Marsha Hunt:MGM let me play absolutely everything, the studio gave me such joy”

As a young teenager, playing her first leading role in “The Virginia Judge” (1935), her debut feature at Paramount with Walter C. Kelly (uncle of Grace Kelly) in the title role, a character he originally created on the stage: that’s how then 17-year old Marsha Hunt started her film career. Now, approximately eighty years later – the film was released in the US on September 17, 1935 – Miss Hunt, back then also known as ‘Hollywood’s Youngest Character Actress’, is still in the spotlights as she will be the recipient at the 7th Burbank International Film Festival (September 2015) of the ‘Awareness Award for her commitment to social change in the world’.

The intelligent and attractive Miss Hunt, born as Marcia Virginia Hunt on October 17, 1917 in Chicago, has had quite a life so far: after several years as one of Paramount’s leading ladies, she signed a contract at MGM (1941) and became one of the studio’s most reliable actresses. In 1950 she was featured on the cover of Life magazine.

By then however, she was experiencing the effects of the vigilante crusade imposed on her by Hollywood blacklist, after she was mentioned in ‘Red Channels’ (1950), which named 151 professional actors, actresses, directors, screenwriters, musicians and others, for being Communists, followers of the party line, or for simply having at least some sort of ‘red’ sympathies. Although she was never called before the HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee), according to ‘Red Channels’, Miss Hunt’s so-called crimes included signing a petition to the Supreme Court to review the convictions of screenwriters Dalton Trumbo and John Howard Lawson, for being a speaker at a rally held by the Progressive Citizens in Los Angeles in October 1947, and for being a member of the Committee of the First Amendment.

Many of those who were blacklisted lost their jobs and their income; careers, and often families, were ruined.

But Miss Hunt fought back: she did volunteer work for the UN for several decades, and in between, she accepted acting jobs in films and television. But it was Paramount where it all began for her, imposing on her a busy schedule as a young actress, until she started working at MGM in 1941 where she proved to be a very fine and refined actress who could handle a wide variety of challenging roles.

This interview from April 2004 in the green room of the Egyptian on Hollywood Boulevard, wouldn’t have been possible without being introduced to Miss Hunt by casting director Marvin Paige (1927-2013), a very dear and mutual friend, and most of all a close and personal friend of nearly everybody in Hollywood. Thank you, Marvin.

Miss Hunt, when you left Paramount after three years, you worked as a free-lance actress before MGM put you under contract. Was that free-lancing period a rewarding or a difficult time for you?

It was difficult. Paramount had treated me so strangely; I was 17 when they signed me, I had never been paid to act and the first job they gave me within weeks of signing me to a contract, I had the romantic lead in a Paramount feature film that was seen around the world. At 17! And they gave me nothing but leads. I did six pictures my first year, six the second year, all leads. Only one, I guess, was an A big-big budget picture, all the others were what we’d call B pictures, but respectable. The third year, I had been begging them for different roles: ‘Please, let me do comedy, let me do a supporting role, or there’s a wonderful bit in a script that I have seen and that’s coming up, let me do that.’ They said, ‘But Marsha, you’re not grateful, we’ve been giving you all these leads!’ And I said, ‘Yes I know, I thank you and I’ve enjoyed it, but they all are pretty much alike, I always play sweet young girls, and I don’t know them really, that’s just something on the screen. I would like a part with more reality, with more variety, let me try other things.’ They never would, they never did, they kept me sitting there for a year, and in the meantime they loaned me out to another studio – I did a picture at RKO on loan-out – and then they dropped my option. I was 20 years old then and I was a has been because I had only played sweet young girls that didn’t stretch my muscles, didn’t show whether I could play drama, or character roles or comedy. People dismissed me because I had played pretty much the same roles over and over again. So I took anything I could get, just to keep busy. I worked at studios that made pictures – and I mean whole feature films – in six days. That’s when we had the six-day week, we also worked on Saturdays. You brought your own clothes and you shot so fast you wouldn’t believe it. If no props were broken: print it, next set-up. There was no second or third take. There was even no direction really. You knew what door to come through, where to sit and when to get up. They told you the physical moves, but the performance had to be yours. I worked at all Poverty Row studios, as we called them: I worked at Fine Arts, at Monogram, at Republic. After a while, I got a one day bit at MGM in the Andy Hardy series. I thought, ‘MGM! I want to be inside a major studio again, I’ll do it, whatever it is, I’ll do it!’ So I did this bit in “The Hardys Ride High” [1939], playing a wife who spent too much money and whose husband is divorcing her because he can’t pay for all the bills she runs up. All the way to the studio, I said to myself, ‘Now remember, you are a bit player. Don’t expect anything, mind your own business and don’t get in anybody’s way.’ When I got to the gate, they said, ‘Ah Miss Hunt – the man at the gate expected me, he had my name, that was nice – Miss Hunt, you can park right there.’ And when I got on the set, there was a portable dressing room on the set with ‘Miss Hunt’ written on it: they had gone through so much trouble, just for one day, and there was a chair – a director’s chair with the canvas strip with ‘Miss Hunt’ stenciled on it for one day’s work. I thought, ‘Any studio that treats a bit player like that, is the studio for me.’ I was already in love with MGM, but that really did it.

When you were under contract at MGM, did you have the feeling that you were able to progress?

Yes, and that’s why I even fell more in love with MGM. Before I signed at MGM, I was in New York, looking to do some Summer stock, some theater. I thought that pictures really were not going to happen for me, although I almost got to play Melanie in “Gone With the Wind” but it didn’t happen. So I thought, ‘All right, I’ll start over and work my way into a legitimate acting career.’ Then my agent called and said, ‘There is a part at MGM that is very colorful, very challenging, and they are willing to test you, but they won’t pay your way back from New York. You will have to fly all the way to California to do the test and they don’t promise you a thing.’ I don’t remember if they got a script to me or just described it, but they told me that my character was neurotic, nervous, highly affected, and that she would commit suicide. I flew back to California, I made the test, got the role and this absolutely turned my career around. I became known as an actress. The next thing I did, was “Joe and Ethel Turp Call on the President” [1939]. I went from 16 to 65 in my age – I went through all the stages, I played in my twenties, thirties, forties, fifties, sixties and died at about 65, I played opposite Walter Brennan [by then three-time Academy Award winning actor], from the glamour girl to the sweet old lady [Variety wrote in its December 6, 1939, review: ‘Walter Brennan is capital as the mailman, with Marsha Hunt providing a stand-out performance as his sweetheart through several decades.’]. Then came “The Trial of Mary Dugan” [1914] as a Brooklyn chorus girl with a Brooklyn accent, with Laraine Day: no two roles were alike from then on. MGM let me play absolutely everything, the studio gave me such joy. I didn’t care about billing, I didn’t care about being the lead, fame or anything like that. I didn’t want to be a star: I wanted to be the best actress I could possibly become and they were letting me grow with every role. So it was a gorgeous seven years. The best things at MGM were the range and the variety, so I can’t pick out one film or one character I played in particular. I loved “These Glamous Girls” [1939] because it turned everything around and started the acting roles instead of the sweet young things; I loved “Pride and Prejudice” [1940] because it was my first comedy [Variety in its July 10, 1940, review: ‘The Bennet sisters, as played by Maureen O’Sullivan, Ann Rutherford, Marsha Hunt and Heather Angel, provide charm and pulchritude.’]. I played four old women in four different films before I was thirty. What a happy time for me. I even got the opportunity to sing in several movies, I loved to sing and nobody believed it was actually me. My friends at the studio were the musicians. I didn’t know my fellow actors away from the studio. I didn’t have a social circle – I was working too hard. I was at MGM during the World War II years and we were making films one right after the other to fill the appetite of the service men all over the world. They needed entertainment, they needed escape.

