Biography

Born Janet Cole, American actress Kim Hunter trained at the Actors Studio. At age 17, she debuted onscreen in The Seventh Victim (1943) before appearing in several subpar films. Her popularity was renewed with her appearance in the British fantasy A Matter of Life and Death (1946), and, in 1947, she created the role of Stella Kowalski on Broadway in Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, reprising the role in the 1951 film version, for which she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar. But her career was dealt a terrible blow when her name appeared without cause in Red Channels, a Red-scare pamphlet during the McCarthy Era, and she was blacklisted. Several years later, she was called as the star witness in a court case instigated by another Red Channels victim, and her testimony discredited the publication and made it possible for dozens of other performers to reclaim their careers. She returned to films sporadically after this, and also did much work on stage and television; among her roles was appearing as a female ape in three Planet of the Apes films. She also wrote Loose in the Kitchen, a combination autobiography-cookbook. Hunter was married to writer Robert Emmett from 1951 until her death in 2002. ~ Rovi