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Helen Hunt


Birth name:

Helen Elizabeth Hunt




Los Angeles, California, USA



Race or Ethnicity:


Sexual orientation:





United States

Executive summary:

As Good As It Gets


5' 8" (1.73 m)


Helen Hunt - Pictures

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Additional Free Pictures of Helen Hunt


Helen Hunt - Biography


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 in the romantic comedy As Good As It Gets, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. Some of her other Hollywood credits include Twister, Cast Away, What Women Want and Pay It Forward. She made her directorial debut in 2008 with Then She Found Me.

Hunt was born in Culver City, California, the daughter of Jane Elizabeth (née Novis), a photographer, and Gordon Hunt, a film director and acting coach. Her uncle, Peter H. Hunt, is also a director, and her maternal grandmother, Dorothy Fries (née Anderson) was a voice coach. Hunt is of Jewish (from her paternal grandmother) and Methodist background. She spent part of her childhood in New York City and later attended the University of California at Los Angeles.

Hunt began working in the 1970s as a child actress. 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, 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. She also appeared as a young woman who, while on PCP, jumps out of a second-story window in a 1982 after school special called Desperate Lives (a scene which she mocked during a Saturday Night Live monologue in 1994). In the mid-1980s, she had a recurring role on St. Elsewhere as Clancy Williams, girlfriend of Dr. Jack "Boomer" Morrison. She remains well known for one of her earliest roles as Jennie in Bill: On His Own, costarring Mickey Rooney.
In the 1990s, after the lead female role in the short-lived My Life and Times, Hunt became well-known to television audiences in Mad About You, winning Emmy Awards for her performance in 1996, 1997, 1998, and 1999.
In 1998 Hunt won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Carol Connelly, a waitress and single mother who finds herself falling in love with Melvin Udall, an obsessive-compulsive romance novelist played by Jack Nicholson in the movie As Good as It Gets. 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 City.
In 2000, Hunt returned to the screen 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. Hunt was also a final candidate for the role of "Clarice Starling" in Hannibal, after Jodie Foster decided not to reprise her Oscar winning role from The Silence of the Lambs. However, Hunt lost the role to Julianne Moore at the last minute. In 2006, Hunt appeared in a small role in the film Bobby.
Hunt is a director, having helmed 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.
She currently owns a production company with Connie Tavel, Hunt/Tavel Productions under Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Hunt dated actor Hank Azaria for five years, then was married to him from 1999 until 2000. She briefly dated fellow actor Kevin Spacey in 2000. She has been in a relationship with Matthew Carnahan since 2001 and they have a daughter, Makena Lei Gordon Carnahan, born in 2004.


Helen Hunt - Personal Quotes


"To tell you the truth, I don´t have any expensive tastes. I´m just as happy going to a beach and sitting in the sun today as I was ten years ago. I wouldn't feel comfortable if I drove there in a Bentley convertible."

"I´m not very sexy or glamorous! I have this girl next door kind of look and I have to do the best I can with that."

"On a professional level, an Oscar means that your salary suddenly increases by a few million and you get offered a lot more movies which in the past you had to beg to have a chance to read for."

"You're not in control of anything. You're not even like a painter, who can say "I'm just going to go into my studio and do my work, and if nobody wants to buy it, well, maybe they will when I'm dead". You can't even do that. You're waiting for somebody to hand you a part. You're in this wildly dependent position."

"Not having incredible success for a long time probably helped. Of course some 20-year-old beautiful girl, who goes from barely acting to being on the cover [of magazines] ... that's going to be disorienting and confusing, and people can't really be surprised if they have a skewed perspective of their importance in the world, when everyone comes together and tells them they're the most important thing in the world, then hates them for believing it. I didn't go through that. So that was lucky."

"I always used to say absolutely yes, and I didn't miss my childhood, because I was a child on the set, and often I was working with other kids. On the other hand, do I feel like I was too serious, like I had this vocation?"

"My no-good Hollywood liberalism, you mean? I don't know what the right thing to do is. All I know is that when it's a month before the election, and there are issues that mean so much to me, and someone says "Put your name and your face on this, it might help", I am moved and I say yes. Do I think it's a good thing for famous people to put their name and face on stuff? I don't know. When I stop and think about it, maybe, if I want to help, I should just put a baseball hat on, not use my face at all, and be one of the people on the march, write a letter to my congressman, and just be a citizen."


