Bonnie Hunt is a versatile and accomplished writer, director and producer, and an Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award-nominated actress, earning critical acclaim in film, television and theater.
Growing up in one of Chicago’s blue-collar neighborhoods, Hunt pursued an acting career with the famous Second City improvisational theater while continuing to work as an Oncology nurse at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. She soon became familiar to audiences with her unforgettable cameos in such films as Rain Man (1988), where she played the toothpick-dropping waitress, and in Dave (1993) as the White House tour guide. Her improvised line, “We’re walking, we’re walking…” quickly became famous as people embraced Hunt’s unique accessible brand of humor.
Hunt’s television accomplishments are considerable and innovative. Starting out as Jonathan Winters’ daughter on ABC’s Davis Rules, she was also a series regular on NBC’s sitcom Grand—but Hunt soon looked to broaden her knowledge of the creative aspects of television and its production process. She made television history when she became the first person to write, produce and star in a prime time series.
Her first writing/producing/acting venture was the highly acclaimed series for CBS, The Building. The ensemble comedy featured Hunt and her Second City colleagues. She incorporated improvisation, breaking the fourth wall by addressing or looking directly into the camera (all new to a prime time comedy) and this ambitious vision soon became a popular trend. Her pioneering creativity didn’t stop there, Hunt produced her show using five cameras instead of four, although in a single camera style, (now called a hybrid multi cam), she also integrated overlapping dialogue and elected not to use the then standard laugh track. Today, many of Hunt’s innovative techniques are used on broadcast and cable television.
She went on to create two more critically acclaimed series: writing, producing, directing and starring in The Bonnie Hunt Show for CBS and Life with Bonnie for ABC, both earning her Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.
Continuing to build an impressive film resume, Hunt received rave reviews for her successful movie roles including Tom Cruise’s scrutinizing sister-in-law in Jerry Maguire (1996), Tom Hanks’ wife in The Green Mile (1999), Robin Williams’ love interest in Jumanji (1995), Random Hearts (1999) with Harrison Ford, Norman Jewison’s Only You (1994), and Cheaper By The Dozen (2003) and Cheaper By The Dozen 2 (2005) with Steve Martin, to name a few.
For MGM, she wrote, directed and acted in the timeless, critically-acclaimed feature film, Return To Me (2000), starring David Duchovny and Minnie Driver.
Her long association with Disney/Pixar has included starring roles in the animated hits A Bug’s Life (1998), Monsters, Inc. (2001) and Toy Story 3 (2010), Hunt not only starred in but received a writing credit in Pixar’s classic Cars (2006). Most recently Hunt played “Bonnie Hopps”, in Disney’s Zootopia (2016) and is signed on to be in Toy Story 4 (2018), and Cars 3 (2017).
Hunt received Emmy nomination for Best Writing and Outstanding Talk Show Host for her daytime talkshow on NBC.
Her independent film work includes starring roles in Stolen Summer (2002), Loggerheads (2005) , I Want Someone To Eat Cheese With (2006) and Hurricane Season (2009), with Forest Whitaker.
Hunt is dedicated to her charity work, and is committed to raising funds to sponsor medical research. She dedicates her time to organizations such as: The Northwestern Brain Tumor Institute; The Make A Wish Foundation; The Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation; The Christopher and Dana Reeves Foundation; American Veterans; The Arthritis Foundation; ALS; The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center; and she recently received the Spirit Of Hope Award for her work with The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.
Hunt’s frequent and hilarious appearances on talk shows earned her Entertainment Weekly‘s title of the hands-down best (talk show) guest in America.