Lydia Susanna Hunt or Linda Hunt is currently best known for her role as the highly respected Henrietta “Hetty” Lange, an Operations Manager at NCIS Los Angeles. But not known to many, she has been active in the movie and musical theater industry since the 70s, a few of the roles lander her nominees for acting, as well as winning the Academy Awards, best-supporting actress in 1993. Albeit her small stature, her ‘authoritative’ presence, and composure, makes her ideal for roles with strong, influential women. Made you wonder How Tall is Linda Hunt?
EARLY LIFE AND STRUGGLES
Born on April 2nd, 1945 in New Jersey, but was raised in Westport, Connecticut by Raymond and Elsie Hunt. Her father, Raymond, was vice president of Harper Fuel Oil, while her mother, Elsie, was a piano teacher at Westport School of Music and performed with the Saugatuck Congregational Church Choir, both of which supported her career and studies in acting. She has one sibling, an older sister named Marcia.
At barely a year old, Linda was not developing motor skills and had her parents worried when she gets older. Her parents gave her books and taught her theater to develop her motor skills to prepare her for school. Luckily, her skills developed and she was ready before school started. However, she was bullied in school due to her short stature and had a bad teacher that led her to a bad experience.
By the end of high school, she was diagnosed with _hypopituitary dwarfism_, a condition wherein a deficiency in growth hormones prevented her from developing bone and muscle density, hence her growth stopped with her height reaching only 145 cm, or about 4 feet 7 inches. Her inspiration from watching Peter Pan at Broadway at an early age, which Peter was portrayed by a woman named Mary Martin, believed that she has the power that made people believe whatever her mindsets in.
Which in turn, made Linda believe, regardless of her small stature and like Mary, she can achieve her goals in the acting industry. But the road to the acting business was not as smooth as expected. There were a few struggles while she was in New York while trying backstage work in a theater.
After landing a few roles in theater and movies, her most notable role was portraying Billy Kwan, a male Chinese-Australian photographer, with Mel Gibson and Sigourney Weaver, in the 1982 film _THE YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY. _The role landed her the Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actress, despite playing a man of the opposite race. After portraying different roles in different movie genres, Linda was not pleased with playing roles that would not challenge her character.
Linda is well known for her ‘authoritative’ character as this was her mindset when she applied for roles. She explained that in order for the production team to take you seriously, especially with her small stature, you have to come at things with a great deal of strength. She truly believed that regardless of your physical struggles, if you put your mind and work into it, your goals will just be at hand’s reach.
Outside the industry, she married long-time partner and therapist Karen Kline in 2008. She is also the ambassador for Best Friends Animal Society.
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