Helen Hunt - Filmography


Aline & Wolfe (2009) .... Aline Bernstein
Every Day (2009) .... Jeannie
Then She Found Me (2007) .... April Epner
Bobby (2006) .... Samantha
Empire Falls (2005) (TV) .... Janine Roby
A Good Woman (2004) .... Mrs. Erlynne
... aka Seduttrici, Le (Italy)
The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001) .... Betty Ann Fitzgerald
... aka Im Bann des Jade Skorpions (Germany)
One Night at McCool's (2001) (scenes deleted) .... Truck Driver
What Women Want (2000) .... Darcy McGuire
Cast Away (2000) .... Kelly Frears
Pay It Forward (2000) .... Arlene McKinney
Dr T and the Women (2000) .... Bree
... aka Dr. T and the Women (Germany) (USA: alternative spelling)
"Mad About You" .... Jamie Stemple Buchman (161 episodes, 1992-1999)
- The Final Frontier (1999) TV Episode .... Jamie Stemple Buchman
- The Dirty Little Secret (1999) TV Episode .... Jamie Stemple Buchman
- Paved with Good Intentions (1999) TV Episode .... Jamie Stemple Buchman
- Stealing Burt's Car (1999) TV Episode .... Jamie Stemple Buchman
- Separate Beds (1999) TV Episode .... Jamie Stemple Buchman
(156 more)
Twelfth Night, or What You Will (1998) (TV) .... Viola
"The Simpsons" .... Renee (1 episode, 1998)
- Dumbbell Indemnity (1998) TV Episode (voice) .... Renee
As Good as It Gets (1997) .... Carol Connelly
Twister (1996) .... Dr. Jo Harding
Kiss of Death (1995/I) .... Bev Kilmartin
"Friends" .... Jamie Buchman (1 episode, 1995)
- The One with Two Parts: Part 1 (1995) TV Episode .... Jamie Buchman
In the Company of Darkness (1993) (TV) .... Gina Pulasky
Sexual Healing (1993) .... Rene
Trancers III (1992) (V) .... Lena
... aka Death Lives
... aka Future Cop III
Mr. Saturday Night (1992) .... Annie Wells
Bob Roberts (1992) .... Rose Pondell
Only You (1992/I) .... Clare Enfield
The Waterdance (1992) .... Anna
Murder in New Hampshire: The Pamela Wojas Smart Story (1991) (TV) .... Pamela Smart
Trancers II (1991) .... Lena Deth
... aka Future Cop II
... aka Trancers II: The Return of Jack Deth (USA: video box title)
... aka Trancers II: The Two Faces of Death
Into the Badlands (1991) (TV) .... Blossom
"My Life and Times" .... Rebecca Miller (4 episodes, 1991)
- Fare on Park Avenue (1991) TV Episode .... Rebecca Miller
- Millennium (1991) TV Episode .... Rebecca Miller
- The Wedding (1991) TV Episode .... Rebecca Miller
- Jessie (1991) TV Episode .... Rebecca Miller
"The Trials of Rosie O'Neill" .... Bridget Kane (1 episode, 1990)
- An Act of Love (1990) TV Episode .... Bridget Kane
"Captain Planet and the Planeteers" (1990) TV Series .... Additional Voices (unknown episodes)
... aka The New Adventures of Captain Planet (USA: fourth season title)
"China Beach" .... Amanda 'Sissy' Simpson (1 episode, 1990)
- The Thanks of a Grateful Nation (1990) TV Episode .... Amanda 'Sissy' Simpson
Incident at Dark River (1989) (TV) .... Jesse McCandless
... aka Dark River - A Father's Revenge
Next of Kin (1989) .... Jessie Gates
American Playhouse: Land of Little Rain (1989) (TV) .... Mary Austin
The Easter Story (1989) (V) (voice)
... aka Greatest Adventure Stories from the Bible: The Easter Story (USA)
Miles from Home (1988) .... Jennifer
... aka Farm of the Year
Shooter (1988) (TV) .... Tracey
Stealing Home (1988) .... Hope Wyatt (adult and pregnant)
Project X (1987) .... Teri
"The Hitchhiker" .... Donette (1 episode, 1987)
... aka Deadly Nightmares (UK)
... aka Voyageur, Le (France)
- Why Are You Here? (1987) TV Episode .... Donette
Peggy Sue Got Married (1986) .... Beth Bodell
The Frog Prince (1986) .... Princess Henrietta
... aka Cannon Movie Tales: The Frog Prince
"St. Elsewhere" .... Clancy Williams (8 episodes, 1984-1986)
- Family Affair (1986) TV Episode .... Clancy Williams
