Marsha Hunt: Former MGM actress and social activist turns 95
Note from the editor: "Marsha Hunt: On Making Lemonade When Life Handed Her Lemons" was originally published on Dec. 7, 2007. The five-part Marsha Hunt article is being reposted in honor of Marsha Hunt's 95th birthday yesterday, Oct. 17.
Producer Roger C. Memos is currently raising funds for the documentary Marsha Hunt: Sweet Adversity, about the former MGM actress' life, film career, and humanistic social and political activism. You can contribute to Sweet Adversity at indiegogo.com. (Image: Marsha Hunt publicity photo ca. early '40s.)
Marsha Hunt: On Making Lemonade When Life Handed Her Lemons
This past October 17, my dear friend, actress and social activist Marsha Hunt turned 90 years old. Her past few months have been a constant state of activity as the tributes to her seemed never-ending.
Turner Classic Movies honored Marsha Hunt with a tribute, showing eight of her films on her birthday. In Beverly Hills, the preservation group Hollywood Heritage held a screening of one of her favorite starring films, the 1946 MGM romantic comedy A Letter for Evie, ending with a party.
The following day she received the "Ambassador of Peace" award from the Women's Federation for World Peace, USA in recognition of her groundbreaking work with the United Nations. And she has just returned from a doll convention in Pittsburgh where a collector's edition doll created in her image and wearing copies of Marsha's film costumes was introduced – and where more birthday greetings were lovingly delivered.
Then there are the book signings. She put together a one-of-a-kind coffee-table book called The Way We Wore: Styles of the 1930s and '40s and Our World Since Then, a collection of movie and modeling stills from her career accompanied by stories of her life and films.
Also, Marsha has added the title "record producer" to her list of credits by producing her first CD. Called "Songs from the Heart" and featuring Tony London with the Page Cavanaugh Trio, it features songs from the American Songbook. A songwriter herself, Marsha wrote two songs that are featured on the CD. (Her good friends, legendary songwriters Ray Evans and Hugh Martin picked songs of theirs for Tony to perform on the CD.)
Marsha Hunt: New movie
But the biggest news of all is that Marsha has a film coming out in January, in which she plays a very dark film noir character.
The Grand Inquisitor is a film noir short set to premiere at the sixth annual Noir City Film Noir Festival in January in San Francisco. Marsha Hunt, the actress, will be gloriously rediscovered when The Grand Inquisitor is shown at film festivals around the world in 2008.
I am currently directing and co-producing, with Richard Adkins, a feature documentary on this ordinary woman who achieved the extraordinary in her life. Of all the projects I've worked on in this business, none has meant more to me than this one. Her story must be told. If I may, I'd like to give you the CliffsNotes version of her brilliant career and life achievements.
["On Making Lemonade When Life Handed Her Lemons: Marsha Hunt" continues on the next page. See link below.]