Greer Garson and Marsha Hunt in Tay Garnett’s skillful “The Valley of Decision” (1945), their third film together after “Pride and Prejudice” (1940) and “Blossoms in the Dust” (1941). Picture: Leo Verswijver

When Louis B. Mayer left MGM, he reportedly told Dore Schary: ‘Dore, they will have to cut all the trees in all the forests in America to make enough plaques to suit your ego.’

Well, that was an ego speaking to an ego. Mr. Mayer was not lacking in his own ego, he had a great ego. I knew Dore Schary very pleasantly. But, of course, it takes an ego to run a studio which Dore also did, first at RKO and then eventually at MGM. Ego is a curious term, it seems to me. It is something we all need for self-confidence and even to progress. An ego, I guess, is a belief in oneself, isn’t it? No, I found Dore a delightful man, very articulate and intelligent. He also cared about the world, about social problems, I think far more than Louis B. Mayer did. I think the films that Dore tried to make, show that. I was in Washington attending those first hearings of the House Un-American Activities Committee [October 1947] when we heard Dore Schary say in the hearing room to the House Committee that he would never hire or fire anyone in his capacity at the studio, except on a basis of ability to perform that kind of work, and that political ideology or membership in this or that had nothing to do with the caliber of work. Whether the work was well-done or not, that was what he cared about. It was a brave statement, and it was something he was forced to go back on after the Waldorf Hotel meeting [December 1947] that you may have heard or read about, when all the other studio heads told him that he simply had to give in and start firing everyone who was not only a communist, but even controversial politically at that point. And Dore – in order to have any say – went along with that, hoping that he could reform things from within the industry, better than if he was a complete outsider, and they told him he would be outside if he didn’t join them in blacklisting. It was a tragic day for Dore.

Do you think that Mr. Schary would be able to run a studio today?

Oh, indeed, he was very gifted. Dory was a writer, to begin with [Academy Award winner for the original story of ‘Boys Town’, 1938]. That gave him a sensitivity to appreciate story values, and also a sense of judgment. I think he was a very good executive, I was in several MGM pictures that he produced, and they were very good pictures. I think he would do very well today.

What about Mr. Mayer?

He had a sense of valuing film, he loved film, and he had a very keen sense of talent and stories. Certainly he had people making decisions – there was the story department, the film editing department, etc. But he after all ran the studio, and if he disagreed with something, it didn’t happen, it just wasn’t allowed. I think his instinct for pictures was very keen and very good. He made MGM far the best of the studios because of that feeling for talent. He found whatever the world could yield in the best kinds of talent that it took to put together a motion picture. When he traveled, he was sensing what he watched and what he heard. He was signing people up all the time: he brought so many people from Europe and probably robbed the motion picture industry of several European countries, bringing them to MGM to make the lion roar – Leo the Lion, of MGM. I don’t know how he would have managed today, it’s curious, I really haven’t thought about that.

When Mr. Mayer was dethroned in 1951, were there people who stabbed him in the back?

I don’t know the history of that. By then I had left MGM, five years before that even, and by 1951, I was not allowed to work: I was out of the industry because of the position I had taken.

I would like to go further into that in a moment, if that is okay with you?

Certainly.

May I go back to the studio system for a moment? After it fell apart in the 1960s and they began selling their props and back lots, independent production companies began shooting their films on location with their own resources and there were certainly a lot of masterpieces being made, but the innocent, cozy and sort of naive atmosphere of the films from the studio era was gone, don’t you think?

Well, I’m not that happy about several of today’s films. I don’t believe it’s because of my age, or because I was active in an earlier era, an earlier period, of films. But you see so many films that are vulgar, violent, grotesque, they are catering to the lowest taste in people. A heroic figure is not allowed, we have the anti-hero. We’re afraid of sentiment, while we need sentiment. It’s what civilizes us, it makes us gentle and caring – instead of violent. That’s what sentiment is all about: it’s caring. But now it’s become so unaffected by emotion that it’s artificial, as if everyone is wearing a shell of some sort. And that’s a pity; it has affected our culture, domestic relations in the home, it has poisoned things and I blame today’s music as much as I do today’s motion pictures and television. They all appeal to teenage children who want action, violence, sex. They want all those quick thrills. And the audience above 40 is ignored, while they are in fact the biggest audience and they have the most money to spend, but they don’t go to see films anymore. The occasional one, just now and then when they hear there’s a film out which has value, but there isn’t that weekly habit of going to the movies which has been a part of the American way of life. Now, of course, there’s television in the home, which makes a huge difference, you can stay home. But if the movies were of a caliber to care about, they would go, I believe.

You played the leading role in Fred Zinnemann’s first feature film “Kid Glove Killer” [1942]. You were already an established actress by then. How did he work on the set, and did you realize at the time that he would become one of cinema’s most gifted filmmakers?

When they first gave me the script of “Kid Glove Killer”, I liked the part that was given to me immediately, and it was a light comedy – at last! So I cared very much about who was going to direct it. But I didn’t realize who Fred Zinnemann was: I had never heard his name before, and I only got to meet him for the first time on the first day’s shooting of the film. So there he entered, a small, unimpressive-looking and slender man with a very soft voice. You had to be standing close to him to be sure you heard what he was saying. Before we started shooting the first scene, he asked everyone to come closer, and speaking as loudly as he could, he introduced himself: ‘You may know this is my first feature film, but I think I am prepared. I have worked toward this for a long time. You are all very good at what you do, and I will do my best. But if any of you has any suggestion that would improve this film, please tell me, because I would welcome your suggestions. Now, let us all make the best film we can.’ From that moment, I think everybody on the set would have died for him. He spoke with such humility, such openness and frankness. Right away, we all adored him, and so did I. We also became good friends. Except for Jules Dassin, I got to know Fred better than any other director I ever worked with. And while we were shooting that picture, it was very clear that he was destined to become an excellent director who would make great films.

