Helen Elizabeth Hunt (born June 15, 1963) is an American actress, director, and screenwriter. She is best known for starring as Jamie Buchman in the sitcom Mad About You (1992–1999), for which she won four Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, and for starring as Carol Connelly in the romantic comedy film As Good as It Gets (1997), for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress.
Hunt in 2007
Helen Elizabeth Hunt
June 15, 1963
Culver City, California, U.S.
|Occupation||Actress, director, screenwriter|
(m. 1999; div. 2000)
Jane Elizabeth Novis
Hunt's other notable films include Twister (1996), Cast Away (2000), What Women Want (2000), Pay It Forward (2000), and The Sessions (2012). Hunt's performance in The Sessions garnered her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She made her directorial debut with the comedy-drama film Then She Found Me (2007). Hunt has also won four Golden Globe Awards and two Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Helen Hunt was born in Culver City, California. Her mother, Jane Elizabeth (née Novis), worked as a photographer, and her father, Gordon Hunt, was a film, voice and stage director and acting coach. Her uncle, Peter H. Hunt, is also a director. Her maternal grandmother, Dorothy (Anderson) Fries, was a voice coach. 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), with a Methodist religious background. When she was three, Hunt's family moved to New York City, where her father directed theatre and Hunt attended plays as a child several times a week. Hunt studied ballet, and briefly attended UCLA.
Hunt began working as a child actress in the 1970s. 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. 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). That same year, Hunt was cast on the ABC sitcom It Takes Two, which lasted a single season. She played Jennie in the 1983 television movie Bill: On His Own, co-starring Mickey Rooney and, later that year, was cast in the lead role of Tami Maida in the fact-based TV movie Quarterback Princess. In the mid-1980s, she had a recurring role on St. Elsewhere as Clancy Williams, the girlfriend of Dr. Jack "Boomer" Morrison, and had a notable guest appearance as a cancer-stricken mother-to-be in a two-part episode of Highway to Heaven. Feature film roles around this time included Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1985) with Sarah Jessica Parker and Shannen Doherty, Peggy Sue Got Married (1986) as Kathleen Turner's daughter, Project X (1987) with Matthew Broderick, and Stealing Home (1988) as Hope Wyatt, the sister of Billy Wyatt, played by Mark Harmon and a cast featuring Jodie Foster and Harold Ramis, and Next of Kin (1989) with Patrick Swayze and Liam Neeson.
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. For the last year of the show she and Paul Reiser became the first actors ever to be paid $1,000,000 per episode. 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. She played the love interest of Moe Szyslak on The Simpsons episode Dumbbell Indemnity. She starred with Bill Paxton in the 1996 disaster action film Twister, which was the second-highest-grossing film of the year. In 1998, Hunt won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the movie As Good as It Gets of a waitress and single mother who finds herself falling in love with a misanthropic obsessive-compulsive romance novelist played by Jack Nicholson. 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. 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. In 2003, she returned to Broadway in Yasmina Reza's Life x 3. In 2006, Hunt appeared in the ensemble cast film Bobby alongside Demi Moore, Anthony Hopkins, Sharon Stone and William H. Macy. In 2011, in the movie Soul Surfer, she played the mother of the Hawaiian-born champion surfer Bethany Hamilton, on whose life the movie was based.
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. The movie also gained two awards at the Sundance Film Festival. The role required Hunt to perform multiple scenes of full-frontal nudity. Hunt further said: ""Being naked was challenging, but even more than that was the vulnerability. I felt vulnerable because I was naked. I felt vulnerable because we were having such a vulnerable moment in this character's life. This was a real journey that someone had gone on, and I wanted to do right by that."
Hunt started dating actor Hank Azaria in 1994. They married in 1999, and divorced 17 months later. She was partnered with producer/writer/director Matthew Carnahan starting in 2001. They have a daughter, Makena Lei Gordon Carnahan, born on May 13, 2004. In August 2017, the couple split after 16 years.
