‘NCIS: Los Angeles’: Much of Linda Hunt’s Recent Work Didn’t Feature Her on Screen

by Matthew Memrick
Robert Voets/CBS ©2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc.

If you miss seeing “NCIS: Los Angeles” star Linda Hunt, take comfort in knowing you don’t have to see her – she’s been working as a voice actor for some time.

The 4-foot-9 actress and her deep husky voice have starred in several works as a narrator. And while rumors swirled of her show exit at the beginning of Season 13, her time with the show has more to do with pandemic precautions more than anything else.

But if she does leave the long-running CBS show, she can fall back on her voice acting if she wants to keep her 45-year entertainment career going.

Her voice has boomed in both animated and documentary works. Most recently, Hunt played Lady Proxima in “Solo: A Star Wars Story”. Also, the actress had parts in the “God of War” video game series as the narrator from 2010 to 2013.

The 1990s Were Good to Hunt

Hunt notably appeared in Arnold Swartzenegger’s “Kindergarten Cop” as Miss Schlowski in 1990 and had a few other jobs on TV and movies. She had a long guest-starring role as a judge on “The Practice” with current “Law & Order: Organized Crime” star Dylan McDermott.

She narrated three documentary episodes for PBS’s “American Experience” series from 1992 to 1998. During that decade, Hunt found work as Grandmother Willow in three Disney “Pocahontas” works. One was a movie while the other was a video game. She also voiced The Varua in the 1995 film “Third Stone from the Sun.”

Speaking of that Willow role, the fans noticed.

Hunt won Teen Choice awards in 2011 and 2012 for her Lange character on Criminal Minds in a wild twist. She is one of the oldest Teen Choice Award winners, according to Looper. But not the oldest. Fan favorite and “Golden Girls” legend Betty White won a surfboard for her time in the 2009 film “The Proposal” with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds.

“NCIS: Los Angeles” Star Had Big Break In 1980

Hunt has worked in the entertainment industry for 45 years. 

But it was a Broadway show, Peter Pan, that she saw in high school that changed everything. It helped her realize acting was her future.

“It was bigger than life,” she told Country Living magazine, adding that “In some sense, I longed to be bigger than life because I wasn’t.”

From there, she starred on Broadway in “Hamlet” in 1972. 

The 76-year-old New Jersey native first broke out with her role as Mrs. Oxheart, the mother of boxer Oxblood Oxheart who faced Robin Williams as Popeye in the ring. She was just 41 at the time.

Hunt performed as Billy Kwan in the Mel Gibson film “The Year of Living Dangerously” in 1982. Her role as Kwan helped her win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. It was the first time a person won an Oscar for portraying a character of the opposite sex.

She’s appeared in other movies like 1984’s “Dune” and the 2006 Will Ferrell flick “Stranger Than Fiction.”