Film director Fred Zionnemann (1907-1997), here on the set of his final film “Five Days, One Summer” (1982, with leading actor Sean Connery in the background), became a four-time Academy Award winning filmmaker who made screen classics such as “The Search” (1948), “The Men” (1950), “High Noon” (1952), “From Here to Eternity” (1953), “The Nun’s Story” (1959), “A Man for All Seasons” (1966) and “Julia” (1977). Picture: Fred Zinnemann

Mr. Zinnemann once told me, ‘I like people to be entertained, but I don’t want it to be empty. I also like to give some nourishment.’ Would you agree with that?

That is very interesting. When I look back to my first play on Broadway, the cast of “Raw Deal” [1948] advised me to take the plunge and try the live stage, and that’s what that play was all about. ‘Joy to the World’ is the name of a Christmas carol, and it was also used as the title of the play because it was about the motion picture business. It was a comedy about the head of a studio who is trying to decide if he’d make films that care about the world, care about humanity, about social problems, about films that had a message. Or, just bring joy to the world, just be escape and amusement, just entertain. Or should you also instruct, should you also inspire and disturb? And, of course, the answer is you should do both. It isn’t either or, it should always be both. And I think that’s one of the great things about Louis B. Mayer: he made all kinds of films. He made slapstick comedies, romantic love stories, there were historical biographies and the great musicals, mysteries… It was a big menu and you chose what kind of meal to have when you when you went to the movies. So that’s one of the reasons why I did the play: I liked what it said, I liked what it examined, and of course it was about a subject I knew pretty well by then. I played the head of the research department in that major studio. But in the end, what I am trying to say, is that Fred Zinnemann made a very powerful statement: films should also give some nourishment.

Your play was called ‘Joy to the World’, but I always thought your films were a joy to the eye. Take the editing, for example. It was always done very smoothly, don’t you think?

Well, if I may compare with several films that are made today, I always call today’s editing the jump cut, although I don’t know if that’s the correct technical term or not. You’re not allowed to see the same image, the same picture on the screen longer than a few seconds, and then there’s another and another one. A scene should be allowed to start with one situation and then you watch as something changes during that scene, so you can follow the progression of the news that the characters have exchanged with each other, or their treatment of each other. By the end of the scene, something has changed, and the audience follows that change in the minds of the characters they are watching. They identify, they share. Now it is thrown at you as if the public has no attention span and can’t stay interested longer than two seconds. I think it is jerky and jumpy, it doesn’t tell a story, it doesn’t take the audience with the characters and it doesn’t lead them through something or allows them to share what the actors are depicting. It’s not a way of making films anymore, I think we have to return to the well told story. I don’t think this can last very long, it mustn’t. It’s destroying the industry.

Louis B. Mayer (right, 1884-1957) shaking hands with his studio executive and producer Irving G. Thalberg (left, 1899-1936). The book ‘Mayer and Thalberg: The Make-Believe Saints’ (1975) was written by Samuel Marx who was a story editor at MGM throughout most of the thirteen years that Mayer and Thalberg worked together.

Do you have any idea how big the impact was for Mr. Mayer and for MGM when Irving G. Thalberg died in 1936?

I am not in a position to judge about Thalberg and Mayer because I wasn’t there. But I would think it was very big. I was at Paramount then, in 1936, not at MGM, but I did know Mr. Thalberg. I had met him at the first party I went to when I was 17 when I had just arrived in Hollywood. A French screenwriter had invited me to the Charles Boyer’s, a beautiful home, and after dinner I heard a ping pong game being played. I loved ping pong, so I went out to the terrace and there were a lot of Hungarian writers. They always played a lot of ping pong, and they played very well (laughs). They smashed, they were very fancy. The year before, I had won the ping pong championship at school; I didn’t smash, I just got the ball back, I just kept returning the ball until sooner or later the flashy people would hit it out. I asked somebody if they wanted a game, and I beat that person and then I beat the next, and they were saying, ‘Well, let me take her on!’ And one by one, I was beating everyone at the party. Then I played against Mr. Thalberg and Mr. Selznick and each of them would bet on me against the other. And finally, Mr. Selznick said to me, ‘Well, Miss Hunt, where would you rather work? At MGM or at my Selznick studio?’ (Laughs.) But I was under contract at Paramount… – so who’s next? (Laughs.) I had a night of glory at my first party. But Mr. Thalberg was so kind, he invited me to dinner in his beach home in Santa Monica. I must have been the youngest person there by at least fifteen or twenty years. The dinner table was filled with important, gifted, famous people and it was such a compliment that he had included me. I don’t know why Mr. Thalberg did it, but I had a wonderful evening, and then Miss Shearer [Mr. Thalberg’s wife, actress Norma Shearer] invited me on the set while she was shooting “Marie Antoinette” [1938]. I was pretty thrilled. I was new to MGM – just to be on that lot was pretty exciting, I was still at Paramount. However charming and courteous she was to me, I don’t think I ever saw Mr. Thalberg again after that dinner party. I sent flowers to his funeral and received a very beautiful note from Miss Shearer, but I didn’t see her again until she was quite ill and was a patient at the hospital at the Motion Picture Country Home. She was quite blind then, but still beautiful. Her hair was snow-white and there was that classic profile, that wonderful nose, her skin was milky white and she looked so young. She couldn’t see me, but she held out her hand and remembered me. I just wanted to see her to thank her for her early kindness to me. We had a lovely visit, she didn’t last a great deal longer. That was my short history over many years with the Thalbergs.

The Hollywood Canteen operated between October 1942 and November 1945. In all, it hosted nearly three million servicemen. Now the site is a parking garage for an office building on Sunset Boulevard. Postcard: Longworth Photo (from the archive of Leo Verswijver)

You also worked at the Hollywood Canteen during the war, didn’t you?

