|Born||9 April 1957] (age 63)[|
New York City, United States
She has worked with renowned companies in that field including Shared Experience and Complicité. She won an Olivier Award in 1991 for playing the millionairess in Friedrich Durrenmatt's The Visit.
Critics have noted Hunter's unusual physical presence and her range. Charles Spencer of The Telegraph wrote, "diminutive in stature, and slightly lame, she has a deep, guttural voice, eyes like black olives and the most expressive of faces. Almost nothing seems beyond her range, from farcical clowning to deepest, darkest tragedy."
Hunter's portrayal of Lear conscientiously challenged the audience to separate character and performer: her voice and clothing read as male, but she physicalized lines such as "Down from the waist they are Centaurs/Though women all above" to remind the audience of the female body playing the part. Another male role she played was in The Bee, directed by Hideki Noda, which played at the Soho Theatre in June 2006 and 2012.
Hunter has also played animals and other creatures. In Kafka's Monkey, a solo piece based on Franz Kafka's "A Report to an Academy," she played a monkey delivering a speech to a scientific society about its transformation from a monkey to a man. The piece was a highly acclaimed sell-out success at the Young Vic in 2009, where it was reprised in May 2011. It toured to the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York in April 2013. According to Charles Isherwood of the New York Times, Hunter's performance had "wry wisdom, a touch of cheeky humor and, above all, a sense of dignity."
In November 2013, she co-starred as the fairy Puck in Julie Taymor's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, the show that opened the Theatre for a New Audience in Brooklyn.Ben Brantley of the New York Times described Hunter's Puck as "genuinely original" and "part music-hall comedian, part fairground contortionist."
In 2008, Hunter co-starred in the first English-language production of Fragments, a collection of short plays by Samuel Beckett, directed by Peter Brook. Of the London run at the Young Vic, Andrew Dickson of The Guardian wrote, "the evening belongs to Kathryn Hunter, who crams into a few minutes of stage time more than most actors achieve in a career." The piece toured internationally, appearing in New York in 2011.
From January to March 2009, she debuted as an RSC director with a production of Othello at the Warwick Arts Centre, Hackney Empire, Northern Stage, Oxford Playhouse and Liverpool Playhouse. Her husband Marcello Magni was movement director on the production and appeared in it as Roderigo. Other cast members included Michael Gould as Iago, Patrice Naiambana as Othello, and Natalia Tena as Desdemona.
In 2010, Hunter played Cleopatra in a production of Antony and Cleopatra and the Fool in a production of King Lear at the Royal Shakespeare Company's Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. The latter performance was described as "outstanding".
In January 2011, she withdrew from these roles shortly before the plays were due to be revived.
In February 2016, Hunter took the title role of Cyrano de Bergerac at the Southwark Playhouse, London. Guardian critic Michael Billington wrote, "Hunter is an astonishing shape-shifting performer who can play just about anything" but Telegraph critic Jane Schilling called Rusell Bolam's production "an opportunity squandered." In 2017 she starred in the title role in The House of Bernarda Alba at the Royal Exchange, Manchester.
Her screen work includes a supporting role in the TV series Rome as Cleopatra's companion, Charmian, and voicing Gorn in Tron: Uprising. Notable film work includes Mike Leigh's All or Nothing (2002) and Harry Potter's neighbour, Arabella Figg, in the fifth movie of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007). A 2001 episode of Silent Witness entitled "Faith" (BBC), Hunter played the role of Sister Geraldine Catterson. Sister Geraldine expressed faith in the canonisation of a previously beatified Sister, Constance Kerr, whom, it was claimed, had miraculously cured a girl suffering symptoms of muscular dystrophy, and written years later in her diaries of experiencing repeated instances of direct communion with God "who pierced my heart". A canonised Sister Constance would open an urgently required source of income for what the diocese determined was a financially burdensome Hospice. Ultimately, Geraldine's "Faith" was trumped by Science. In 2018 she starred in the BBC Two drama Black Earth Rising as Capi Petridis, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.