She made her film debut in 1943, at the age of 21, for RKO Radio Pictures. She left Hollywood to return to New York in 1949 and began appearing on television.
However, it was Hunter’s role in the original Broadway production of A Streetcar Named Desire (1947) that catapulted her to fame. She went on to co-star in the 1951 film version for which she won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.
Hunter’s career was dealt a blow when she was blacklisted in the early 1950s during the Hollywood’s communism paranoia fanned by Senator McCarthy of Wisconsin and the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Her last film appearance was in 2000.
Hunter married William Baldwin in 1944. They had one child and were divorced in 1946. She then married Robert Emmett, a television screenwriter in 1951. They also had a child together. Emmett died in 2000.
She died of cardiac arrest in New York City, in 2002. Hunter was 79 years old.