Born Helen Elizabeth Hunt
June 15, 1963 (age 52)
Culver City, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress, director, screenwriter
Years active 1973–present
Spouse(s) Hank Azaria (1999–2000)
Partner(s) Matthew Carnahan (2001–present) (1 child)
Children Emmett Carnahan (b. 1998) (step son)
Makena Lei Gordon Carnahan (b. 2004)
Parent(s) Gordon Hunt
Jane Elizabeth Novis
Helen Elizabeth Hunt (born June 15, 1963) is an American actress, film director, and screenwriter. 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. 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. She made her directorial debut in 2007 with Then She Found Me. In addition to her Oscar, Hunt has won four Emmy awards, four Golden Globe awards, and two Screen Actors Guild awards.
Hunt was born in Culver City, California. Her mother, Jane Elizabeth (née Novis), 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. Her maternal grandmother, Dorothy (Anderson) Fries, was a voice coach. Hunt’s paternal grandmother was from a German Jewish family, while Hunt’s other grandparents were of English descent (her maternal grandfather was born in England), with a Methodist religious background. When she was three, Hunt’s family moved to New York City, where her father directed theater and Hunt attended plays as a child several times a week. Hunt studied ballet, and briefly attended UCLA.
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. They have a daughter, Makena Lei Gordon Carnahan, born on May 13, 2004.