Helen Hunt

updated 05/03/1993 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/03/1993 01:00AM

Sometimes beauty shouts. Helen Hunt's whispers...and wiggles and winks and waltzes. And that's just from the neck up. "Helen has a wonderfully expressive face," observes Paul Reiser, who plays Hunt's TV hubby on the NBC sitcom Mad About You. "She can curl an eyebrow, wrinkle her forehead, stare at you, and you're yanked out of where you were to some other place."

Ex-beau Matthew Broderick has been to that place and enjoyed the view. "Helen is beautiful in an accessible way: easy to talk to, very bright, easy to be with," says the actor. "I always thought her beauty was kind of a secret; nobody seemed to get it."

Her flawless porcelain complexion aside, Hunt, who turns 30 on June 15, has had to develop a tough skin. Onscreen since age 9, the L. A.-raised daughter of theater director Gordon Hunt and photographer Jane Hunt says, "As an actress, other people are always deciding whether or not you are beautiful, which is horrible. But the more I made peace with the way I looked, the less it seemed to be an issue."

Hunt, who lives solo in L.A., offers no clues about her current love life but hints at what draws her to a man. "Funny," she says, "is very attractive." When she is ready for a real-life groom, Helen's hunt will likely be brief.

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