holly hunter

Holly P. Hunter was born on March 20, 1958, in Conyers, Georgia, the daughter of Opal Marguerite and Charles Edwin Hunter, a farmer and sporting-goods manufacturer's representative. Holly earned a degree in drama from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, after which she moved to New York City and roomed with fellow actress Frances McDormand. A chance encounter with playwright Beth Henley, when the two were trapped alone in an elevator, led to Holly's being cast in Henley's plays "Crimes of the Heart" 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", Holly recalled in an interview. "[We were trapped] 10 minutes; not long. We actually had a nice conversation. It was just the two of us".

When she moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1982, Holly shared a house with a group of people that included Frances McDormand and director Sam Raimi, as well as future collaborators Joel and Ethan Coen.

Holly made her screen debut in the 1981 horror movie "The Burning". After moving to Los Angeles in 1982, Holly 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", Holly 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", Holly garnered critical appreciation for her work in three 1993 films, two of which resulted in her being nominated for two Academy Awards the same year: Holly'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. Holly went on to appear in films such as the comedy-drama "Home for the Holidays" and the thriller "Copycat" with Sigourney Weaver. Her work in David Cronenberg's "Crash" did win her strong notices, but it was swallowed by the controversies surrounding the film, and her appearance as a sardonic angel in "A Life Less Ordinary" suffered a similar fate. 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, Holly won positive reviews for her performance.

In 2003, Holly had a supporting role in the acclaimed film "Thirteen" for which she received a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination.
In 2004, Holly 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. And in 2005, Holly starred alongside Robin Williams in the black comedy-drama "The Big White".

Holly 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 Holly received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

-- wikipedia



"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."


An accomplished pianist, she actually performed all of the piano music for her Oscar performance in "The Piano". Film makers selected pieces for her that matched her talent.