Awards and NominationsEdit
The Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, are a set of 24 awards for artistic and technical merit in the film industry, given annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), to recognize excellence in cinematic achievements as assessed by the Academy's voting membership.
|1997||As Good as It Gets||Best Actress||Won|
|2012||The Sessions||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|
Golden Globe AwardsEdit
Primetime Emmy AwardsEdit
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts or BAFTA Film Awards are presented in an annual award show hosted by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) to honour the best British and international contributions to film.
|2012||The Sessions||Best Actress in a Supporting Role||Nominated|
Screen Actors Guild AwardsEdit
The Screen Actors Guild Award is an accolade given by the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) to recognize outstanding performances in film and primetime television.
Critics' Choice AwardsEdit
|2013||Best Supporting Actress in a Movie||The Sessions||Nominated|
American Comedy AwardsEdit
The American Comedy Awards are a group of awards presented annually in the United States recognizing performances and performers in the field of comedy, with an emphasis on television comedy and comedy films.
|1994||Funniest Female Performer in a TV Series (Leading Role) – Network, Cable or Syndication||Mad About You||Won|
|1995||Funniest Female Performer in a TV Series (Leading Role) – Network, Cable or Syndication||Mad About You||Won|
|1996||Funniest Female Performer in a TV Series (Leading Role) – Network, Cable or Syndication||Mad About You||Won|
|1998||Funniest Actress in a Motion Picture (Leading Role)||As Good as It Gets||Won|
|1998||Funniest Female Performer in a TV Series (Leading Role) – Network, Cable or Syndication||Mad About You||Nominated|
|1999||Funniest Female Performer in a TV Series (Leading Role) – Network, Cable or Syndication||Mad About You||Nominated|
People's Choice AwardsEdit
|1999||Favorite Female TV Performer||Mad About You||Won|
|1996||Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy||Mad About You||Nominated|
|1997||Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy||As Good as It Gets||Won|
|1997||Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy||Mad About You||Nominated|
|1998||Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy||Mad About You||Nominated|
|2012||Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture||The Sessions||Nominated|
Independent Spirit AwardsEdit
The Film Independent Spirit Awards (abbreviated "Spirit Awards" and originally known as the FINDIE or Friends of Independents Awards), founded in 1984, are awards dedicated to independent filmmakers.
|2012||The Sessions||Best Supporting Female||Won|
|1997||Twister||Best Female Performance||Nominated|
|1998||As Good as It Gets||Best Female Performance||Nominated|
|2001||Cast Away||Best Kiss (shared with Tom Hanks)||Nominated|
- Helen Hunt at the TCM Movie Database
- "Helen Hunt Takes a Leap of Faith, Lands in 'Pamela Smart'". latimes.
- "Helen Hunt ancestry".
- Robinson, George (2008-02-13). "Then She Found Me'". The New York Jewish Week. Archived from the original on 2009-01-15. Retrieved 2008-04-24.
- Nick Johnstone, "How Helen Hunt did God", The Jewish Chronicle, August 28, 2008.
- "Coffee Talk".
- Stated on Inside the Actors Studio, 2001
- Helen Hunt Biography – Yahoo! Movies
- Cohn, Robert A. (2007-11-07). "Paul Reiser kicks off book fest". St. Louis Jewish Light. Archived from the original on 2007-11-09. Retrieved 2007-11-08.
- "Helen Hunt's Monologue".
- Helen Hunt at the Internet Broadway Database
- Block, Tara. "Helen Hunt". POPSUGAR Love UK. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
- "Helen Hunt: It's a Girl!". E! Online. May 2004. Archived from the original on 2004-05-27.
- Johnson, Zach (August 16, 2017). "Helen Hunt and Matthew Carnahan Break Up After 16 Years". E!. Retrieved August 18, 2017.
- "Helen Hunt splits from boyfriend Matthew Carnahan after 16 years together". Reality TV World. August 17, 2017. Retrieved August 18, 2017.
- Friedman, Megan; Matthews, Lyndsey (January 21, 2017). "Celebrities Hit the Streets for Women's Marches Around the World". Elle. Retrieved January 29, 2017.