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Turned down the female lead in As Good As It Gets (1997)
She had one line in her film debut, Burning, The (1981) -- "Hey, Todd, over here."
In 10th grade she placed 8th nationally in a poultry-judging contest. (Interview, 11/95)
Hunter's uncle was the first commander of the Thunderbirds, the world-famous U.S. Air Force Demonstration Squadron of fighter pilots.
An accomplished pianist, she actually performed all of the piano music for her Oscar performance in "The Piano". Film makers selected pieces for her that matched her talent.
Holly Hunter is a distant cousin of Anaheim Angels' outfielder Tim Salmon.
Replaced Debra Winger for the role of Jane Craig in Broadcast News (1987).
Turned down the role of God in Dogma (1999).
Biography from Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia:
Diminutive actress whose versatility is her trump card; she can be pixieish or heartbreakingly intense. Hunter was educated at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon Institute before acting in films, and made an inauspicious screen debut in The Burning (1981), a dismal slasher film. She worked in several TV movies and in the Goldie Hawn starrer Swing Shift (1984) before attracting attention as the lovesick, maternal police officer Ed in Raising Arizona (1987). She had an even meatier role as the self-driven TV news producer that same year in James Brooks'Broadcast News Her richly detailed characterization of a successful workaholic earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. Since then, Hunter has continually demonstrated her ability to command the screen in leading roles. She was Richard Dreyfuss' star-crossed lover in Steven Spielberg's Always and recreated her stage role as a plucky small-town girl who aspires to greatness in Miss Fire cracker (both 1989). She reteamed with Always star Richard Dreyfuss as a plainJane type who's swept off her feet by a fast-talking salesman in Once Around (1991). But everyone's got a skeleton in his or her cinematic closet, and Hunter's is Animal Behavior (1989), an alleged "comedy" that is truly mindboggling in its awfulness. She has appeared in a handful of notable TV movies, including Crazy in Love (1992) and won Emmys for her memorable performances in Roe vs. Wade (1989) and The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas CheerleaderMurdering Mom (1993), and followed that triumph with two completely variant movie roles: as Gary Busey's sexpot secretary in The Firm and as the repressed, mute 19thcentury immigrant woman in Jane Campion's The Piano (both also 1993). This remarkable performance won her a Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival, but it was her two-movie parlay that won her twin Oscar nominations, and an Oscar for The Piano.