Every week, another person tells me to watch “CBS Sunday Morning.” Every week, it seems, there’s some great interview, story or factoid.
If I had watched this morning, for example, I would have seen an intriguing interview with Linda Hunt.
And buried there, halfway through the piece, was this: the 67-year-old, 4-foot-9 star of “NCIS: Los Angeles,” 1984 Oscar winner for “The Year of Living Dangerously,” and (of course) narrator in the God of War video franchise grew up in Westport.
“Everybody either wanted to take care of me or push me around,” the woman born Lydia Susanna Hunter told Lee Cowan. “I was teased a lot…. Fourth grade, fifth grade, sixth grade, everybody was taking their spurts except me. I was not growing up.”
A form of dwarfism stunted her growth, “Sunday Morning” said. But when her parents took her to her first Broadway show — a production of “Peter Pan” — Hunt realized the stage was a place where she might feel taller. There, she could pretend to be anything.
Wikipedia says that Linda’s mother, Elsie Doying Hunter, taught piano at the Westport School of Music, and accompanied the Saugatuck Congregational Church choir.
Yahoo! Movies says she “took her first stab at acting at age 12 while performing in a production of ‘Flibbertigibbet’ at Westport’s famed Silver Nutmeg Theater.”
Linda attended the Interlochen Arts Academy— s0 it appears she’s not a Staples grad — and the Goodman School of Drama in Chicago.
In 1969 she returned to Westport to study acting with Robert Lewis at Bambi Lynn’s studio, TCM.com says. The next year her career took off. She played Joan of Arc in a 1-woman show at Long Wharf.
Since then she’s been a 2-time Obie winner, and a Tony nominee. She played alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger — as opposite from her as anyone can be — in “Kindergarten Cop.”
She’s been in a 26-year relationship with Karen Klein. They married in 2008.
Her current contract will take her into her 70s. “CBS This Morning” concluded:
Not bad for a woman whose own parents feared might be too small to stand out on stage. Half a century later, their small wonder still has audiences looking up.
And — thanks to a show nearly everyone but me seems to watch — looking back on a career that began 55 years ago, right here in Westport.
(Click here for a great WestportNow.com photo of Linda Hunt as a Saugatuck Elementary School 1st grader — standing next to future first selectman Gordon Joseloff.)