An MGM actress Marsha Hunt who was banned from Hollywood during the American “Red Scare” communist panic has died at the age of 104.
According to sources, Marsha Hunt, who was most known for her work in These Glamour Girls, Pride and Prejudice, and Raw Deal, passed away at her home on Tuesday from natural causes.
How did Actress Marsha Hunt die?
Marsha Hunt, the attractive actress who made a name for herself in movies like These Glamor 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.
According to filmmaker Roger C. Memos and The Hollywood Reporter, Hunt passed away peacefully at her home, where she had lived since 1946.
Marsha Hunt cause of death
She died on Tuesday night at her Sherman Oaks residence, where she had lived since 1946, from natural causes, according to Roger C. Memos, the filmmaker of the film Marsha Hunt’s Sweet Adversity, who spoke with The News84Media.
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 age 17, she made her big screen debut opposite Lana Turner as a suicidal co-ed in MGM’s These Glamor Girls (1939).
Who was Marsha Hunt?
On October 17, 1917, Marcia Virginia Hunt was born in Chicago. Her mother, Minabel, 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.
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.
Marsha Hunt career
Hunt began her career as a model before signing a deal with Paramount Pictures at the age of just 17.
She chose to move on to MGM where she landed her most enduring roles after losing the position of Melanie in Gone With the Wind.
The Human Comedy, These Glamour Girls, Flight Command, Pride and Prejudice, and other films she subsequently starred in.
Marsha Hunt Achievements
When Hunt performed in the 1943 Oscar-nominated best picture The Human Comedy, she acquired the label of “Hollywood’s Youngest Character Actress,” a distinction she is incredibly proud of.
When she and her husband Robert Presnell Jr. joined the Committee for the First Amendment, her once-promising career came to an abrupt halt.
As a result of Senator Joseph R. McCarthy’s investigation into claims of communist in the government and the film industry, hysteria, fear, and repression were spread across society.
The organisation Hunt belonged to questioned McCarthy-era efforts to identify and excommunicate alleged communists in the entertainment sector.
Marsha Hunt, Actress Blacklisted in Hollywood
Hunt told the Associated Press about her own experience: “The whole thing was such a bafflement to me.”
She continued, “I never understood why I was fully engaged in it. I wasn’t very liberal or active. I had too much job to do. I believe that I was a liberal by nature.
However, that wasn’t who I was. I think you could say I was a liberal actress.
Memos, however, stated in a recent interview with AP that she wants to be recognised as a renowned character actress rather than as the talent who was unjustly blacklisted.
Bogart and others rapidly changed their positions, claiming that they had been taken advantage of 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, a right-wing publication that accused numerous actors, directors, screenwriters, and others of supporting “subversive” causes, in June 1950.
I was blacklisted – Marsha Hunt
She stated in a 2004 interview, “You know, I was never interested 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 “beg” to play supporting characters
Hunt stated she would “ask” to play supporting characters rather than wasting her time on leading lady roles.
She said, “I was determined not to just be a leading lady.
She said, “I didn’t want to always play the sweet young things. “I adored playing characters.
And winning the leading man was not the aim; being a lead was.
Hunt invested in charitable work in Sherman Oaks, California, where she had lived since 1940, her “home,” after retiring from performing.
She stated to AP in the 2020 interview that she was determined to enjoy life to the utmost even though she would have turned 105 next month.
She hoped it would last a while. She remarked, “I guess I’m just really lucky. I go about enjoying people and getting along with them. I have no enemies that I know of and I have no resentment.
Humanity Award for Marsha Hunt
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 travelling the globe. She then pushed herself into humanitarian causes, appearing on behalf of the UN and claiming the title of “planet patriot.”
Kramer said of Hunt: “She 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.” Hunt was “one of the first major actresses in Hollywood to dedicate her life to causes.”
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, shows her 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.
She 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. The host of TCM’s Noir Alley stated when Raw Deal and The Grand Inquisitor aired back-to-back on the cable channel last month, “I imagine it will always remain. She is without a doubt the most extraordinary person I have ever met.
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