While still a child, Linda Hunt decided to become an actress, and began taking drama lessons at age 13. As she was quite small (4'9") and not a great beauty, she also studied directing, in case she never landed any acting roles. Hunt majored in directing at the prestigious Goodman Theater School in Chicago, and went on to spend several years in New York, working as a stage manager, director, and occasionally as an actress; during some of that time she worked in alternative theater with companies such as La Mama and the Open Theater. Following years of getting bit parts and directing for a children's theater, Hunt finally started landing good roles and ultimately won two Obie awards and a Tony nomination. She debuted onscreen in Robert Altman's Popeye (1980), but it was her second film, The Year of Living Dangerously (1983), that made her internationally known; for her portrayal of a male Indonesian dwarf, she won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. She followed that up with a part in David Lynch's infamous adaptation of the sci-fi classic Dune, and immediately segued into the part of a beloved saloon owner in Lawrence Kasdan's throwback western Silverado. She maintained a steady career appearing in various projects including She-Devil, Kindergarten Cop, Maverick and Stranger Than Fiction. Her distinctive voice led to steady gigs in animated films and as a narrator of documentary films.