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Gordon Hunt, Director and Helen Hunt’s Father, Dies at 87

Gordon Hunt, director of live-action and animated work who was also the father of Helen Hunt and the husband of actress B.J. Ward, died Saturday. He was 87.

Helen Hunt’s representative confirmed to Variety that Gordon Hunt died in his home of complications from Parkinson’s disease.

Hunt won a Directors Guild award for his work on a 1995 episode of “Mad About You,” and was nominated two years later by the DGA for another episode in the series. He also directed episodes of other comedy series, including “Suddenly Susan,” “Frasier,” “Coach,” and an early Ryan Reynolds vehicle, “Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place.”

On Wednesday, the DGA released the following statement:

“The Directors Guild of America mourns the passing of Gordon Hunt, winner of the 1995 DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a Comedy series for Mad About You. 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 also spent 20 years at Hanna-Barbera, and was recording director on hundreds of animated episodes, including “The Jetsons,” “The Richie Rich/Scooby-Doo Show,” “The Smurfs,” “Jonny Quest,” Paddington Bear,” “Super Friends,” “Pound Puppies,” and many others.

He was born April 26, 1929 in Sherman Oaks, Calif. Hunt went to New York and was working as a freelance director before returning to Southern California, serving as the casting director for the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles for 10 years. He was then hired by Joseph Barbera to direct animated series at Hanna-Barbera, starting as voice directing with the 1974 “Partridge Family 2200 A.D.”

He also worked on numerous video games including “Pandemonium,” the “God of War” series, “Lair,” “Final Fantasy XIV,” “Blur,” the “Legacy of Kain” series, and “Uncharted.” He also was motion capture director on “Uncharted: Golden Abyss.”

Hunt lent his voice to many animated works, such as playing Wally in the animated adaptation of the comic strip Dilbert.

He is survived by his wife; daughters Helen Hunt and Colleen Morrison Hunt; grandchildren Makena Lei Gordon Carnahan, Emmett Carnahan and Lizze Gordon; siblings Peter Hunt, the lighting designer, and George Hunt.

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