Holly Hunter was born in Conyers, Georgia, the youngest of seven children whose father was a part-time sporting goods company representative and part-time farmer with a 250 acre farm. Her parents encouraged in her talent at an early age, and her first acting part was as Helen Keller in a fifth-grade play. In 1976 she went to Pittsburgh to pursue a degree in drama from Carnegie Mellon University. After graduating in 1980, she went to New York City, where she met playwright Beth Henley in a stalled elevator. Hunter went on to get roles in a number of Henley's southern gothic plays, including Crimes of the Heart and The Miss Firecracker Contest. In 1982 the actress went to Los Angeles. She landed her first starring role in the movies in the Coen brothers' Raising Arizona (1987), a part that is said to have been written with her in mind. She gained stardom in 1987 when she played the driven TV news producer Jane Craig in James L. Brooks' Broadcast News (1987). In 1993 she earned an Academy Award and worldwide acclaim with her performance as a mute bride to a New Zealand planter in The Piano (1993).IMDb Mini Biography By: Paul Davis <firstname.lastname@example.org>
|Janusz Kaminski||(20 May 1995 - 21 December 2001) (divorced)|
Was director James L. Brooks' first choice to play the female lead in As Good as It Gets (1997), but reportedly demanded too much money upfront and was passed over in favour of Helen Hunt. Hunter had previously collaborated with James L. Brooks on the 1987 film, Broadcast News (1987).
She had one line in her film debut, The Burning (1981), among a few ad libs. Regarding missing canoes she says to Todd -- "What happens if we don't find them?"
In 10th grade she placed 8th nationally in a poultry-judging contest. (Interview, 11/95)
Hunter's uncle was the first commander of the Thunderbirds, the world-famous U.S. Air Force Demonstration Squadron of fighter pilots.
An accomplished pianist, she actually performed all of the piano music for her Oscar performance in The Piano (1993). Film makers selected pieces for her that matched her talent.
Second cousin of Anaheim Angels' outfielder Tim Salmon.
Turned down the role of God in Dogma (1999).
Announced her separation from husband, Janusz Kaminski. They have had been apart since Halloween. [December 2001]
Taught by Jorge Guerra.
She is one of the elite eleven actors to have been nominated for both a Supporting and Lead Acting Academy Award in the same year. The other nine are: Fay Bainter; Barry Fitzgerald; Teresa Wright; Jessica Lange; Sigourney Weaver; Al Pacino; Emma Thompson; Julianne Moore; Cate Blanchett and Jamie Foxx. Emma Thompson received her double-nomination in the same year that Hunter did.
While living in the North Bronx, she turned down the lead role in Blood Simple. (1984), but introduced the Coen Brothers to her roommate Frances McDormand, who got the role and ended up marrying one of the brothers. Hunter's voice can be heard on an answering machine message in the film.
Hired a sign language interpreter to help her create her own sign language for her role in The Piano (1993).
Started playing piano at 9.
Moved to New York in 1980 to pursue a career in acting.
Made her Broadway debut in 1982 in "Crimes of the Heart."
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen saw her in "Crimes of the Heart" and wanted to cast her in the movie, Blood Simple. (1984). Because she was committed in another play, "The Wake of Jamey Foster", they cast her roommate Frances McDormand instead. Frances McDormand ended up marrying Joel Coen.
In 1993, she won the Oscar for Best Actress for The Piano (1993), in which she utilised her real-life piano skills. Eleven years later, Jamie Foxx won Best Actor for Ray (2004/I), in which he also played the piano. Both of them had been nominated for a supporting performance in those respective years, and both were nominated for a role they played opposite Tom Cruise. Hunter appeared in The Firm (1993) and Jamie Foxx appeared in Collateral (2004).
Member of jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1999.
Graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a degree in drama (1980).
Spent a summer interning at Cortland Repertory Theatre (Cortland, New York) in 1976.
Her performance as Jane Craig in Broadcast News (1987) is ranked #66 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
Wings of Desire (1987)) is one of her favorite films.
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on May 30, 2008.