- Family Feud (1986) TV Episode .... Clancy Williams
- Family Ties (1986) TV Episode .... Clancy Williams
- Tears of a Clown (1985) TV Episode .... Clancy Williams
- Homecoming (1984) TV Episode .... Clancy Williams
(3 more)
The Nativity (1986) (voice) .... Mary
... aka The Creation (UK)
Trancers (1985) .... Leena
... aka Future Cop (Philippines: English title)
"Highway to Heaven" .... Lizzy MacGill (2 episodes, 1985)
- Thoroughbreds: Part 2 (1985) TV Episode .... Lizzy MacGill
- Thoroughbreds: Part 1 (1985) TV Episode .... Lizzy MacGill
Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1985) .... Lynne Stone
"Galtar and the Golden Lance" (1985) TV Series (voice) .... Additional Voices
Waiting to Act (1985) .... Tracy
Sweet Revenge (1984) (TV) .... Debbie Markham
... aka Bittersweet Revenge
... aka Code of Honor
... aka Her Revenge
Choices of the Heart (1983) (TV) .... Cathy
... aka In December the Roses Will Bloom Again
Quarterback Princess (1983) (TV) .... Tami Maida
Bill: On His Own (1983) (TV) .... Jenny Wells
"It Takes Two" (1982) TV Series .... Lisa Quinn (unknown episodes)
Weekend (1982) (TV) .... Sarah
"Gimme a Break!" .... Valerie (1 episode, 1982)
- An Unmarried Couple (1982) TV Episode .... Valerie
Desperate Lives (1982) (TV) .... Sandy Cameron
Child Bride of Short Creek (1981) (TV) .... Naomi
"Darkroom" .... Nancy Lawrence (1 episode, 1981)
- The Bogeyman Will Get You (1981) TV Episode .... Nancy Lawrence
The Miracle of Kathy Miller (1981) (TV) .... Kathy Miller
The Best Little Girl in the World (1981) (TV)
"CBS Afternoon Playhouse" .... Phoebe (1 episode, 1981)
- I Think I'm Having a Baby (1981) TV Episode .... Phoebe
Angel Dusted (1981) (TV) .... Lizzie Eaton
... aka Angel Dust (Europe: English title: video title)
"Knots Landing" .... Betsy / ... (2 episodes, 1980-1981)
- Step One (1981) TV Episode .... Brenda
- Hitchhiker: Part 2 (1980) TV Episode .... Betsy
"The Facts of Life" .... Emily (1 episode, 1980)
- Dope (1980) TV Episode .... Emily
"Family" .... Robin Task / ... (3 episodes, 1976-1980)
- Hard Times (1980) TV Episode .... Sandy
- We Love You, Miss Jessup (1977) TV Episode .... Tracey Palmer
- Home Movies (1976) TV Episode .... Robin Task
Transplant (1979) (TV) .... Janice Hurley
"The Bionic Woman" .... Princess Aura (1 episode, 1978)
- Sanctuary Earth (1978) TV Episode .... Princess Aura
"The Fitzpatricks" (1977) TV Series .... Kerry Gerardi (unknown episodes)
Rollercoaster (1977) .... Tracy Calder
The Spell (1977) (TV) .... Kristina Matchett
"Mary Tyler Moore" .... Laurie Slaughter (1 episode, 1977)
... aka The Mary Tyler Moore Show (USA: promotional title)
- Murray Ghosts for Ted (1977) TV Episode .... Laurie Slaughter
Having Babies (1976) (TV) .... Sharon McNamara
... aka Giving Birth (USA)
"Ark II" .... Diana (1 episode, 1976)
- Omega (1976) TV Episode .... Diana
"Swiss Family Robinson" .... Helga Wagner (1 episode, 1975-1976)
... aka Island of Adventure (UK)
- Jean LaFitte: Part 1 (1976) TV Episode .... Helga Wagner
Death Scream (1975) (TV) .... Teila Rodriguez
... aka Streetkill
... aka The Woman Who Cried Murder
The Swiss Family Robinson (1975) (TV) .... Roberta
All Together Now (1975) (TV) .... Susan Lindsay
"Amy Prentiss" .... Jill Prentiss (4 episodes, 1974-1975)
- Profile in Evil (1975) TV Episode .... Jill Prentiss
- The Desperate World of Jane Doe (1974) TV Episode .... Jill Prentiss
- Baptism of Fire (1974) TV Episode .... Jill Prentiss
- Prime Suspect (????) TV Episode .... Jill Prentiss
Pioneer Woman (1973) (TV) .... Sarah Sargeant
... aka Pioneers


Helen Hunt  - Related Links

Wikipedia: Helen Hunt
YouTube: Helen Hunt

Helen Hunt





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