Yes, I was captain of a team of hostesses at the Hollywood Canteen every Saturday night of the war that I was in town. The Canteen held a thousand men at a time: every hour they pushed that thousand men out and let a new thousand men in that were standing outside waiting. It was open five hours on Saturday night, and I think I danced with five thousand men every Saturday night, so to speak. And it wasn’t a compliment to me: they wanted to dance with fame, they wanted to ride home with the thought, ‘Guess who I danced with last night!’ And they wanted to say a name that the folks back home would recognize. There weren’t many stars who would go to the Canteen on a Saturday night, because it was the only night they could stay up late and they could go to their own parties. I worked a lot there, I also visited hospitals and went on a tour. Every time that I had a minute off on the set, I was in my dressing room autographing pictures, because the fan mail from abroad was coming in.

And only a few years later already, you became a victim of the blacklist, like so many others. It was a very brave thing that you did, joining the Committee of the First Amendment [founded by directors William Wyler, John Huston and Philip Dunne, and actress Myrna Loy] to support the Hollywood Ten, and flying to Washington to protest against the hearings and oppose the inquiries, along with Humphrey Bogart, Danny Kaye, Gene Kelly, Jane Wyatt, Paul Henreid, John Huston, Geraldine Brooks, and several others.

You know, I was never interested in communism. I was very much interested in my industry, my country and my government. But I was shocked at the behavior of my government and its mistreatment of my industry. And so I spoke out and protested like everyone else on that flight. But then I was told, once I was blacklisted, you see, I was an articulate liberal and that was bad. I was told that in fact it wasn’t really about communism – that was the thing that frightened everybody – it was about control and about power. The way you get control is to get everyone agree with whatever is proper at the time, whatever is accepted. Don’t question anything, don’t speak out, don’t have your own ideas, don’t be articulate about it, don’t ever be eloquent, and if you ever be one of those things, you’re controversial. And that’s just as bad, maybe worse, than being a communist. Which was still quite legal to be, you know: the communist party was still legal in America, running candidates for public office. But you lost your career, your good name, your savings, probably your marriage, your friends – if you had been a communist. It was appalling, just appalling.

What effect did it have on you, since it was all based on fear?

It was fear, yes. I was told that I could work again if I would swear to a statement they drew up for me that I repented the gestures I had made to protest all this, and that I – now – realize what I had done, helped communism. Even that flight to Washington had been masterminded, had been thought up by communists, they said. But that’s not true at all. I told them that I could not swear to a lie. But I did not repent what I did, I thought it was right to do it, I knew that flight to Washington was planned by William Wyler, John Huston and Philip Dunne – three excellent directors and none of them were communists – while they were having lunch at Lucy’s across from Paramount. So I knew who planned our trip and who thought of it. But I couldn’t swear to a lie in order to work again! I would never do that! So I thought, ‘If this is what my profession requires, then I can’t be in that profession.’ So the years went on; finally I made a picture here, a picture there, but the momentum was gone. No really good parts, no good films really. Years later I did “Blue Denim” [1959], that was a good one, directed by Phillip Dunne, and when I did “Johnny Got His Gun” [1971] by Dalton Trumbo [a member of the Hollywood Ten], I didn’t even know him when I flew to Washington. The only one of the Hollywood Nineteen that I knew and who were then being called before the Committee, was Adrian Scott, who was a dear friend. I was outraged at the treatment he and the others were getting. I never regretted of doing it, in spite of the fact that it cost me, what I thought, the only thing I wanted to do with my life. But I’m almost grateful that I had a chance to learn about the outside world. Acting is a very absorbing profession. It’s terribly self-centered. You have to keep your body, your fitness, your face, your voice, everything in good volume, you have to get your hair and your nails done, your weight has to be right – just to present your body for the work of acting. Then you have to train, to memorize, it takes all your time and your attention. It is a self-centered line of work. By its very nature, it has to be. And I am so glad that I learned what I learned, I have a fuller life and I have met wonderful people. I knew Eleanor Roosevelt, and Hubert Humphrey introduced an idea of mine on the floor of the Senate. Paul Simon who tried to be nominated for the Presidency, then a Congressman, introduced in the House an idea I had and it passed both Houses. Then President Jimmy Carter made it the centerpiece of his Thanksgiving proclamation. It was an idea of a way Americans could expand their observance of Thanksgiving, called ‘Thankful Giving’, and it addresses hunger in the rest of the world. Basically that’s what it is. So I’ve met such wonderful people with these interests.

The ‘witch hunt’ certainly didn’t break you. Did it make you stronger?

I think it did.

How did you get involved in all the charity work you did for so many years?

When I had so many free time because I wasn’t allowed to act, I discovered the outside world. I went around the world with my husband and I came back as, what I called, a planet patriot. I fell in love with the planet, not just my country, but all of us. I learned about the United Nations which was right here in this country and I spent twenty-five years working as a volunteer on behalf of the UN, I worked on the Year of the Child, international cooperation, and made a documentary film during World Refugee Year with fourteen stars appearing in it to tell the stories of different refugees. There were still twenty-five million people floating around the world, stateless, with no travel papers, no identity papers, no work permits – fifteen years after World War II ended. The United Nations was trying to get the governments to open their borders and let their fair share of refugees in, so I made this film to acquaint Americans with it. It was very rewarding.

The Way We Wore coverWhat about your book ‘The Way We Wore: Styles of the 1930s and ‘40s and Our World Since Then’ [1993], how did it come about?

I graduated from school at 16 in New York City and I wanted to be a movie actress, but there was no training for movies. Then I became a fashion model, because usually that is how you learn about make-up and grooming and whether I photographed or not. So I did a lot of fashion photographs. Then when I played all those leading roles at Paramount, they had to publicize me – this brand-new name and brand-new face. Since I had been a model, they had me posing in fashion lay-outs. Whenever I wasn’t shooting, or if I had a day off, or if there was a scene I wasn’t in, they had me in the still gallery for more publicity pictures in fashion in beautiful clothes. I have such a collection of beautiful clothes when I wore them in my films. Fifty years later, a big fashion square opened in Sherman Oaks, called The Galleria, and their grand opening was a fashion shown based on the styles of the thirties and forties. And I asked them, ‘Would you be interested to see some legitimate pictures of what the styles were then?’ Anyway, they made me the chairman of the event, I think that’s also why they made me honorary mayor of Sherman Oaks. I opened the closet door of the laundry room where I had stacked all those thousands of pictures, they were still fresh, they were still beautiful, they hadn’t turned yellow, they were in very good condition and the clothes were so beautiful. I had forgotten how really becoming, how feminine, how lovely the clothes were in those two decades, the very thirties and forties. So I finally put a book together, the first half is the thirties, the second half is the forties.

Right before coming over to Los Angeles, I saw on television “Come and Get It” [1936] with Frances Farmer. You both worked at Paramount at the same time. How do you remember her?