She won her Oscar-winning role in The Piano (1993) over Anjelica Huston, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Juliette Binoche and Isabelle Huppert. Sigourney Weaver's agent had turned it down without sending her the script.
She won the role in Broadcast News (1987) just two days before shooting began, over several then-better-known actresses.
Has been in a relationship with Gordon MacDonald since 2001.
Gave birth to twin sons (her 1st and 2nd children) at age 47, Press MacDonald and Claude McDonald on January 17, 2006. Children's father is her boyfriend, Gordon MacDonald.
Acting, for me, is the last vestige of doing something that I would like to feel really naive about. - Interview, November 1995.
[on the importance of rehearsal for Thirteen (2003)] : I mean, some movies I walk in, "Hi, nice to meet you", we get in bed and we do a love scene. And that does happen. That happened with me with Billy Crudup on Jesus' Son (1999). Actors talk about that a lot, but it's not uncommon. And we could not have done Thirteen (2003) that way. It would not have worked.
I always feel that I am the advocate for my character. More than anyone else on the set, including the director. I'm there to protect my character, in a way.
I often get asked to direct and I've never taken anyone up on it. It would be very interesting and I would learn so much. But it's a very confrontational job - I mean, directors are forced to confront themselves, and I don't think there's really a way to prepare for the pressure of directing. And I have seen quite a few good people crash and burn at the job. Nervous breakdowns, crying, screaming fits - people buckle, so it's always scared me. But it's intriguing.
It just seems that abortion rights never ceases to be a hot topic. It's a shame. It feels to me an anachronism. I mean, why are we still talking about this? Why is this not just a woman's right, period? I find it boring and very frustrating that it remains such a high profile subject.
Actors do movies because you want to make a connection, you want an audience to recognise themselves in what it is that you're depicting. The portrait, you want it to be a reflection of some aspect of humanity that people understand, that they see in their own lives. And so, when a movie makes a connection like that, there's simply nothing better. And in some ways, an Academy Award does validate that actual hook-up.
I was trying to get as much experience as I could. But very early on, I was always extremely particular. From the beginning, I was never desperate. I did other things for money; you know, the normal, boring stuff - I temped, I did waitressing. But I actually quit a play early on in my career - it was one of the first things that I ever got cast in, but I quit because there was something about it that I didn't like. I didn't think the director was the right guy to be directing it. So I've never felt that every situation was great for me and therefore I would have to stay. To me, being creative is a very fragile thing, the environment in which one can create is a very particular one, and somehow I've always felt the need to be very protective of that.
[on how her career as an actress began] : ....Joel and Ethan (Joel Coen & Ethan Coen) had just finished the script of Raising Arizona (1987), and they asked me to read it and said that they'd written this part for me and would I be interested in doing it? So that was the beginning of my feature film career.
I'm just always looking for the best stuff. And also, there are things I want to do that I can't get - they want someone else. Often, in the movie business, they need somebody who will garner box office because they need to pay for the movie. So the people who are in movies that make a lot of money are the people who most often get cast in studio pictures. In my career, I've never been a box office name. Granted, a couple of my movies have made a lot of money but I'd do other movies which make very little money or they're not seen that much.
Actors are beggars and gypsies, that's just the way it is. And in many ways, I take what I can get. But I do search high and low for stuff that interests me.
Well, I think that an Academy Award has a certain kind of business shelf life. People have different speculations but definitely for a couple of years, your price is raised and there are more plentiful offers. Which only makes sense - it is a business. And the Academy Awards is a business, it enhances everything when you win one. But I think the most significant thing for me was, one, it was presented to me by Al Pacino, which I just loved. And two, that it was given to me for a role and an experience that I felt was a profound influence in my life. I know this because I was nominated for The Firm (1993) that same year and I don't feel the same way about The Firm (1993) that I do about The Piano (1993). So if I'd won for The Firm (1993) it would have been a whole different deal for me. I never actually saw The Firm (1993), so for me it would have been like... [grimaces]
|"Saving Grace" (2007)||$150,000/episode (2009-10)|
(March 2005) Starring in the lead role in Irish play "In the Bog of Cats" in London's West End.
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