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Helen Elizabeth Hunt (born June 15, 1963) is an American actress, director and screenwriter born in Culver City, California. She is the daughter of the late actor and casting director Gordon Hunt and the late photographer Jane Novis, and niece of the late director Peter H. Hunt.

Making her acting debut in 1972, Hunt rose to prominence with her role in Mad About You, for which she won four consecutive Emmy awards. During her film career, she won a Academy Award for the film As Good as It Gets. Some of her other notable films include Twister, Cast Away, What Women Want, Pay It Forward, and The Sessions, the last of which garnered her a second Academy Award nomination. She made her directorial debut in 2007 with Then She Found Me. Hunt has also won four Golden Globe Awards, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards.

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Associated tropes:

  • Ambiguously Jewish: Has played Jewish women, either by birth or by conversion, in several films. Hunt herself is a quarter Jewish.
  • Bourgeois Bohemian: Hunt is a big supporter of the Democratic party, attended the 2017 Women's March, and is outspoken about racial inequality.
  • Girl Next Door: Took this role in many of her films during the 80s and 90s.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Appeared fully nude multiple times in The Sessions, in which she played a sex surrogate.
  • Role Reprise: Returned to playing Jamie Buchman after 20 years for the reboot of Mad About You.
  • Tom Hanks Syndrome: Rose to prominence in a sitcom before switching to more dramatic roles.
  • Typecasting: Frequently plays mothers.
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