Ah, “Come and Get It”, yes! We were at Paramount together. There is a photograph of us, called ‘Paramount Lucky Seven’: Paramount had seven of its young actresses all lined up, and Frances and I were among them. I played opposite her husband [Leif Erickson] in “Desert Gold” and “College Holiday” [both 1936]. He had a beautiful voice. Much later, Frances had a TV program called “Frances Farmer Presents” [1958-1964] and I appeared once as one of her guests. She invited me over to her house, which was a charming cottage with a white picket fence. She had had a troubled life, but it was wonderful to see her again.

Paramount’s Lucky Seven: Betty Burgess (1917-2002), Olympe Bradna (1920-2012), Eleanore Whitney (1917-1983), Rosalinde Keith (1916-2000), Betty Rhodes (1921-2011), Frances Farner (1913-1970) and Marsha Hunt (b. 1917). Picture: Marvin Paige Motion Picture and Television Archive

You almost got to play Melanie in “Gone With the Wind” but the part went to Olivia de Havilland. Are there other interesting roles that you didn’t get to play, for one reason or another?

I was cast to play the mother of James Dean in “Rebel Without a Cause” [1955], but before shooting started, I had to pull out because I was committed to do a play called ‘Anniversary Waltz’ here in Los Angeles. They were going to work their schedules so I could do the movie and the play, but it worked out differently because each side toughened up and wouldn’t compromise. I remember we were posing for the preproduction stills for “Rebel Without a Cause”: Jim Backus played the father, I was the mother, and Jimmy Dean was the son. Jimmy was a nonconformist, and was very uninterested while the stills were being taken. He didn’t talk to anybody, he didn’t look at anybody: he was pretty rude. But after a while, I thought I’d break the ice and asked him if he had enjoyed making a television show called ‘Something for an Empty Suitcase’ [1953, an episode of the ‘Campbell Playhouse’ TV series, 1952-54] as much as I enjoyed watching it. And then, all at once, his eyes focused, and he looked at me as if I was a human being! I told him I remembered the writer’s name, and then he asked, ‘How can you remember the name of the writer??’ So we started talking about the program. But, as I said, I didn’t play his mother [Ann Doran played the character].

Hollywood, California
April 9, 2004

FILMS

THE VIRGINIA JUDGE (1935) DIR Edward Sedgwick PROD Henry Herzbrun, Charles R. Rogers SCR Frank R. Adams (original story by Octavus Roy Cohen, Walter C. Kelly) CAM Milton R. Krasner ED Richard C. Currier MUS John Leipold CAST Walter C. Kelly, Marsha Hunt (Mary Lee Calvert), Stepin Fetchit, Johnny Downs, Robert Cummings, Virginia Hammond, Charles Middleton

DESERT GOLD (1936) DIR James P. Hogan PROD Harold Hurley SCR Robert Yost, Stuart Anthony (novel by Zane Grey) CAM George T. Clemens ED Chandler House CAST Buster Crabbe, Robert Cummings, Marsha Hunt (Judith ‘Judy’ Mortimer), Tom Keene, Leif Erickson, Monte Blue, Raymond Hatton

GENTLE JULIA (1936) DIR John G. Blystone PROD Sol M. Wurtzel SCR Lamar Trotti (novel by Booth Tarkington) CAM Ernest Palmer MUS Samuel Kaylin CAST Jane Withers, Tom Brown, Marsha Hunt (Julia Atwater), Jackie Searl, Francis Ford, George Meeker, Hattie McDaniel, Mary Alden

THE ARIZONA RAIDERS (1936) DIR James P. Hogan PROD A.M. Botsford SCR Robert Yost, John W. Krafft (novel ‘Raiders of the Spanish Peaks’ by Zane Grey) CAM Leo Tover ED Chandler House CAST Larry Buster Crabbe, Raymond Hatton, Marsha Hunt (Harriet Lindsay), Jane Rhodes, Johnny Downs, Grant Withers

HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD (1936) DIR Robert Florey PROD A.M. Botsford SCR Marguerite Roberts (story by Faith Thomas, Max Marcin) CAM Karl Struss ED William Shea MUS Gregory Stone CAST John Halliday, Marsha Hunt (Patricia Blakeford), Robert Cummings, C. Henry Gordon, Esther Ralston, Esther Dale, Frieda Inescort, Oscar Apfel, Francis X. Bushman, Maurice Costello, Betty Compson, Mae Marsh, Charles Ray, Jane Novak, Gary Cooper, Ellen Drew, Charles Ruggles, Mack Sennett

EASY TO TAKE (Paramount, 1936) DIR Glenn Tryon PROD Jack Cunningham SCR Virginia Van Upp (story by Wayne Kolbourne) CAM George Robinson ED Edward Dmytryk MUS Gregory Stone CAST Marsha Hunt (Donna Westlake), John Howard, Eugene Pallette, Richard Carle, Carl ‘Alfalfa’ Switzer, Charles Lane, Mae Busch, Dorothy Dandridge

THE ACCUSING FINGER (1936) DIR James P. Hogan PROD A.M. Botsford SCR Robert Tasker, Madeleine Ruthven, John Bright, Brian Marlow CAM Henry Sharp ED Chandler House CAST Paul Kelly, Marsha Hunt (Claire Patterson), Kent Taylor, Robert Cummings, Harry Carey, Bernadene Hayes, Ellen Drew, Ward Bond, Mae Busch, George Irving

COLLEGE HOLIDAY (1936) DIR Frank Tuttle PROD Harlan Thompson SCR J.P. McEvoy, Harlan Ware, Henry Myers, Jay Gorney CAM Theodor Sparkuhl ED LeRoy Stone MUS John Leipold, Marlin Skiles CAST Jack Benny, George Burns, Gracie Allen, Mary Boland, Martha Raye, Marsha Hunt (Sylvia Smith), Leif Erickson, Mischa Auer, Ellen Drew, Dorothy Lamour

MURDER GOES TO COLLEGE (1937) DIR Charles Reisner PROD William T. Lackey SCR Brian Marlow, Robert Wyler, Eddie Welch (novel ‘Murder Goes to College’ by Kurt Steel) CAM Henry Sharp ED Edward Dmytryk MUS Charles Kisco CAST Roscoe Karns, Marsha Hunt (Nora Barry), Lynne Overman, Buster Crabbe, Astrid Allwyn, Harvey Stephens, Ellen Drew

