Classic Movie Review: Actress and Activist-Marsha Hunt

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Classic Movie Review by Ellen Bunton

(and her eager assistant, Meatball)

                                     20141014_225831-1

A Regular Monthly Feature

  The first Wednesday of the month.

Wednesday May 4 2016

 

Born October 17, 1917 in Chicago, her family moved to NYC when Marsha was young. She pursued drama and signed a contract with Paramount Pictures in 1935. She made numerous pictures and in 1941 signed on with MGM after appearing in “Pride and Prejudice” (1940).

She continued her career, usually in support of MGM’s lead actresses and in 1947, Martha and her husband, screenwriter Robert Presnell, Jr., joined the Committee for the First Amendment. Members included Lucille Ball, Myrna Loy, Katharine Hepburn, Groucho Marx and many others. Some members, including Marsha, went to Washington, D.C., to protest the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC).

With the Red Scare (against Communists) running wild in Hollywood, Marsha and many others were unable to find work and were “blacklisted” soon afterward. Having appeared in over 50 films by 1949, afterwards she made only 9.

Thankfully, Broadway was not as paranoid and she found work on the stage. Later she would guest star on various television shows including “Star Trek: The Next Generation”.

Hunt wrote a song, “Here’s to All Who Love,” that is about love no matter what the gender. Also concerned with homelessness and hunger, she has given speeches across the States. She was founder of the San Fernando Valley Mayor’s Fund for the Homeless and served on the Advisory Board of Directors for the San Fernando Valley Community Mental Health Center. She was named Honorary Mayor of Sherman Oaks, California, in 1983.

Marsha has a documentary about her life called “Sweet Adversity” that was scheduled to premiere at a film festival and I hope it will be available on DVD.

She appeared at the dedication of the Mickey Rooney Memorial Square in Hollywood on June 1, 2015, and as I write this she’s still going strong at 98!!! What a gal!

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3 Responses to "Classic Movie Review: Actress and Activist-Marsha Hunt"
  1. Wow! going strong at 98! That’s inspiration. And I’ll bet she outlived all those haters of the forties and fifties.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Talented and a humanitarian. Very informative .

  3. Alison Daniels says:

    This was fascinating, Marsha Hunt is among my favorites of little known bu supremely talented actresses of yesteryear. She is really brilliant in Pride and Prejudice, so funny and downplaying her good looks. I recently saw her in Valley of Decision, where she played a flirtatious young beauty. All I really knew of her was that she had been blacklisted. Very interesting to learn of her accomplishments and to see her at age 98.

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