Linda Hunt from ‘NCIS’ is completely unrecognizable in historic role – fans won’t believe their eyes

Linda Hunt’s rise to stardom might seem like a recent phenomenon to fans of the crime series “NCIS,” where she portrays Hetty.

However, the seasoned actress had already established a remarkable career in Hollywood long before gracing our screens as the beloved operations manager.

Despite encountering challenges in her upbringing, Hunt’s journey in show business is nothing short of inspirational. Born on April 2, 1945, in Morristown, New Jersey, she faced early struggles due to a condition that led to stunted physical and mental growth.

Hunt’s parents, Elsie and Raymond, refused to let despair overshadow their daughter’s future, instilling a love for books and theater as tools for her development.

While her childhood presented hurdles, Hunt’s passion for acting remained unwavering. Her pivotal moment came at the age of eight when she witnessed Mary Martin’s enchanting portrayal of Peter Pan on Broadway.

From that day forward, Hunt dedicated herself to the craft, aspiring to become a beacon of the stage.

Supported by her parents’ unwavering encouragement, Hunt pursued her dreams fervently. Despite her stature and learning difficulties, she found solace in acting, attending high school with a private acting coach’s guidance and later receiving training at prestigious institutions like the Interlochen Arts Academy and the Theatre School of DePaul University.

Upon her arrival in New York City, the epicenter of theater, Hunt encountered the daunting reality of pursuing a professional acting career.

Despite her initial reservations and emotional hurdles, she persevered, making her Broadway debut in 1975. Soon after, she transitioned to the silver screen, with notable appearances in films like “Fame” (1978).

However, Hunt’s breakthrough came with her portrayal of Billy Kwan in “The Year of Living Dangerously” (1982), a role that earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Her portrayal as a cisgender man marked a historic moment in cinema, showcasing her transformative talent and depth as an actress.

Despite her accolades and recognition, Hunt remains grounded and committed to her craft. Her enduring presence on “NCIS: Los Angeles” exemplifies her dedication and versatility as an actress, captivating audiences with her portrayal of Hetty Lange.

While Hunt’s career has seen its share of challenges, including health setbacks and uncertainties, her resilience and passion for acting continue to inspire generations.

As she navigates through the dynamic landscape of Hollywood, Hunt’s legacy as a trailblazing actress and beloved performer remains indelible.

From her early struggles to her triumphs on stage and screen, Linda Hunt’s journey is a testament to the transformative power of perseverance and passion in the pursuit of one’s dreams.