Classic Movie Hub (CMH)

Marsha Hunt

Marsha Hunt

A very good singer, she sang in a few of her movies.

According to the late Colin Briggs, a steadfast writer for "Classic Images", Marcia was called Betty while growing up because the names Marjorie (her sister) and Marcia sounded too much alike. She changed the spelling of her first name to "Marsha" by the time she entered pictures.

Although she was never subpoenaed by the House of Un-American Activities, her name appeared in the red-baiting pamphlet Red Channels because of her membership in the Committee for the First Amendment and for liberal petitions she signed and she and her husband writer Robert Presnell Jr. found it increasingly difficult to get work because of the blacklist.

As an ingenue, Hunt attended Paramount Studio's acting school with fellow ingenue/actress Frances Farmer.

Before her career she taught Sunday School at New York's St. Paul's Methodist Church.

Her daughter died when she was one-day old.

Her first husband, editor-turned-director Jerry Hopper was a cousin to actress Glenda Farrell.

Her old sister, Marjorie, was a teacher. She died in 2002.

Her only child, a daughter, was born prematurely on July 1, 1947, and died a day later. She and her second husband later became foster parents.

Honorary mayor of Sherman Oaks, California.

In 1998 she was the recipient of the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian Award for her many selfless efforts.

Marsha was a strong consideration for the role of Melanie in Gone with the Wind (1939), since the studio's first pick, Olivia de Havilland, was having trouble being loaned out by Warner Bros. In fact, David O. Selznick selected Marsha to play the role at one point but the following day the loanout worked itself out and Olivia was handed the part.

Nephew Allan Hunt is a director.

Once appeared with Johnny Carson in a Broadway stage production of "Tunnel of Love" in 1958.

Paramount Pictures signed her to a contract in 1935.

She is a proud supporter of UNICEF, The March of Dimes, and The American Red Cross.

Talks about her blacklisting, and the horror movie Back from the Dead (1957), in the book "A Sci-Fi Swarm and Horror Horde" (McFarland, 2010) by Tom Weaver.

Was initially cast as James Dean's overwrought mother in Rebel Without a Cause (1955), but had to give up the role just before rehearsals were to start due to a prior stage commitment. Ann Doran took over the role.