Helen Hunt

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Helen Hunt
Helen Hunt 2011.jpg
Hunt in 2011
BornHelen Elizabeth Hunt
(1963-06-15) June 15, 1963 (age 51)
Culver City, California, U.S.
OccupationActress, director, screenwriter
Years active1973–present
Spouse(s)Hank Azaria (1999–2000)
Partner(s)Matthew Carnahan (2001–present)
Children1
 
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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
BornHelen Elizabeth Hunt
(1963-06-15) June 15, 1963 (age 51)
Culver City, California, U.S.
OccupationActress, director, screenwriter
Years active1973–present
Spouse(s)Hank Azaria (1999–2000)
Partner(s)Matthew Carnahan (2001–present)
Children1

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]

YearWorkAwardResult
1993–95Mad About YouPrimetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress - Comedy SeriesNominated
1993/96/98Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Television Series Musical or ComedyNominated
1994–96American Comedy Award for Funniest Female Performer in a TV SeriesWon
1994/95/97Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Television Series Musical or ComedyWon
1995Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy SeriesWon
1995–98Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy SeriesNominated
1996–98Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy SeriesNominated
1996–99Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress - Comedy SeriesWon
1997–99Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or ComedyNominated
1999American Comedy Award for Funniest Female Performer in a TV SeriesNominated
People's Choice Award for Favorite Female Television PerformerWon
1996TwisterBlockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actress – Action/AdventureWon
Saturn Award for Best ActressNominated
MTV Movie Award for Best PerformanceNominated
1997As Good as It GetsAcademy Award for Best ActressWon
American Comedy Award for Funniest Actress in a Motion Picture (Leading Role)Won
Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actress – VideoWon
Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best ActressWon
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or ComedyWon
Satellite Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or ComedyWon
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading RoleWon
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best ActressNominated
Empire Award for Best ActressNominated
MTV Movie Award for Best PerformanceNominated
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best ActressNominated
2000What Women WantBlockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actress – Comedy/RomanceWon
Pay It ForwardBlockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actress – Drama/RomanceNominated
Cast AwayBlockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actress – DramaWon
MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss (shared with Tom Hanks)Nominated
2005Empire FallsGracie Allen Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Drama SpecialWon
2006BobbyHollywood Film Festival Award for Ensemble of the YearWon
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion PictureNominated
2007Then She Found MeAlliance of Women Film Journalists Award for Best Leap from Actress to DirectorWon
Ashland Independent Film Festival Rogue AwardWon
Audience Award for Best Narrative FeatureWon
2012The SessionsAlliance of Women Film Journalists Award for Best Depiction Of Nudity, Sexuality, or SeductionWon
Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting FemaleWon
San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting ActressWon
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting ActressWon
Sundance Film Festival - U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Prize for Ensemble ActingWon
Academy Award for Best Supporting ActressNominated
BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting RoleNominated
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting ActressNominated
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best ActressNominated
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting ActressNominated
Detroit Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting ActressNominated
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion PictureNominated
Houston Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting ActressNominated
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting ActressNominated
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting ActressNominated
San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best ActressNominated
Satellite Award for Best Supporting ActressNominated
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting RoleNominated
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting ActressNominated

References[edit]

External links[edit]