|Education||Carnegie Mellon University (BFA)|
(m. 1995; div. 2001)
|Partner(s)||Gordon MacDonald (2001-present)|
Holly Patricia Hunter (born March 20, 1958) is an American actress. For her performance as Ada McGrath in the 1993 drama film The Piano, she won the Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Golden Globe Award, and Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress. She was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for Broadcast News (1987), and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for The Firm (1993) and again for Thirteen (2003).
A seven-time Primetime Emmy Award nominee, Hunter won for Roe vs. Wade (1989), and The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom (1993). She also starred in the TNT drama series Saving Grace (2007–10). Her other film roles include Raising Arizona (1987), Always (1989), Home for the Holidays (1995), Crash (1996), O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), The Incredibles (2004), its sequel Incredibles 2 (2018), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), and The Big Sick (2017), which earned her a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role.
Early life and career
Hunter was born in Conyers, Georgia, the daughter of Opal Marguerite (née Catledge), a housewife, and Charles Edwin Hunter, a farmer and sporting-goods manufacturer's representative. Hunter began acting at Rockdale County High School in the early 1970s, performing in Oklahoma, Man of La Mancha, and Fiddler on the Roof. Hunter earned a degree in drama from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and for a while performed in the theatre scene there, playing ingenue roles at City Theatre, then named the City Players.
She eventually moved to New York City and roomed with fellow actress Frances McDormand. Hunter, in 2008, described living in the Bronx "at the end of the D [subway] train, just off 205th Street, on Bainbridge Avenue and Hull Avenue. It was very Irish, and then you could go just a few blocks away and hit major Italian." A chance encounter with playwright Beth Henley, when the two were trapped alone in an elevator, led to Hunter's being cast in Henley's plays Crimes of the Heart (succeeding Mary Beth Hurt on Broadway), and Off-Broadway's The Miss Firecracker Contest. "It was like the beginning of 1982. It was on 49th Street between Broadway and Eighth [Avenue] ... on the south side of the street," Hunter recalled in an interview. "[We were trapped] 10 minutes; not long. We actually had a nice conversation. It was just the two of us."
Stage and film
Hunter made her film debut in the 1981 slasher movie The Burning. After moving to Los Angeles in 1982, Hunter appeared in TV movies before being cast in a supporting role in 1984's Swing Shift. That year, she had her first collaboration with the writing-directing-producing team of brothers Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, in Blood Simple, making an uncredited appearance as a voice on an answering-machine recording. More film and television work followed until 1987, when she earned a starring role in the Coens' Raising Arizona and was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in Broadcast News, after which Hunter became a critically acclaimed star. She went on to the screen adaptation of Henley's Miss Firecracker; Steven Spielberg's Always, a romantic drama with Richard Dreyfuss; and the made-for-TV 1989 docudrama about the Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade.
Following her second collaboration with Dreyfuss, in Once Around, Hunter garnered critical attention for her work in two 1993 films, resulting in her being nominated for two Academy Awards the same year: Hunter's performance in The Firm won her a nomination as Best Supporting Actress, while her portrayal of a mute Scottish woman entangled in an adulterous affair with Harvey Keitel in Jane Campion's The Piano won her the Best Actress award.
Hunter went on to star in the comedy-drama Home for the Holidays and the thriller Copycat, both in 1995. She also appeared in David Cronenberg's Crash and as a sardonic angel in A Life Less Ordinary. The following year, she played a recently divorced New Yorker in Richard LaGravenese's Living Out Loud; starring alongside Danny DeVito, Queen Latifah, and Martin Donovan. Hunter rounded out the 1990s with a minor role in the independent drama Jesus' Son and as a housekeeper torn between a grieving widower and his son in Kiefer Sutherland's drama Woman Wanted.
Following a supporting role in the Coens' O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Hunter took top billing in the same year's television movie Harlan County War, an account of labor struggles among Kentucky coal-mine workers. Hunter would continue her small screen streak with a role in When Billie Beat Bobby, playing tennis pro Billie Jean King in the fact-based story of King's famed exhibition match with Bobby Riggs; and as narrator of Eco Challenge New Zealand before returning to film work with a minor role in the 2002 drama Moonlight Mile.
The following year found Hunter in the redemption drama Levity. Also in 2003, Hunter had the role of a mother named Melanie Freeland, whose daughter is troubled and going through the perils of being a teenager in the film Thirteen. The film was critically acclaimed along with Hunter and her co-stars and earned her nominations for the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress.
