Holly Hunter was born in Conyers, GA, the youngest of seven
children whose father was a part-time sporting goods company
representative and part-time farmer with a 250 acre farm. Her
parents encouraged in her talent at an early age, and her first
acting part was as 'Helen Keller' (qv) in a fifth-grade play. In
1976 she went to Pittsburgh to pursue a degree in drama from
Carnegie Mellon University. After graduating in 1980, she went to
New York City, where she met playwright 'Beth Henley' (qv) in a
stalled elevator. Hunter went on to get roles in a number of
Henley's southern gothic plays, including Crimes of the Heart and
The Miss Firecracker Contest. In 1982 the actress went to Los
Angeles. She landed her first starring role in the movies in the
Coen brothers' _Raising Arizona (1987)_ (qv), a part that is said
to have been written with her in mind. She gained stardom in 1987
when she played the driven TV news producer Jane Craig in 'James L.
Brooks' (qv)' _Broadcast News (1987)_ (qv). In 1993 she earned an
Academy Award and worldwide acclaim with her performance as a mute
bride to a New Zealand planter in _Piano, The (1993)_ (qv).
Biography courtesy of the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com).