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 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: 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. Her uncle, Peter H. Hunt, is also a director. Her Iowa-born 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). 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). Hunt studied ballet, and briefly attended UCLA. Career: 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 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. Personal life: 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). 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. Accolades: 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. Filmography: Television: Year Title Role Notes 1973 Pioneer Woman Sarah Sargeant Movie 1974 Amy Prentiss Jill Prentiss Series; supporting role 1975 Death Scream Teila Rodriguez Movie 1975 Swiss Family Robinson, TheThe Swiss Family Robinson Helga Series; main role 1975 All Together Now Susan Lindsay Movie 1976 Ark II Diana Episode: "Omega" 1976 Having Babies Sharon McNamara Movie 1977 The Spell Kristina Matchett Movie 1977 Fitzpatricks, TheThe Fitzpatricks Kerry Gerardi 9 episodes 1978 Bionic Woman, TheThe Bionic Woman Princess Aura Episode: "Sanctuary Earth" 1979 Transplant Janice Hurley Movie 1980, 1981 Knots Landing Betsy, Brenda "Hitchhike" (Part 2), "Step One" 1981 CBS Afternoon Playhouse Phoebe "I Think I'm Having a Baby" 1981 Child Bride of Short Creek Naomi Movie 1981 Best Little Girl in the World, TheThe Best Little Girl in the World Movie 1981 Darkroom Nancy Lawrence Episode: "The Bogeyman Will Get You" 1981 Angel Dusted Lizzie Eaton Movie 1981 Miracle of Kathy Miller, TheThe Miracle of Kathy Miller Kathy Miller Movie 1982 Desperate Lives Sandy Cameron Movie 1982-83 It Takes Two Lisa Quinn Main role 1983 Bill: On His Own Jenny Wells Movie 1983 Quarterback Princess Tami Maida Movie 1983 Choices of the Heart Cathy Movie 1984 Sweet Revenge Debbie Markham Movie 1985 Highway To Heaven Lizzy MacGill Episode: "Thoroughbreds" (Parts 1 & 2) 1984-86 St. Elsewhere Clancy Williams 8 episodes 1988 Shooter Tracey Movie 1989 Incident at Dark River Jesse McCandless Movie 1991 My Life and Times Rebecca Miller 6 episodes 1991 Murder in New Hampshire:, The Pamela Wojas Smart Story Pamela Smart Movie 1991 Into the Badlands Blossom Movie 1992-99 Mad About You Jamie Stemple Buchman Won - American Comedy Award for Funniest Female Performer in a TV Series (1994-96), Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress - Comedy Series (1996-99), Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Television Series Musical or Comedy (1994, 1995, 1997), People's Choice Award for Favorite Female Television Performer (1999), Q Award for Best Actress in a Quality Comedy Series, Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series (1995), Nominated - American Comedy Award for Funniest Female Performer in a TV Series (1999), Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress - Comedy Series (1993-95), Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Television Series Musical or Comedy (1993, 1996, 1998), Q Award for Best Actress in a Quality Comedy Series (1998), Satellite Award for Best Actress - Television Series Musical or Comedy (1997-99), Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series (1996-98), Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (1995-98), TV Guide Award for Favorite Actress in a Comedy, 1993 In the Company of Darkness Gina Pulasky Movie 1995 Friends Jamie Buchman Season one, episode: "The One with Two Parts" (Part 1); Mad About You crossover appearance 1998 The Simpsons Renee Episode: "Dumbbell Indemnity" 1998 Twelfth Night Viola Movie 2005 Empire Falls Janine Roby Gracie Allen Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress - Drama Special 2012 Californication Director - season five episode: "At the Movies" 2013 Revenge Director - season two episode: "Retribution" Film: Year Title Role Notes 1977 Rollercoaster Tracy Calder 1985 Trancers Leena 1985 Waiting to Act Tracy 1985 Girls Just Want to Have Fun Lynne Stone 1986 Nativity, TheThe Nativity Mary Voice 1986 Peggy Sue Got Married Beth Bodell 1987 Project X Teri 1988 Miles from Home Jennifer 1988 Stealing Home Hope Wyatt (adult and pregnant) 1988 Frog Prince, TheThe Frog Prince Princess Henrietta 1989 Next of Kin Jessie Gates 1991 Trancers II Lena Deth 1992 Waterdance, TheThe Waterdance Anna 1992 Only You Clare Enfield 1992 Mr. Saturday Night Annie Wells 1992 Bob Roberts Rose Pondell 1992 Trancers III Lena 1993 Sexual Healing Rene 1995 Kiss of Death Bev Kilmartin 1996 Twister Dr. Jo Harding (Adult) Won - Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actress - Action/Adventure, Nominated - Saturn Award for Best Actress, MTV Movie Award for Best Performance, 1997 As Good as It Gets Carol Connelly Won - Academy Award for Best Actress, American Comedy Award for Funniest Actress in a Motion Picture (Leading Role), Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actress - Video, Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress, Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, Satellite Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role, Nominated - Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress, Empire Award for Best Actress, MTV Movie Award for Best Performance, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress, 2000 Dr. T & the Women Bree Davis 2000 What Women Want Darcy McGuire Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actress - Comedy/Romance 2000 Pay It Forward Arlene McKinney Nominated - Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actress - Drama/Romance 2000 Cast Away Kelly Frears Won - Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actress - Drama, Nominated - MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss (shared with Tom Hanks), 2001 One Night at McCool's Truck driver scenes deleted 2001 Curse of the Jade Scorpion, TheThe Curse of the Jade Scorpion Betty Ann Fitzgerald 2004 Good Woman, AA Good Woman Mrs. Erlynne 2006 Bobby Samantha Stevens Won - Hollywood Film Festival Award for Ensemble of the Year, Nominated - Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, 2007 Then She Found Me April Epner Also co-screenwriter, producer and director, Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award for Best Leap from Actress to Director, Ashland Independent Film Festival Rogue Award, Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature, 2011 Every Day Jeannie 2011 Soul Surfer Cheri Hamilton 2011 Jock of the Bushveld Jess voice 2012 The Sessions Cheryl Cohen-Greene Won - Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award for Best Depiction Of Nudity, Sexuality, or Seduction, Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female, Nevada Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress, San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress, St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress, Sundance Film Festival - U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Prize for Ensemble Acting, Nominated - Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award for Female Icon, BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress, Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress, Detroit Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress, Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture, Houston Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress, Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress, Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress, San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress, Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress, Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role, Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress 2013 Decoding Annie Parker Dr. Mary-Claire King 2014 Ride In post-production; also director, producer, and writer

Source: Wikipedia

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