In 2004, Hunter starred alongside Brittany Murphy in the romantic satire Little Black Book, and provided the voice for Helen Parr (also known as Elastigirl) in the acclaimed computer-animated superhero film, The Incredibles. Hunter has also voiced Elastigirl in the Disney Infinity video game series, and reprised the role for the film's sequel, Incredibles 2 in 2018. In 2005, Hunter starred alongside Robin Williams in the black comedy-drama The Big White.
Hunter became an executive producer, and helped develop a starring vehicle for herself with the TNT cable-network drama Saving Grace, which premiered in July 2007. For her acting, she received a Golden Globe Award nomination, two Screen Actors Guild Award nominations, and an Emmy Award nomination. On May 30, 2008, Hunter received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2009, she was awarded the Women in Film Lucy Award. In 2016, Hunter played Senator Finch in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Hunter's likeness was used to portray Senator Finch in the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice tie-in prequel comics, released by Dr. Pepper on February 3, 2016.
Hunter is unable to hear with her left ear due to a childhood case of the mumps. The condition sometimes leads to complications at work. Some scenes have to be altered from the script for her to use her right ear.
She has been in a relationship with British actor Gordon MacDonald since 2001. The couple met in San Jose Repertory Theatre's production of playwright Marina Carr's By the Bog of Cats, in which she played a woman abandoned by her lover of 14 years, played by MacDonald. In January 2006, Hunter gave birth to the couple's twin boys Claude and Press.
|An Uncommon Love||Karen||TV movie|
|1984||With Intent to Kill||Wynn Nolen||TV movie|
|1987||A Gathering of Old Men||Candy Marshall||TV movie|
|1989||Roe vs. Wade||Ellen Russell/Jane Doe||TV movie|
|The Three Billy Goats Gruff and The Three Little Pigs||Narrator||TV short|
|1992||Crazy in Love||Georgie Symonds||TV movie|
|1993||The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom||Wanda Holloway||TV movie|
|2000||Harlan County War||Ruby Kincaid||TV movie|
|Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her||Rebecca Weyman||Segment: "Fantasies About Rebecca"|
|2001||When Billie Beat Bobby||Billie Jean King||TV movie; also executive producer|
|2007–10||Saving Grace||Grace Hanadarko||46 episodes; also executive producer|
|2013||Top of the Lake||GJ||Miniseries; 6 episodes|
|Bonnie & Clyde||Emma Parker||Miniseries; 2 episodes|
|2018||Here and Now||Audrey Bayer||Main role; 10 episodes|
|2019||Succession||Rhea Jarrell||6 episodes|
|2019–20||Bless the Harts||Marjune Gamble (voice)||3 episodes|
|2020||The Comey Rule||Sally Yates||Miniseries|
|2021||Mr. Mayor||Arpi Meskimen||Main role|
|2004||The Incredibles||Helen Parr / Elastigirl (archive footage)|
|2013||Disney Infinity||Helen Parr / Elastigirl|
|2014||Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes|
|2015||Disney Infinity 3.0|
Awards and nominations
- "Holly Hunter Biography (1958-)". Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- "Conyers native Holly Hunter brings Southern charm, complexity to film, TV roles". ajc.com. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
- Conner, Lynne (2007). Pittsburgh In Stages: Two Hundred Years of Theater. University of Pittsburgh Press. pg. 247. ISBN 978-0-8229-4330-3. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
- "Fast Chat: Holly Hunter". Newsday. July 13, 2008. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
- EDT, David Sim On 3/20/19 at 2:00 AM (March 20, 2019). "To celebrate Holly Hunter's birthday, we rank her best 15 movies". Newsweek. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
- Lucy Awards, past recipients Archived August 20, 2011, at WebCite WIF web site
- "Superman/Batman: Holly Hunter, Callan Mulvey, Tao Okamoto join cast". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
- Begley, Chris (June 17, 2014). "Exclusive: Lex Luthor's hairstyle in 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice' revealed". Batman on Film. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
- Schlöndorff, Volker: "A Gathering of Old Men", Extras on German DVD by Arthaus
- "Holly Hunter has twins at 47". The Telegraph. January 19, 2006. Retrieved February 1, 2012.
- "Twins for Oscar Winner Holly Hunter" January 18, 2006, People
- "Holly Hunter and Gordon MacDonald take sons to the park – Moms & Babies – Celebrity Babies and Kids - Moms & Babies - People.com". PEOPLE.com. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- Mackenzie, Suzie. "What people don't know about Holly". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved November 26, 2015.
- "Golden Plate Awardees of the American Academy of Achievement". www.achievement.org. American Academy of Achievement.
- University, Carnegie Mellon (May 11, 2016). "Countdown To 119th Commencement - News - Carnegie Mellon University". Retrieved September 22, 2018.
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