EASY LIVING (1937) DIR Mitchell Leisen PROD Harry Hornblow, Jr. SCR Preston Sturges (story by Vera Caspary) CAM Ted Tetzlaff ED Doane Harrison CAST Jean Arthur, Edward Arnold, Ray Milland, Luis Alberni, Mary Nash, William Demarest, Marsha Hunt (Girl Getting Coat Dropped on Her at Finale, incredited)

ANNAPOLIS SALUTE (1937) DIR Christy Cabanne PROD Robert Sisk SCR John Twist (story by Christy Cabanne) CAM Russell Metty ED Ted Cheesman CAST James Ellison, Marsha Hunt (Julia Clemens), Harry Carey, Van Heflin, Ann Hovey, Arthur Lake, George Irving

THUNDER TRAIL (1937) DIR Charles Barton SCR Robert Yost, Stuart Anthony (story ‘Arizona Ames’ by Zane Grey) CAM Karl Struss ED John F. Link, Sr. CAST Charles Bickford, Marsha Hunt (Amy Morgan), Gilbert Roland, J. Carrol Naish, James Craig, Monte Blue

BORN TO THE WEST (1937) DIR Charles Barton PROD William T. Lackey SCR Stuart Anthony, Robert Yost (novel by Zane Grey) CAM Deveraux Jennings ED John F. Link, Sr. CAST John Wayne, Marsha Hunt (Judy Worstall), Johnny Mack Brown, John Patterson, Monte Blue, Lucien Littlefield

COME ON, LEATHERNECKS! (1938) DIR James Cruze ASSOC PROD Herman Schlom SCR Stuart McGowan, Dorrell McGowan, Sidney Salkow (story by Sidney Salkow) CAM Ernest Miller ED Edward Mann MUS Cy Feuer, William Lava CAST Richard Cromwell, Marsha Hunt (Valerie Taylor), Edward Brophy, Leon Ames, Bruce MacFarlane, Robert Warwick, Howard Hickman, Alan Ladd

LONG SHOT (1939) DIR Charles Lamont PROD Franklyn Warner SCR Ewart Adamson (story by Harry Beresford, George Callaghan) CAM Arthur Martinelli ED Bernard Loftus CAST Gordon Jones, Marsha Hunt (Martha Sharon), C. Henry Gordon, George Meeker, Harry Davenport, George E. Stone, Jason Robards, Sr.

STAR REPORTER (1939) DIR Howard Bretherton PROD E.B. Derr SCR John T. Neville CAM Arthur Martinelli ED Russell Schoengarth CAST Warren Hull, Marsha Hunt (Barbara Burnette), Wallis Clark, Clay Clement, Morgan Wallace, Virginia Howell, Paul Fix, Joseph Crehan

THE HARDYS RIDE HIGH (1939) DIR George B. Seitz PROD Lou L. Ostrow SCR Agnes Christine Johnston, Kay Van Riper, William Ludwig (characters created by Aurania Rouverol) CAM Lester White, John F. Seitz ED Ben Lewis CAST Lewis Stone, Mickey Rooney, Cecilia Parker, Fay Holden, Ann Rutherford, Sara Haden, Virginia Grey, Minor Watson, Aileen Pringle, Marsha Hunt (Susan Bowen)

WINTER CARNIVAL (1939) DIR Charles Reisner PROD Walter Wanger SCR Lester Cole, Budd Schulberg, Maurice Rapf (story ‘Echoes That Old Refrain’ by Corey Ford) CAM Merritt B. Gerstad ED Dorothy Spencer, Otho Lovering CAST Ann Sheridan, Richard Carlson, Helen Parrish, James Corner, Alan Baldwin, Robert Armstrong, Joan Leslie, Marsha Hunt (Lucy Morgan), Robert Walker

THESE GLAMOUR GIRLS (1939) DIR S. Sylvan Simon PROD Sam Zimbalist SCR Jane Hall, Marion Parsonnet (story by Jane Hall) CAM Alfred Gilks ED Harold F. Kress MUS David Snell, Edward Ward CAST Lew Ayres, Lana Turner, Tom Brown, Richard Carlson, Jane Bryan, Anita Louise, Marsha Hunt (Betty Ainsbridge), Ann Rutherford, Mary Beth Hughes, Robert Walker

JOE AND ETHEL TURP CALL ON THE PRESIDENT (1939) DIR Robert B. Sinclair PROD Edgar Selwyn SCR Melville Baker (story ‘A Call on the President’ by Damon Runyon) CAM Leon Smith ED Gene Ruggiero MUS David Snell, Edward Ward CAST Ann Sothern, Lewis Stone, Walter Brennan, William Gargan, Marsha Hunt (Kitty Crusper), Tom Neal, James Bush

IRENE (1940) DIR – PROD Herbert Wilcox SCR Alice Duer Miller (musical comedy ‘Irene’ by James H. Montgomery) CAM Russell Metty ED Elmo Williams MUS Anthony Collins, Roy Webb CAST Anna Neagle, Ray Milland, Roland Young, Alan Marshal, May Robson, Billie Burke, Marsha Hunt (Eleanor Worth), Isabel Jewell, Dorothy Dandridge, Louis Jean Heydt

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (1940) DIR Robert Z. Leonard PROD Hunt Stromberg SCR Aldous Huxley, Jane Murfin, Helen Jerome (novel ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen) CAM Karl Freund ED Robert J. Kern MUS Herbert Stothart CAST Greer Garson, Laurence Olivier, Edna May Oliver, Edmund Gwenn, Mary Boland, Maureen O’Sullivan, Karen Morley, Melville Cooper, E.E. Clive, Ann Rutherford, Marsha Hunt (Mary Bennet)

ELLERY QUEEN, MASTER DETECTIVE (1940) DIR Kurt Neumann PROD Larry Darmour SCR Eric Taylor (story by Frederic Dannay, Manfred Lee [Ellery Queen]) CAM James S. Brown, Jr. ED Dwight Caldwell CAST Ralph Bellamy, Margaret Lindsay, Charley Grapewin, James Burke, Michael Whalen, Marsha Hunt (Barbara Braun), Fred Niblo, Charles Lane, Ann Shoemaker, Alan Ladd

FLIGHT COMMAND (1940) DIR Frank Borzage PROD J. Walter Ruben SCR Harvey S. Haislip, Wells Root (story by Harvey S. Haislip, John Sutherland) CAM Harold Rosson ED Robert J. Kern MUS Franz Waxman CAST Robert Taylor, Ruth Hussey, Walter Pidgeon, Red Skelton, Nat Pendleton, Marsha Hunt (Claire), Irving Bacon

