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Holly Hunter (born March 20, 1958) is an American actress. Hunter starred in The Piano for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. She has also been nominated for Oscars for her roles in Broadcast News, The Firm, and Thirteen. Hunter has also won two Emmy Awards with seven nominations and has won a Golden Globe Award with another six nominations.

Early life and career

Holly Hunter was born in Conyers, Georgia, the daughter of Opal Marguerite, a housewife, and Charles Edwin Hunter, a farmer and sporting-goods manufacturer's representative. Hunter earned a degree in drama from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and for a while performed in the theatre scene there, playing ingenue roles at City Theatre, then named the City Players. She eventually moved to New York City and roomed with fellow actress Frances McDormand. Hunter, in 2008, described living in The Bronx "at the end of the D [subway] train, just off 205th Street, on Bainbridge Avenue and Hull Avenue. It was very Irish, and then you could go just a few blocks away and hit major Italian" 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".

Stage and film

Hunter made her screen debut in the 1981 horror 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 thanks to a starring role in the Coens' Raising Arizona and her Academy Award-nominated turn in Broadcast News, Hunter became a critically acclaimed star. She 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 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 appear in films such as the comedy-drama Home for the Holidays and the thriller Copycat. She also appreared in David Cronenberg's Crash and as a sardonic angel in A Life Less Ordinary. The following year, she 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 famed 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. Also in 2003, Hunter had a supporting role in the film Thirteen for which she received a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination.

In 2004, Hunter starred alongside Brittany Murphy in the romantic satire Little Black Book, and the same year lent her voice to the animated film The Incredibles as the voice of Helen Parr, a.k.a. the superheroine Elastigirl. 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 nomination, 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.

Personal life

Hunter has been in a relationship with British actor Gordon MacDonald. In January 2006, Hunter's publicist announced that Hunter had given birth to the couple's twin boys.

In a 2009 interview, Hunter stated to TV Guide that she does not discuss her children with the media.

Hunter is deaf in one ear, which sometimes leads to complications at work and some scenes have to be altered from the script for her to use her healthy ear.

Filmography

Year Film Role Notes

1981 The Burning Sophie

1984 Swing Shift Jeannie

Blood Simple Helene Trend (voice only) uncredited

1987 Raising Arizona Edwina 'Ed' McDunnough

End of the Line Charlotte

A Gathering of Old Men Candy Marshall

Broadcast News Jane Craig Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress

Silver Bear for Best Actress – Berlin Film Festival

Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress

National Board of Review Award for Best Actress

New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress

Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actress

Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy

1989 Miss Firecracker Carnelle Scott

Animal Behavior Coral Grable

Always Dorinda Durston

1991 Once Around Renata Bella

1993 The Piano Ada McGrath Academy Award for Best Actress

Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role

BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role

Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress

Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Award

Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress

Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress

Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama

London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress

Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress

National Board of Review Award for Best Actress

National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress

New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress

The Firm Tammy Hemphill Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress

Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role

1995 Copycat M.J. Monahan Special Mention Award at the Festival du Film Policier de Cognac (Shared with Sigourney Weaver for their acting performances)

Home for the Holidays Claudia Larson

1996 Crash Helen Remington

1997 A Life Less Ordinary O'Reilly

1998 Living Out Loud Judith Moore Nominated — American Comedy Award for Funniest Actress in a Motion Picture (Leading Role)

Nominated — Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress

Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy

1999 Jesus' Son Mira

2000 Woman Wanted Emma Riley

Timecode Renee Fishbine, Executive

O Brother, Where Art Thou? Penny Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture

2000 Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her Rebecca Waynon

2001 Festival in Cannes Herself Uncredited

2002 Moonlight Mile Mona Camp

2003 Levity Adele Easley

Thirteen Melanie Freeland Bronze Leopard Award for Best Actress

Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress

Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress

Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Nominated — Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress

Nominated — Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress

Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture

Nominated — London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress

Nominated — Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress

Nominated — Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress

Nominated — Prism Award for Best Performance in a Theatrical Feature Film

Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture

Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

Nominated — Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress

2004 Little Black Book Barb Campbell-Dunn

The Incredibles Helen Parr/Elastigirl voice

Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Team

2005 Nine Lives Sonia Bronze Leopard Award for Best Actress (Shared with the film's ensemble of actresses)

Nominated — Gotham Award for Best Cast

The Big White Margaret Barnell

Television

Year Film Role Notes

1989 Roe vs. Wade Ellen Russell/Jane Doe Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie

Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film

1993 The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom Wanda Holloway CableACE Award for Best Actress in a Movie or Miniseries

Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie

Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film

2000 Harlan County War Ruby Kincaid Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie

Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film

Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film

Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her Rebecca Weyman Segment – "Fantasies About Rebecca"

Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie

2002 When Billie Beat Bobby Billie Jean King Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie

2007–2010 Saving Grace (TV series) Grace Hanadarko Gracie Allen Award for Outstanding Actress — Drama Series (2007)

Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Drama Series (2008, 2009)

Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama (2007)

Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series (2007–2009)

Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Actress on Television (2008)

Nominated — People's Choice Award for Favorite TV Drama Diva (2009)

Nominated — Prism Award for Best Performance in a Drama Series Episode (2008)

Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama (2008)

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