Oscar Roles: Hunt. Helen, Best Actress–As Good As It Gets

In 1997, industryites wondered why did Holly Hunter turn down the lead role in the comedy “As Good As It Get,” which after all, was directed by the man who had “discovered” her, James Brooks.

Brooks’ 1987 film, “Broadcast News” offered Holly Hunter her first meaty screen role-and her first Best Actress nomination; she won the Best Actress in 1993 for “The Piano.”

However, as a result of Hunter’s rejection, Helen Hunt, until then best known for her TV series (“Mad About You”) and some small indie movies, became the eternally grateful beneficiary. Hunt won Best Actress for her very first nomination, which catapulted her to the front rank of Hollywood leading ladies–at least for a while.