McGrath in The Piano (1993), Hunter received the Academy Award for Best Actress, BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama, and Cannes Best Actress Award, among others. She has also been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Broadcast News (1987), as well as the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her roles in The Firm (1993) and Thirteen (2003). Hunter has also won two Emmy Awards from seven nominations.
Early life and career
Hunter was born in Conyers, Georgia, the daughter of Opal Marguerite (née Catledge), a housewife, and Charles Edwin Hunter, a farmer and sporting-goods manufacturer's representative. Hunter earned a degree in drama from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and for a while performed in the theatre scene there, playing ingenue roles at City Theatre, then named the City Players. She eventually moved to New York City and roomed with fellow actress Frances McDormand. Hunter, in 2008, described living in The Bronx "at the end of the D [subway] train, just off 205th Street, on Bainbridge Avenue and Hull Avenue. It was very Irish, and then you could go just a few blocks away and hit major Italian." A chance encounter with playwright Beth Henley, when the two were trapped alone in an elevator, led to Hunter's being cast in Henley's plays Crimes of the Heart (succeeding Mary Beth Hurt on Broadway), and Off-Broadway's The Miss Firecracker Contest. "It was like the beginning of 1982. It was on 49th Street between Broadway and Eighth [Avenue] [...] on the south side of the street," Hunter recalled in an interview. "[We were trapped] 10 minutes; not long. We actually had a nice conversation. It was just the two of us."