Although she was the family tomboy, Holly Hunter exhibited her own artistic inclinations early on. By age 10, she was an ardent piano student; by 16, she had been invited to attend a professional summer acting program by the artistic director of Atlanta's Alliance Theatre Company. By the time she graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 1980, she was known as one of the school's most accomplished students. She made her Broadway debut a year later, as a replacement in Beth Henley's Pulitzer Prize-winning Southern drama "Crimes of the Heart."
From her first feature film role, as the baby-snatching policewoman in the Coen brothers' 1987 comedy "Raising Arizona," Hunter had established herself as the kind of actress who, as one studio head put it, "you wanted to keep your eye on." She earned an Oscar nomination with her second major film, playing Jane Craig, the Southern-fried smarty-pants producer in James L. Brooks' "Broadcast News."
In 1993, the 35-year-old Hunter earned some of the best reviews of her career and later won an Oscar and Golden Globe for her performance in "The Piano," in which she portrayed a mute 19th century Scottish woman who communicates with the world largely through her music and her illegitimate daughter.
Hunter was a double contender at the Oscars that year, earning a best supporting nod for her role in “The Firm.” The Academy accolades came just months after her Emmy win for her performance as the vengeful Wanda Holloway in HBO's "The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom."
She continued to garner attention in the ensuing years, including numerous Golden Globe and Emmy nominations. She scored another Academy Award nod for best supporting actress in the 2004 drama “Thirteen,” in which she played the mother of an out-of-control teen.
Hunter went on to star in the TNT cable television series “Saving Grace” in 2007. The critically acclaimed drama centered on Hunter’s Grace Hanadarko, an Oklahoma City police detective who investigates brutal crimes and receives messages from a last-chance angel named Earl.
|1987||Best Actress||Broadcast News||Nomination|
|1993||Best Supporting Actress||The Firm||Nomination|
|1993||Best Actress||The Piano||Win|
|2003||Best Supporting Actress||Thirteen||Nomination|