Helen Hunt is the daughter of Gordon Hunt, a prominent acting coach and director, who received a DGA Award for an episode of Mad About You.
A native of Los Angeles, Helen made her acting debut as a child in Pioneer Women, a 1973 movie-for-television, which led to numerous roles in other TV movies including Bill: On His Own, Choices of the Heart, Land of Little Rain for PBS and The Miracle of Kathy Miller, one of her favourite roles, in which she played an athlete who overcame an injury to compete again.
Helen has starred in three other television films: Into the Badlands, Murder in New Hampshire: The Pamela Smart Story and In the Company of Darkness.
Hunt also starred on the series My Life and Times, and had a recurring role on St. Elsewhere as well as a guest appearance on the HBO series The Hitchhiker, for which she was nominated for a Cable Ace Award.
After completing the feature film Project X, Hunt moved to New York to gain more stage experience. In 1989, she achieved her dream of performing on Broadway when she was cast in Our Town.
Her other stage work includes Bianca in the 1990 'Shakespeare in the Park' production of The Taming of the Shrew, with Tracey Ullman and Morgan Freeman.
In between her TV and stage performances, Hunt continued to work in features, including Peggy Sue Got Married and Miles from Home with Richard Gere.
Other big-screen credits are The Waterdance (which she freely admits she pursued like a bloodhound) and Mr. Saturday Night opposite Billy Crystal.
In the summer of 1995, she completed the feature Kiss of Death, co-starring opposite David Caruso and Nicholas Cage. She also starred in the box-office smash Twister.
Helen never seriously considered a lengthy commitment to a television series until she got a call from actor/comedian Paul Reiser, "Paul called me at home to discuss the role as his wife in his new pilot", says Hunt.
"I saw that he had a passion about marriage. He talked about things like, 'Once you set up shop in a married relationship, how do you set the rules and still keep the magic going?' And I responded favourably."
In addition to winning the 1996 Emmy for Best Actress in a Comedy Series, Hunt also won the 1996 American Comedy Award, her second, for Funniest Performer in a Television series.
She has won an American Television Award, two Golden Globe Awards and an American Comedy Award for best actress in a comedy series as well as being voted best actress by Viewers for Quality Television.