1. Helen Elizabeth Hunt is an American actress, film director, and screenwriter.
2. She starred in the sitcom Mad About You for seven years, and played single mother Carol Connelly in the 1997 romantic comedy film As Good as It Gets, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress.
3. Some of her other notable films include Twister, Cast Away, What Women Want, Pay It Forward, and The Sessions, the later for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
4. She made her directorial debut in 2007 with Then She Found Me.
5. In addition to her Oscar, Hunt has won four Emmy awards, four Golden Globe awards, and two Screen Actors Guild awards.
6. Her mother, Jane Elizabeth , worked as a photographer, and her father, Gordon Hunt, is a film, voice and stage director and acting coach. Her uncle, Peter H. Hunt, is also a director.
7. Hunt began working as a child actress in the 1970s. She appeared as a marijuana-smoking classmate on an episode of The Facts of Life.
8. 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 . That same year, Hunt was cast on the ABC sitcom It Takes Two, which lasted a single season.
9. In the mid-1980s, she had a recurring role on St. Elsewhere as Clancy Williams, the girlfriend of Dr. Jack “Boomer” Morrison.
10. She played Jennie in the television movie Bill: On His Own, co-starring Mickey Rooney.
11. 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. For the last year of the show she and Paul Reiser became the first actors ever to be paid $1,000,000 per episode.
12. Hunt directed several episodes of Mad About You, including the series finale.
13. In 2011, in the movie Soul Surfer, she played the mother of the Hawaiian-born champion surfer Bethany Hamilton, on whose life the movie was based.
14. The movie and her performance were very well reviewed and earned her several award nominations, including an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
15. She owns a production company with Connie Tavel, Hunt/Tavel Productions under Sony Pictures Entertainment.
16. Hunt started dating actor Hank Azaria in 1994 and they married in 1999, only to divorce 17 months later. She has been partnered with producer/writer/director Matthew Carnahan since 2001.
17. They have a daughter, Makena Lei Gordon Carnahan, born on May 13, 2004.
18. In 1998 she won a Golden Globe Award, an Academy Award and an Emmy Award in the same year.
19. 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.