Gordon Hunt Dies: TV Director, Animation Veteran & Father Of Helen Hunt
Gordon Hunt, a TV helmer, animation recording director, acting coach, voice actor and father of Oscar-winning actress Helen Hunt, has died. He was 87. He died Saturday of Parkinson’s complication at his Sherman Oaks home.
“Gordon was a master of reinvention — a journeyman artist,” Helen Hunt said in a statement. “He knew and taught that the work doesn’t always find you. You need to create and re-create the work every day.”
Among the elder Hunt’s credit are directing more than 30 episodes of Mad About You, the long-running NBC sitcom that starred his daughter. He won a DGA Award for the 1995 episode “The Alan Brady Show.”He also helmed multiple episodes of Frasier, Coach and Caroline in the City, along with such comedies as Ladies Man, Suddenly Susan and Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place.
DGA President Paris Barclay said in a statement: “Gordon, who was well-known for his talents as an ‘actor’s director,’ was always there for his fellow members, sharing knowledge of his specialty at DGA craft discussions and seminars and participating in numerous DGA Awards blue-ribbon jury panels for television comedy. Our hearts go out to his daughter, director Helen Hunt, and to all of his family.”
Hunt worked more regularly as a recording director for numerous animated series, starting in the mid-1970s with such programs as These Are the Days and The Great Grape Ape Show, and during the 1980s he worked at Hanna-Barbera. While there he worked on more than 250 episodes of the 1981-90 hit The Smurfs as well as Super Friends and updates of The Flintstones and The Jetsons among other programs. His toon career stretched through the 1990s on series including The Addams Family, Capitol Critters and Captain Planet and the Planeteers.
The Los Angeles native also did plenty of voice acting on such toon series as The Addams Family and most recently UPN’s comic-strip adaptation Dilbert. He also wrote and produced the 1984 documentary Starring … the Actors.
On the theater side, Hunt — a lifelong music lover and surfer — spent several years as the casting director for L.A.’s Mark Taper Forum and worked on some musicals at the Hollywood Bowl and off-Broadway shows.
Along with daughter Helen, Hunt is survived by his wife, actress B.J. Ward; daughter Colleen Morrison Hunt; brothers George and Peter Hunt; and three grandchildren.