Before traveling to Washington to express her disapproval of the House Un-American Activities Committee, she was a star at Paramount and MGM.
Marsha Hunt, the radiant-eyed actress who made a name for herself in movies like These Glamour Girls, Pride and Prejudice, and Raw Deal before having her career derailed by the Hollywood communist witch hunt, has passed away. Her age was 104.
She passed away on Tuesday night at her Sherman Oaks residence, where she had resided since 1946, from natural causes, according to Roger C. Memos, the writer-director of the documentary Marsha Hunt’s Sweet Adversity, who spoke with The Hollywood Reporter.
In 1943, Hunt also starred with Mickey Rooney in The Human Comedy, a film that was nominated for the best picture Oscar. At the time, she was dubbed “Hollywood’s Youngest Character Actress.”
Chicago native and former model who signed with Paramount Pictures at the age of 17, she made her big screen debut opposite Lana Turner as a suicidal co-ed in MGM’s These Glamour Girls (1939).
Hunt portrayed a range of ages from 16 to 65 when portraying Walter Brennan’s sweetheart in Joe and Ethel Turp Call on the President (1939). In Pride and Prejudice (1940), she played the dowdy sister Mary Bennet, and in Anthony Mann’s Raw Deal (1948), opposite Claire Trevor and Dennis O’Keefe, she played the virtuous girl.
Years later, Hunt portrayed the mother of Timothy Bottoms’ quadruple-amputee character in Johnny Got His Gun (1971), which was written by blacklisted author Dalton Trumbo.
Despite the fact that she was never as well-known as some of her co-stars, Hunt was proud of her work, especially in its early stages. She told the website Ms. in the Biz in 2015, “Before I was 30, I had played four aging parts, and I was Hollywood’s youngest character actress… no two roles identical.”
The Committee for the First Amendment, which questioned the constitutionality of the House Un-American Activities Committee’s efforts to drive communists out of the entertainment industry, was founded in 1947 by Hunt and her second husband, screenwriter Robert Presnell Jr.
Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Danny Kaye, John Huston, and other Hollywood liberals were on the committee, which chartered an aircraft to Washington to attend the HUAC hearings and defend 19 creatives who were being investigated.
Bogart and others rapidly changed their positions, claiming that they had been taken advantage of by the communists and that their trip to Washington was ill-advised. Although it saved their careers, Hunt did not feel bad. She was named in Red Channels in June 1950, a right-wing publication that accused numerous actors, directors, screenwriters, and others of supporting “subversive” causes.
She admitted in an interview in 2004 that she had no interest in communism. “My business, my nation, and my government all piqued my curiosity. But I was horrified by my government’s actions and how it treated my industry. So, like everyone else on that flight, I voiced my opinion and complained. But once I was put on the blacklist, I was informed that the fact that I was an intelligent liberal was bad. I was informed that while communism was the thing that everyone was afraid of, the underlying issue was actually one of power and control.
“Getting everyone to agree with whatever is appropriate at the time, whatever is accepted, is how you get control. Never express your opinions, never speak up, never have your own opinions, never be eloquent, and if you ever do any of those things, you’re controversial. And that’s just as bad—possibly worse—than supporting the communist party. Which was still perfectly legal to be, as the Communist Party was still permitted to run candidates for public office in America. However, if you had been a communist, you would have lost your job, your reputation, your finances, and likely your marriage as well as your friends. It was really horrible.
Marsha Hunt’s 2015 book, Sweet Adversity, which tells her tale, was published.
On October 17, 1917, Marcia Virginia Hunt was born in Chicago. Her mother, Mabel, was a vocal coach, while her father, Earl, worked in the insurance industry. She relocated to New York City with her family, and at the age of 16, she earned her diploma from the Horace Mann School for Girls.
I'm so sorry to report that Marsha Hunt passed away at age 104. She was an actress, model, and activist, with a career spanning nearly 80 years. At the time of her passing, she was the oldest living and one of the last surviving actors from the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema. At pic.twitter.com/dFkZ18DbZV
— Dr. Annette Bochenek (@Home2Hollywood) September 10, 2022
When the photographer for her high school yearbook used Hunt’s picture as an example for an advertisement, she stumbled into a career as a model. She was hired by the Powers Agency, where she developed into a popular “Powers Girl” and learned how to act and pose for photographs.
