Twenty years after the season finale of "Mad About You," the show had a revival in 2019, with its original stars Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt reprising their roles as Paul and Jamie Buchman. The reboot was a limited series with 12 episodes that promised fans a good laugh about getting older.
Helen Hunt was born on June 15, 1963, to director and acting coach Gordon Hunt, who helped her study acting when she was eight. She made her professional debut at nine and has worked steadily in films, theatre, and television.
Despite making her acting debut in 1973 on "Pioneer Woman," it was not until the 1990s that her career exploded, and she was seen everywhere.
Helen Hunt at the 2022 Film Independent Spirit Awards on March 6, 2022 | Source: Getty Images
Helen starred in the long-running sitcom "Mad About You" from 1992 to 1999, and fans were mad about her. Her role earned her four Emmy Awards for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.
During that decade, she also found success in movies and starred in "Twister" in 1996, and her role in the 1997 movie "As Good as It Gets" made her win an Academy Award for Best Actress.
However, since the cancellation of "Mad About You" in 1999, fans have heard increasingly less from the actress. So, where is Helen now? Let's find out what the actress has been up to and more about her life.
HELEN HUNT APPEARED IN 'MAD ABOUT YOU' AGAIN
On October 16, 2019, Helen was involved in a car accident while she was a passenger in the back of an SUV. The SUV flipped onto its side after a Honda clipped it at the intersection of San Vicente and Tremaine.
Shortly after the accident, officers responded with an ambulance which arrived at the scene and transported Helen to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where doctors examined her. Helen was reportedly released after a brief stay, and her representatives revealed that she suffered no significant injuries.
One week after leaving the hospital following the car accident, Helen returned to work on the set of "Mad About You." She and Reiser were set to reprise their roles as Jamie Buchman and Paul Buchman.
The revival was a limited series set to debut on November 20, 2019, on Spectrum Originals, while its original sitcom, which ran from 1992 to 1999, aired on NBC.
In an interview at the Emmy Awards in September 2019, Reiser revealed that he and Helen decided it was time to return to the classic comedy even though they initially did not want to do it. He said:
"Helen Hunt and I were very clear together: 'Leave it. We did it, we ended it perfectly. Don't touch it.' And then people kept asking us, so we were talking about it and thought, 'Well, you know what? It will just be fun to play together.'"
However, they both realized that they had similar life experiences. Their kids were all grown up and leaving the house, so they thought to dig for emotional drama and comedy from that experience.
Reiser said it was somehow like the original pilot, and after about 20 years, when everybody has gone and it's just the couple left, they have to figure out how to navigate that part of their lives.
He revealed that they were skeptical and resistant but became glad because he and Helen were having such a great time, and their thoughts were coming to life the way they had wanted.
The original sitcom, which won multiple Emmys and Golden Globe awards, ran for seven seasons. It followed the life of filmmaker Paul and his publicist wife Jamie as they navigated being married in New York City.
In the reboot, the couple sent their unpredictable, hard-to-control 17-year-old daughter Mabel off to college and had to deal with the empty nest syndrome.
HELEN HUNT'S RELATIONSHIP THROUGH THE YEARS
In 2017, an inside source revealed that Helen broke up with her writer and producer partner, Matthew Carnahan, after 16 years of dating. The source said:
"She has been split up with Matthew for several months. They had a rocky relationship and many offs and ons over the years. They stayed together as long as they did because of their daughter. They've split up before, but this time seems to be different."
The couple had been together since 2001 and welcomed their daughter when Helen was 40. When they split, their daughter was 13 years old. While this was Helen's only child, Matthew had another son from a previous relationship.
Helen Hunt and Matthew Carnahan at the opening night of "Standing On Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays" on December 6, 2010 | Source: Getty Images
Friends were shocked when they split because Helen and Matthew always appeared to be super in love. Some of their married friends would jokingly say that they were jealous of their relationship.
They were developing a TV series Matthew was proud of two years before their split. Helen had revealed that creating a show with him was exciting, and she felt like she was stepping off planet Earth.
During the 1980s and early 1990s, Helen was romantically involved with a couple of big stars like Matthew Broderick and Eric Stoltz. However, those relationships did not last very long.
In the 1990s, Helen met actor, producer, and comedian Hank Azaria when they were both single, and they started dating in 1994. On July 17, 1999, the couple quietly married in Los Angeles after five years of dating.
After 17 months of marriage, Helen filed for divorce, with reports saying they had been living separately for six months before the filing. Seeing as they dated for a long time, people assumed they would remain married for a long time.
After the filing, Helen's publicist revealed that they came to a decision together and officially finalized the divorce in December 2000. In 2017, Azaria said his jealousy of his ex-wife's success when they were married also made things difficult for them.
HELEN HUNT ALSO LOST HER DAD
On December 17, 2016, Helen lost her father, Gordon, at 87, after battling Parkinson's disease. He had been described as a true Renaissance Man in Hollywood. About her father, Helen said:
"He was a master of reinvention, a journeyman artist. He knew and taught that the work doesn't always find you. You need to create and re-create the work every day."
Before he passed, he worked and taught his decades-long acting class. Gordon was not only a voice actor but was also a writer and director who had worked in television, film, and theatre.
He was a casting director for years beginning in the early 1980s before running the voice department for house Hanna-Barbera for about a decade. He was also the recording director on cartoons like "The Flintstones," "Scooby-Doo," "The Smurfs," "The Jetsons," "Richie Rich," "Super Friends," and more.
Gordon transitioned to sitcoms in the 1990s, directed sitcoms like "Coach," "Caroline in the City," "Suddenly Susan," and "Frasier" and over 30 episodes of "Mad About You," and he won a DGA award in 1996.
IS HELEN HUNT DATING SOMEONE NOW?
In 2020, an insider revealed that Helen was dating former attorney Steven Tepper. An insider also mentioned that things were going on well for them, and the source said:
"Helen and Steven are definitely an item. She's really into him and hopes it works out, that's why she's not going public with it just yet."
The insider also revealed that her new beau is a "super private, regular guy." The "Candy Jar" actress does not also want to overwhelm Tepper with the celebrity spotlight.
Helen Hunt and Steven Tepper at the game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres on April 23, 2021 | Source: Getty Images
DOES HELEN HUNT HAVE CHILDREN?
Helen welcomed her only child, a daughter Makena'lei Gordon Carnahan on May 13, 2004, with her then "Fastlane" producer partner Matthew via in vitro fertilization.
Her first name is Hawaiian, meaning "many flowers of heaven," while her middle name was in honor of her maternal grandfather. Makena arrived several weeks early, but she and Helen did fine after birth.
HELEN HUNT DIRECTING HER OWN MOVIES
In 2007, Helen made her feature film directorial debut with the release of "Then She Found Me." The movie, described as a refreshingly honest film about motherhood and family, features Helen as April Epner, an early middle-aged Jewish Brooklyn elementary school teacher.
Helen, who started putting her directing talents to work while still shooting the "Mad About You" originals, also directed an episode of the American docu-drama television series "Feud."
The actress revealed that she becomes protective of the actors under her whenever she directs, even if she's only working with them for a few weeks. Helen further said it was because she keenly knows how actors can be vulnerable when playing their roles.
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