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The Cult of Linda Hunt

At 66 and four-feet-nine, Linda Hunt is an unlikely action heroine. But as the enigmatic Hetty Lange on “NCIS:LA,” Oscar winner Hunt has become a Teen Choice Award recipient and the show’s breakout character.

Linda Hunt is armed with iced tea. It’s a scorching September day on the set of CBS’ popular action series, NCIS: Los Angeles, in which Hunt, 66, plays Operations Manager Henrietta “Hetty” Lange, a tantalizing Rubik’s Cube of a character whose inscrutability is both one of the show’s best weapons and Hetty’s as well. Prone to keeping secrets, Hunt’s Hetty is a polyglot, Olympic medalist (for the small bore rifle), former Hollywood costume designer, mountain climber, and pilot. She’s also deadly, as proven by a recent episode in which she executed several armed men without even leaving her chair, sliding a gun from a hidden compartment in her sleeve and killing the Romanian mobsters around her.

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