Kim Hunter

Kim Hunter

A one-time student of the Pasadena Playhouse, she was appearing in a 1942 production of "Arsenic and Old Lace" when she was discovered for film by a David O. Selznick talent representative. Kim was signed by RKO.

According to an in-depth article on Kim by Joseph Collura in the October 2009 issue of "Classic Images", Kim was quiet and painfully shy as a child and overcame it through the guidance of a local dramatics teacher, a Mrs. Carmine. Included were diction, voice and posture lessons.

An agent for David O. Selznick saw her in a stage production of "Arsenic and Old Lace" at the Pasadena Playhouse and signed her to a seven-year contract. Selznick suggested she change her first name to "Kim" and a RKO secretary suggested the last name of "Hunter". A few years later, Irene Mayer Selznick, David's ex-wife by then, recommended Kim for the role of "Stella" in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951).

Daughter Kathy was born to Kim and Marine Capt. William A. Baldwin and became a judge in Connecticut. Now the mother of four, she used to ride on the handlebars of Marlon Brando's motorcycle.

Did voice work for the CBS Radio Mystery Theater.

Father Donald Cole was a consulting engineer and died in 1926 when Kim was only 3 years old. Mother Grace once performed as a concert pianist. Kim had one brother who was eight years older than she.

Joined a repertory group called "Theatre of Fifteen." It disbanded in 1942 when WWII took away most of its male members.

Mother of two children: Kathryn and Sean. Kathrin, from her first marriage with Marine Captain William A. Baldwin, and later, she was adopted and took the last name Emmett from her mother's second husband, stage actor Robert Emmett; she used to ride on the handlebars of Marlon Brando's motorcycle, and became a judge and a mother of four. Sean Emmett, born 1954, is a rock musician (Mainstream, Sienna).

Political activist, she signed several civil rights petitions and was a sponsor of a 1949 World Peace Conference in New York - which triggered her label of being a Communist sympathizer, for which she was blacklisted in films and TV even though she never even held pro-Communist views. Her testimony to the New York Supreme Court in 1962 against the publishers of "Red Channels" helped pave the way for clearance of many performers unjustly accused of Communist connections.

She played the mother of Richard Kiley's character in Blue Moon (1999) (TV) in spite of the fact that he was eight months her senior.

Son, Sean Emmett (or Emmitt), born 1954, is a rock musician (Mainstream, Sienna).

Won the Critics Circle and Donaldson awards for her 1947-1948 Broadway debut performance as Stella in "A Streetcar Named Desire".