Helen Hunt is an American actress, film director, and screenwriter. She is most well-known for her role in the 1990s sitcom “Mad About You.” At the height of “Mad About You's” popularity, Helen earned $1 million per episode. This made her temporarily the best-paid television actress in the world and remains one of the biggest episode fees ever paid to a performer.
Helen's Early Life
Helen Hunt was born in Culver City, California on June 15, 1963, to a family in the entertainment industry. Her mother, Jane, was a photographer, while her father, Gordon Hunt, was a film, voice, and stage director in addition to an acting coach. When Helen was 3 years old, her family relocated to New York City. Due to her father's employment as a theatre director in the city, Hunt saw plays several times a week.
Helen Elizabeth Hunt
|Date of Birth||
June 15, 1963
Actress and filmmaker
5 ft 8 in (170 cm)
58 kg (128 lbs)
Career and Achievements
At the age of nine, Hunt realized she wanted to be an actor, and around the same time, she gained her first agent and a role in the 1973 television film “Pioneer Woman.” Throughout the 1970s, she appeared on legendary television programs such as “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “The Bionic Woman” and had a recurring part on “The Swiss Family Robinson.”
During the middle and latter part of the 1980s, Hunt appeared often in studio films aimed at teenage audiences, including prominent roles in 1984's “Trancers” and “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” alongside Sarah Jessica Parker (1985.) In Francis Ford Coppola's 1986 film “Peggy Sue Got Married,” she played the daughter of a marriage on the brink of divorce.
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In the 1990s, Hunt moved from little roles to larger achievements. She rose to prominence in the United States after starring in the enormously popular sitcom “Mad About You” from 1992 to 1999. She portrayed Jamie Buchman, a public relations specialist in New York City, opposite Paul Reiser, who portrayed the other half of the married pair. With her charming and witty portrayal of Jamie, Hunt became widely recognized.
Additionally, Hunt directed multiple episodes of the series, including the series finale. The show was a ratings and award-season darling, resulting in acclaim from critics and numerous honors for its two stars.
At the height of “Mad's” popularity, Helen earned approximately $20 million per season or $1 million per episode. That temporarily made her the highest-paid television actress in the world. She is the first female television actress to earn $1 million per episode. She set this record four years before the “Friends” actresses also hit that mark.
She began to revisit the big screen in 1996 when she played a starring role in the box-office hit “Twister” opposite Bill Paxton, in which she played a storm-chaser in the Midwest. “Twister” was the second-highest-grossing movie that year.
A year later, she received critical acclaim and an Oscar for her appearance in the romantic comedy “As Good as It Gets” opposite Jack Nicholson. She portrayed a single mother and waitress who falls in love with a cynical romance author (Nicholson). The film was praised for its casting selections and Nicholson and Hunt's outstanding chemistry onscreen.
In 2012, Hunt portrayed sex surrogate Cheryl Cohen-Greene in “The Sessions,” appearing with William H. Macy and John Hawkes. This emotional character garnered critical acclaim and an Oscar nomination for her as Best Supporting Actress. Helen wrote, directed, and acted in the 2014 drama “Ride.” She returned to the film in 2017 with the Louis C.K. comedy “I Love You, Daddy.”
This was followed by additional directing work for different sitcoms and series, including “This Is Us.” However, the film was never released in theatres due to C.K.'s sexual misconduct allegations. In 2019, she starred in the horror film “I See You” and appears as journalist Nancy Campbell in the BBC series “World on Fire.”
Awards– Helen Hunt won Emmy Awards in 1996, 1997, 1998, and 1999 for her performance in “Mad About You.” She has been nominated for seven consecutive years and has won the last four. “As Good as It Gets” actress Helen Hunt received the 1998 Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Carol Connelly. She has been nominated for 31 awards over the years and won 15.
Helen's Net Worth
Helen Hunt has an estimated net worth of $80 million. Helen Hunt has earned that amount of money in Hollywood and on your television screen. She was a longtime cast member of the renowned sitcom angry about you. She began working on this sitcom at a rate of $250,000 per episode but later settled for $1,000,000 per episode.
She was the first woman to charge $1 million for a television episode. Mad about you is now a syndicated television series, and she continues to get about $2 million each year in royalties from the show.
In 1994, Hunt began dating fellow actor Hank Azaria, who also appeared on Mad About You. The couple wed in July 1999 and divorced in August 2000. Their divorce was completed on December 18, 2000. Before 2017, Hunt and producer Matthew Carnahan had been dating for sixteen years. Makena Lei, their daughter, was born in May 2004.
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Helen Hunt is an actress made famous by her part as a newlywed public relations specialist in the television sitcom ‘Mad About You.' She played alongside Bill Paxton in the catastrophe drama picture “Twister,” which became one of the highest-grossing films of the year and cemented her status as a serious film actress.