Holly Patricia Hunter (born March 20, 1958) is an American actress. Hunter won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance as Ada McGrath in the 1993 drama film The Piano. She earned three additional Academy Award nominations for Broadcast News (1987), The Firm (1993), and Thirteen (2003). She won two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for the television films 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 (2007–2010).
Holly Patricia Hunter
March 20, 1958
Conyers, Georgia, U.S.
|Education||Carnegie Mellon University (BFA)|
(m. 1995; div. 2001)
|Partner||Gordon MacDonald (2001–present)|
Hunter's other film roles include Raising Arizona (1987), Home for the Holidays (1995), Crash (1996), O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), The Incredibles (2004), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), and The Big Sick (2017), the latter of which earned her a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role.
Hunter was born in Conyers, Georgia, the daughter of Marguerite "Dee Dee" (née Catledge), a homemaker, and Charles Edwin Hunter, a part-time sporting goods company representative and farmer with a 250 acre farm. She is the youngest of six children. Her parents encouraged her talent at an early age, and her first acting part was as Helen Keller in a fifth-grade play. She is unable to hear with her left ear due to a childhood case of the mumps. The condition sometimes leads to complications at work, and some movie scenes have to be altered from the script for her to use her right ear. She is irreligious. She began acting at Rockdale County High School in the early 1970s, performing in local productions of 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 theater scene there, playing ingenue roles at City Theater, then named the City Players.
Hunter moved to New York City and roomed with fellow actress Frances McDormand, living in the Bronx "at the end of the D [subway] train, just off 205th Street, on Bainbridge Avenue and Hull Avenue". 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."
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.
Hunter 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 Roe vs. Wade 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. Hunter appeared in David Cronenberg's Crash and as a sardonic angel in A Life Less Ordinary. The following year, Hunter 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 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.
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. She reprised the role in the Disney Infinity video game series, and in the film's long awaited 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 stars opposite Ted Danson in the 2021 NBC comedy Mr. Mayor.
Hunter was married to Janusz Kamiński, cinematographer of Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan, from 1995 until 2001. 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 sons, Claude and Press.
|Blood Simple||Helene Trend||Voice, uncredited|
|1987||Raising Arizona||Edwina "Ed" McDunnough|
|End of the Line||Charlotte Haney|
|Broadcast News||Jane Craig|
|1989||Miss Firecracker||Carnelle Scott|
|Animal Behavior||Coral Grable|
|1991||Once Around||Renata Bella|
|1993||The Piano||Ada McGrath|
|The Firm||Tammy Hemphill|
|Home for the Holidays||Claudia Larson|
|1997||A Life Less Ordinary||O'Reilly|
|1998||Living Out Loud||Judith Moore|
|Woman Wanted||Emma Riley|
|O Brother, Where Art Thou?||Penny Wharvey McGill|
|2001||Festival in Cannes||Herself|
|2002||Moonlight Mile||Mona Camp|
|Thirteen||Melanie Freeland||Also executive producer|
|2004||Little Black Book||Barb Campbell-Dunn|
|The Incredibles||Helen Parr / Elastigirl||Voice role|
|The Big White||Margaret Barnell|
|Chicken Little||Chicken Little as a girl||Deleted scenes|
|2011||Portraits in Dramatic Time||Herself|
|2012||Won't Back Down||Evelyn Riske|
|2016||Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice||Senator Finch|
|Strange Weather||Darcy Baylor|
|2017||Breakable You||Eleanor Weller|
|The Big Sick||Beth Gardner|
|Song to Song||Miranda|
|2018||Incredibles 2||Helen Parr / Elastigirl||Voice role|
|An Uncommon Love||Karen||Television film|
|1984||With Intent to Kill||Wynn Nolen||Television film|
|1987||A Gathering of Old Men||Candy Marshall||Television film|
|1989||Roe vs. Wade||Ellen Russell/Jane Doe||Television film|
|The Three Billy Goats Gruff and The Three Little Pigs||Narrator (voice)||Television short|
|1992||Crazy in Love||Georgie Symonds||Television film|
|1993||The Positively True Adventures of the
Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom
|Wanda Holloway||Television film|
|2000||Harlan County War||Ruby Kincaid||Television film|
|Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her||Rebecca Weyman||Segment: "Fantasies About Rebecca"|
|2001||When Billie Beat Bobby||Billie Jean King||Television film; also executive producer|
|2007||Peep and the Big Wide World||Robin (voice)||Episode: "Big Bird/Chirp Flies the Coop"|
|2007–2010||Saving Grace||Grace Hanadarko||46 episodes; also executive producer|
|2013||Top of the Lake||GJ||6 episodes|
|Bonnie & Clyde||Emma Parker||2 episodes|
|2018||Here and Now||Audrey Bayer||10 episodes|
|2019||Succession||Rhea Jarrell||6 episodes|
|2019–2020||Bless the Harts||Marjune Gamble (voice)||3 episodes|
|2020||The Comey Rule||Sally Yates||2 episodes|
|2021–2022||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 nominationsEdit
In 1999, Hunter received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement. In 2016, Hunter was awarded an Honorary Doctorate degree by her alma mater, Carnegie Mellon University.
- ^ "UPI Almanac for Saturday, March 20, 2021". United Press International. March 20, 2021. Archived from the original on March 20, 2021. Retrieved January 17, 2022.
actor Holly Hunter in 1958 (age 63)
- ^ Marguerite Catledge obituary Legacy.com 2011 accessed 2-22-22
- ^ Schlöndorff, Volker: "A Gathering of Old Men", Extras on German DVD by Arthaus
- ^ Mackenzie, Suzie (November 22, 2003). "What people don't know about Holly". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved November 26, 2015.
- ^ Wightman, Catriona (March 29, 2010). "Holly Hunter: 'I am not religious'". Digital Spy. Retrieved January 28, 2022.
- ^ "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.
- ^ a b "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 30, 2011, at the Wayback Machine 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.
- ^ "Holly Hunter has twins at 47". The Telegraph. January 19, 2006. Archived from the original on January 11, 2022. Retrieved February 1, 2012.
- ^ "Holly Hunter gives birth at age 47". Accessed January 23, 2023.
- ^ "Holly Hunter and Gordon MacDonald take sons to the park – Moms & Babies – Celebrity Babies and Kids - Moms & Babies". PEOPLE.com. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- ^ "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.
- Holly Hunter at IMDb
- Holly Hunter at the Internet Broadway Database
- Holly Hunter at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- "What people don't know about Holly" (interview), The Guardian, November 22, 2003