Bonnie Hunt was born in Chicago, Illinois to Bob and Alice Hunt, the sixth of
seven children. The Irish-American Hunt was educated in Catholic school and
attended Notre Dame High School for Girls. Early in her career, Hunt worked as a
cancer nurse at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. In the mid 1980s,
Hunt cofounded "An Impulsive Thing", a three-woman improvisational comedy
troupe, with Holly Wortell and Joan Cusack. Hunt also performed as a member of
Chicago's world-famous The Second City. She is married to investment banker John
Murphy; however, the two have been separated for some time and are in the
process of amicably divorcing, a fact that was not common knowledge until very
Bonnie Hunt turned down multiple opportunities to become a cast member of Saturday Night Live, because the show's producers generally frown on improvisation on the show.
In 1992, Hunt turned down a higher-paying role on Designing Women to costar in Davis Rules with Jonathan Winters and Audrey Meadows. Hunt was also offered Helen Hunt's role on Mad About You, but turned that down as well. (Helen and Bonnie are not related.)
In 1993, Bonnie Hunt teamed up with David Letterman to produce The Building for CBS. The sitcom was modeled after early 1950s television shows. The show was also filmed live; mistakes, accidents and forgotten lines were often left in the aired episode. The writing of the show tended to be very loose, which allowed the actors to improvise. Despite being praised by television critics, the show was soon cancelled.
Bonnie Hunt and Letterman gave it another shot in 1995, with The Bonnie Hunt Show, which featured many of the same cast members as The Building and the same loose style. The show was once again praised by critics and soon cancelled. In 2002, Hunt returned to television with Life With Bonnie; her role on that show earned her her first Emmy Award nomination in 2004. Unfortunately, it was cancelled in its second season.
On December 21st, 2005, Bonnie Hunt announced on Live with Regis and Kelly that ABC has offered Bonnie another sitcom (likely to be launched in the Fall 2006 season). Little is known about the new sitcom at this time, except that Bonnie will be playing the role of a detective on the program. The sitcom will also be an one-camera program, as opposed to regular sitcoms which have multiple camera filming.
Hunt served as screenwriter, director, and supporting actress in the 2000 film Return to Me, a romantic comedy starring David Duchovny and Minnie Driver. It was filmed in her Chicago neighborhood and included bit parts for a number of her relatives.
Bonnie Hunt has had voice roles in Cars, Monsters, Inc. and A Bug's Life.
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