Helen Elizabeth Hunt was born on June 15, 1963 in Los Angeles, California. Her parents are director Gordon Hunt
, and photographer Jane Elizabeth Novis. Her acting career began while she was still a girl, with roles in television shows such as The Mary Tyler Moore Show
, and The Adventures of Swiss Family Robinson
. She attended Providence High School in Burbank, California.
She continued working in television, but became famous when she got the role of Jamie Buchner in the sitcom Mad About You
, for which she won four separate Emmy Awards. Such was the popularity of the show and her character, that by the show’s last year in 1999, Hunt was earning $1 million per episode, making her the highest paid actress on television. She has also starred in several films, most notably Twister
(1996), As Good as It Gets
(1998) for which she won an Academy Award, and Cast Away
Hunt married actor Hank Azaria
in 1999, but they were divorced the next year. She has been dating writer/producer Matthew Carnahan
since 2001, and their daughter, Makena'lei, was born in 2004.