THE TRIAL OF MARY DUGAN (1941) DIR Norman Z. McLeon PROD Edwin H. Knopf SCR (play by Bayard Veiller) CAM George J. Folsey ED Frank Boemler CAST Laraine Day, Robert Young, Tom Conway, Frieda Inescort, Henry O’Neill, John Litel, Marsha Hunt (Agatha Hall), Sara Haden, Anna Q. Nilsson, Joe Yule

CHEERS FOR MISS BISHOP (1941) DIR Tay Garnett PROD Richard A. Rowland SCR Sheridan Gibney, Adelaide Heilbron (novel ‘Miss Bishop’ by Bess Streeter Aldrich) CAM Hal Mohr ED William Claxton MUS Edward Ward CAST Martha Scott, William Gargan, Edmund Gwenn, Sterling Holloway, Dorothy Peterson, Sidney Blackmer, Mary Anderson, Donald Douglas, Marsha Hunt (Hope Thompson), John Archer, Rosemary DeCamp, Rand Brooks

THE PENALTY (1941) DIR Harold S. Bucquet PROD Jack Chertok SCR John C. Higgins, Harry Ruskin (play by Martin Berkeley) CAM Harold Rosson ED Ralph Winters MUS David Snell CAST Edward Arnold, Lionel Barrymore, Marsha Hunt (Katherine Logan), Robert Sterling, Gene Reynolds, Emma Dunn, Veda Ann Borg, Richard Lane, Gloria DeHaven, Grant Mitchell, Phil Silvers, King Baggot

I’LL WAIT FOR YOU (1941) DIR Robert B. Sinclair PROD Edwin Knopf SCR Guy Trosper (story by Mauri Grashin) CAM Sidney Wagner ED Elmo Veron MUS Bronislau Kaper CAST Robert Sterling, Marsha Hunt (Pauline Miller), Virginia Weidler, Paul Kelly, Fay Holden, Henry Travers, Don Costello, Veda Ann Borg

BLOSSOMS IN THE DUST (1941) DIR Mervyn LeRoy PROD Irving Asher SCR Anita Loos (story by Ralph Wheelwright) CAM Karl Freund, W. Howard Greene ED George Boemler MUS Herbert Stothart CAST Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Felix Bressart, Marsha Hunt (Charlotte), Fay Holden, Samuel S. Hinds, Kathleen Howard

UNHOLY PARTNERS (1941) DIR Mervyn LeRoy PROD Mervyn LeRoy, Samuel Marx SCR Earl Baldwin, Bartlett Cormack, Lesser Samuels CAM George Barnes ED Harold F. Kress MUS David Snell CAST Edward G. Robinson, Laraine Day, Edward Arnold, Marsha Hunt (Gail Fenton), William T. Orr, Don Beddoe, Walter Kingsford, Marcel Dalio

JOE SMITH, AMERICAN (1942) DIR Richard Thorpe PROD Jack Chertok SCR Allen Rivkin (story by Paul Gallico) CAM Charles Lawton ED Elmo Veron MUS Daniele Amfitheatrof CAST Robert Young, Marsha Hunt (Mary Smith), Harvey Stephens, Darryl Hickman, Jonathan Hale, Noel Madison, Don Costello, Ava Gardner

KID GLOVE KILLER (1942) DIR Fred Zinnemann PROD Jack Chertok SCR John C. Higgins, Allen Rivkin (story by John C. Higgins) CAM Paul Vogel ED Ralph Winters MUS David Snell CAST Van Heflin, Marsha Hunt (Jane Mitchell), Lee Bowman, Samuel S. Hinds, Cliff Clark, Eddie Quillan, John Litel, Robert Blake, Ava Gardner

THE AFFAIRS OF MARTHA (MGM, 1942) DIR Jules Dassin PROD Irving Starr SCR Isobel Lennart, Lee Gold CAM Charles Lawton, Jr. ED Ralph Winters MUS Bronislau Kaper CAST Marsha Hunt (Martha Lindstrom), Richard Carlson, Marjorie Main, Virginia Weidler, Spring Byington, Allyn Joslyn, Barry Nelson, Sara Haden, Margaret Hamilton

PANAMA HATTIE (1942) DIR Norman Z. McLeod PROD Arthur Freed SCR Jack McGowan, Wilkie C. Mahoney (play by Herbert Fields, B.G. DeSylva) CAM George J. Folsey ED Blanche Sewell MUS George Stoll CAST Red Skelton, Ann Sothern, Rags Ragland, Ben Blue, Marsha Hunt (Leila Tree), Virginia O’Brien, Alan Mowbray, Dan Dailey, Jr., Jackie Horner, Lena Horne, Grant Withers, Joe Yule

SEVEN SWEETHEARTS (1942) DIR Frank Borzage PROD Frank Borzage, Joseph Pasternak SCR Leo Townsend, Walter Reisch (play by Ferenc Herczeg) CAM George J. Folsey ED Blanche Sewell MUS Franz Waxman CAST Kathryn Grayson, Marsha Hunt (Regina ‘Reggie’ Van Maaster), Cecilia Parker, Peggy Moran, Dorothy Morris, Frances Rafferty, Frances Raeburn, Van Heflin, S.Z. Sakall

THE HUMAN COMEDY (1943) DIR – PROD Clarence Brown SCR Howard Estabrook (story by William Saroyan) CAM Harry Stradling ED Conrad A. Nervig MUS Herbert Stothart CAST Mickey Rooney, Frank Morgan, James Craig, Marsha Hunt (Diana Steed), Fay Bainter, Ray Collins, Van Johnson, Donna Reed, Jack Jenkins, Darryl Hickman, Barry Nelson, Robert Mitchum, Carl ‘Alfalfa’ Switzer

PILOT # 5 (1943) DIR George Sidney PROD B.P. Fineman SCR David Hertz (also story) CAM Paul Vogel ED George White MUS Lennie Hayton CAST Franchot Tone, Marsha Hunt (Freddie Andrews), Gene Kelly, Van Johnson, Alan Baxter, Dick Simmons, Steven Geray, Howard Freeman, Jim Davis, Peter Lawford

THOUSANDS CHEER (1943) DIR George Sidney PROD Joe Pasternak SCR Paul Jarrico, Richard Collins (story ‘Private Miss Jones’ by Paul Jarrico, Richard Collins) CAM George Folsey ED George Boemler MUS Herbert Stothart CAST Kathryn Grayson, Gene Kelly, Mary Astor, John Boles, Ben Blue, Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Red Skelton, Eleanor Powell, Ann Sothern, Lucille Ball, Virginia O’Brien, Frank Morgan, Lena Horne, Marsha Hunt (Herself), Marilyn Maxwell, Donna Reed, Margaret O’Brien, June Allyson, Gloria DeHaven, Sara Haden, José Iturbi, Cyd Charisse