Hunt, who arrived in Hollywood at the age of 17 and became friends with photographers-turned-publicists Robert and Sarah Mack, signed a contract with Paramount when her agency, Zeppo Marx, offered her $250 per week and secured the role of the female lead in her debut film, The Virginia Judge (1935). In several movies, she played a love interest or ingenue; John Wayne courted her in Born to the West (1937), but the studio decided not to extend her contract in 1938.
After making her MGM debut in The Hardys Ride High (1939), she went on to play a Brooklyn chorus girl in The Trial of Mary Dugan (1941), the first U.S. film by director Fred Zinnemann, Kid Glove Killer (1942), the World War II drama Cry “Havoc” (1943), and the lead role in Jules Dassin’s romantic comedy A Letter for Evie (1944). (1946).
Roddy McDowall, Gloria DeHaven, Sidney Greenstreet, June Allyson, and Barry Fitzgerald were also listed in an exhibitor poll of the “Top 10 Stars of Tomorrow,” and while she wasn’t performing, she worked as a hostess at the renowned Hollywood Canteen for the American military.
Hunt made her stage debut in Jules Dassin’s 1948 production of Joy to the World, which had a Hollywood set. Two years later, she appeared on the Broadway production of George Bernard Shaw’s The Devil’s Disciple and was featured on the cover of Life magazine.
Hunt left for Europe after Devil’s Disciple was up, but when she came back, Red Channels had been released, and her career—she had already produced more than 50 movies by then—would never be the same.
She then appeared as a guest star on programs including Climax and The Ford Television Theatre. and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. She later made appearances on Gunsmoke, The Twilight Zone, Ben Casey, My Three Sons, Ironside, Murder, She Wrote, and Star Trek: The Next Generation. She was a regular in the brief-lived 1959 television series Peck’s Bad Girl.
Hunt served on a number of progressive committees while serving on the SAG board. One of these committees assisted actress Olivia de Havilland in her historic legal battle with Warner Bros. and the studio system, while another petitioned studios to cast minority performers outside of stereotypical roles.
She became aware of the problems of Third World countries in 1955 after traveling the globe. She then pushed herself into humanitarian causes, appearing on behalf of the UN and claiming the title of “planet patriot.”
She received the inaugural Marsha Hunt for Humanity Award in April 2015, which was established by Kat Kramer, the liberal filmmaker Stanley Kramer’s daughter.
“Hunt paved the way for Angelina Jolie, Sean Penn, Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Patricia Arquette, Sharon Stone, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Tippi Hedren, Ed Begley Jr., Ed Asner, and Martin Sheen — celebrities who use their fame as a voice for change,” Kat Kramer wrote. Hunt was “one of the first major actresses in Hollywood to dedicate her life to causes.”
In the 1993 book The Way We Wore: Styles of the 1930s and ’40s and Our World Since Then, which includes photographs of Hunt wearing several of her own clothing from the era, Hunt is seen in all her glitz.
Hunt settled in Sherman Oaks in 1946, where he spent more than 20 years as honorary mayor. She and Presnell were wed for 40 years before his passing at age 71 in 1986. They didn’t have any kids.
Allan Hunt, an actor, and filmmaker are one of her nephews; she also leaves behind additional nieces and nephews. Donations to L.A. may be made in her honor. Housing for families
Hunt starred in Eddie Muller’s 22-minute film The Grand Inquisitor, which was written and directed in 2008.
“My life’s most fulfilling collaboration was working with her. After Raw Deal and The Grand Inquisitor aired back-to-back on the cable channel last month, Noir Alley’s host predicted that it would remain that way forever. She is without a doubt the most extraordinary person I have ever met.
Marsha Hunt is she black?
In 1969, she created fashion history by becoming the first Black woman to grace the cover of Queen, a high-end magazine published in England. There were many Black women who represented the ’60s spirit, but Marsha Hunt was on another level.
Who is the oldest performer still performing today?
Marjorie Hunt (October 17, 1917 – Present)
This is what? Marsha Hunt is presently the oldest living actor in the world at 104 years old. Hunt, who was raised in New York after moving there as a young child, started her career there as a theatrical actor. She was born in Chicago. Throughout her childhood, she also performed on radio shows and did modeling.
Who will still be a celebrity in 2022?
1. Marjory Hunt Marsha Hunt was born on October 17, 1917, and as of 2022, she will be 104 years old. She is one of the oldest living actors and one of the few actors from the Hollywood Golden Age still working today.
When did Mick Jagger start dating Marsha Hunt?
Marsha Hunt And Mick Jagger Had A Horrific Nine-Month Relationship