Helen Hunt, who will appear at this year’s Plaza Classic Film Festival, has won the Academy Award and four Emmy Awards in a career that has included acting, directing, writing and producing. She will appear with two of her best known movies, the 1997 romantic comedy-drama As Good As It Gets, for which she won the Oscar for Best Actress, and the 1996 blockbuster Twister.
Helen Hunt grew up in the creative arts. Her father Gordon Hunt was a TV and stage director, mother Jane Hunt was a photographer, and her uncle Peter Hunt was a film and stage director. Helen’s career started as a child actor, appearing on episodes of TV’s The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bionic Woman, The Swiss Family Robinson and others before branching into movies as a teenager. Her early career credits include stints on TV’s St. Elsewhere and roles in movies, including Peggy Sue Got Married and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.
It was her performance as PR specialist Jamie Buchman on TV’s Mad About You that catapulted her to superstardom in the 1990s. Hunt won four Emmy Awards for Best Lead Actress during the series’ seven-season run on NBC (a limited-run revival ran on Spectrum Originals in 2019). Hunt’s success coincided with her growing appeal at the box office, including starring roles in As Good As It Gets, What Women Want, Twister, Castaway, Pay It Forward, Dr. T and the Women, The Curse of the Jade Scorpion, and The Sessions, for which she was nominated for an Oscar.
She wrote and directed the films Then She Found Me (with Bette Midler) and Ride, and has directed episodes of numerous television shows, including Mad About You, The Politician, Feud: Bette and Joan, This Is Us, Life in Pieces, House of Lies, and Californication. She currently stars as the mother of an imprisoned son in the Starz series Blindspotting, and acts on the stage, with Our Town and Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night among her credits.
Helen Hunt will appear with As Good As It Gets (1997) at 7 pm Saturday, July 29, and Twister (1996) at 1 pm Sunday, July 30, both in the Plaza Theatre