CRY ‘HAVOC’ (1943) DIR Richard Thorpe PROD Edwin Knopf SCR Paul Osborn (play by Allan R. Kenward) CAM Karl Freund ED Ralph E. Winters MUS Daniele Amfitheatrof CAST Margaret Sullavan, Ann Sothern, Joan Blondell, Fay Bainter, Marsha Hunt (Flo Norris), Ella Raines, Frances Gifford, Diana Lewis, Heather Angel, Robert Mitchum, Anna Q. Nilsson

LOST ANGEL (1943) DIR Roy Rowland PROD Robert Sisk SCR Isobel Lennart (story ‘Mama’s Angel’ by Angna Enters) CAM Robert Surtees ED Frank E. Hull MUS Daniele Amfitheatrof CAST Margaret O’Brien, James Craig, Marsha Hunt (Katie Mallory), Philip Merivale, Henry O’Neill, Donald Meek, Keenan Wynn, Alan Napier, Robert Blake, Bobby Driscoll, Ava Gardner, Joe Yule

NONE SHALL ESCAPE (1944) DIR André De Toth PROD Samuel Bischoff SCR Lester Cole (story by Alfred Neumann, Joseph Than) CAM Lee Garmes ED Charles Nelson MUS Ernst Toch CAST Marsha Hunt (Marja Pacierkowski), Alexander Knox, Henry Travers, Erik Rolfe, Richard Crane, Richard Hale, Dorothy Morris

BRIDE BY MISTAKE (1944) DIR Richard Wallace PROD Bert Granet SCR Henry Ephron, Phoebe Ephron (story by Norman Krasna) CAM Nicholas Musuraca ED Les Millbrook MUS Roy Webb CAST Alan Marshal, Laraine Day, Marsha Hunt (Sylvia Lockwood), Allyn Joslyn, Edgar Buchanan, Michael St. Angel, Marc Cramer

MUSIC FOR MILLIONS (1944) DIR Henry Koster PROD Joe Pasternak SCR Myles Connolly CAM Robert Surtees ED Douglass Biggs MUS Michel Michelet CAST Margaret O’Brien, José Iturbi, Jimmy Durante, June Allyson, Marsha Hunt (Rosalind), Hugh Herbert, Harry Davenport, Marie Wilson, Madeleine LeBeau

THE VALLEY OF DECISION (1945) DIR Tay Garnett PROD Edwin H. Knopf SCR Sonya Levien, John Meehan (novel by Marcia Davenport) CAM Joseph Ruttenberg ED Blanche Sewell MUS Herbert Stothart CAST Greer Garson, Gregory Peck, Donald Crisp, Lionel Barrymore, Preston Foster, Marsha Hunt (Constance Scott), Gladys Cooper, Reginald Owen, Dan Duryea, Jessica Tandy, Marshall Thompson, Dean Stockwell, Anna Q. Nilsson

A LETTER FOR EVIE (1946) DIR Jules Dassin PROD William H. Wright SCR Alan Friedman, DeVallon Scott (story ‘The Adventure of a Ready Letter Writer’ by Blanche Brace) CAM Karl Freund ED Chester W. Schaeffer MUS George Bassman CAST Marsha Hunt (Evie O’Connor), John Carroll, Hume Cronyn, Spring Byington, Pamela Britton, Norman Lloyd, Donald Curtis, Cameron Mitchell

CARNEGIE HALL (1947) DIR Edgar G. Ulmer PROD William LeBaron, Boris Morros SCR Karl Kamb (story by Seena Owen) CAM William Miller ED Fred R. Feitshans, Jr. CAST Marsha Hunt (Nora Ryan), William Prince, Frank McHugh, Martha O’Driscoll, Hans Yaray, Olin Downes, Leopold Stokowski, Vaughn Monroe, Cloris Leachman

SMASH-UP: THE STORY OF A WOMAN (1947) DIR Stuart Heisler PROD Walter Wanger SCR John Howard Lawson (story by Dorothy Parker, Frank Cavett) CAM Stanley Cortez ED Milton Carruth MUS Frank Skinner CAST Susan Hayward, Lee Bowman, Marsha Hunt (Martha Gray), Eddie Albert, Carl Esmond, Carleton Young, Charles D. Brown

THE INSIDE STORY (1948) DIR – ASSOC PROD Allan Dwan SCR Mary Loos, Richard Sale (story by Ernest Lehman, Geza Herczeg) CAM Reggie Lanning ED Arthur Roberts MUS Nathan Scott CAST Marsha Hunt (Francine Taylor), William Lundigan, Charles Winninger, Gail Patrick, Gene Lockhart, Florence Bates, Hobart Cavanaugh, Allen Jenkins, Roscoe Karns

RAW DEAL (1948) DIR Anthony Mann PROD Edward Small SCR John C. Higgins, Leopold Atlas (story by Arnold B. Armstrong, Audrey Ashley) CAM John Alton ED Alfred DeGaetano MUS Paul Sawtell CAST Dennis O’Keefe, Claire Trevor, Marsha Hunt (Ann Martin), John Ireland, Raymond Burr, Curt Conway, Whili Williams, Regis Toomey

JIGSAW (1949) DIR Fletcher Markle PROD Edward J. Danziger, Harry Lee Danziger SCR Fletcher Markle, Vincent McConnor (story by John Roeburt) CAM Don Malkames ED Robert Matthews MUS Robert W. Stringer CAST Franchot Tone, Jean Wallace, Myron McCormick, Marc Lawrence, Winifred Lenihan, Doe Avedon, Marlene Dietrich, Henry Fonda, John Garfield, Marsha Hunt (Mrs. Hartley’s Secretary), Burgess Meredith, Everett Sloane

TAKE ONE FALSE STEP (1949) DIR PROD SCR Irwin Shaw, Chester Erskine (novel ‘Night Call’ by Irwin Shaw, David Shaw) CAM Frank Planer ED Russell Schoengarth MUS Walter Scharf CAST William Powell, Shelley Winters, Marsha Hunt (Martha Wier), Dorothy Hart, James Gleason, Felix Bressart, Sheldon Leonard, Tony Curtis

MARY RYAN, DETECTIVE (1949) DIR Abby Berlin PROD Rudolph C. Flothow SCR George Bricker (story by Harry Fried) CAM Vincent Farrar ED James Sweeney CAST Marsha Hunt (Mary Ryan), John Litel, June Vincent, Harry Shannon, William ‘Bill’ Phillips, Gertrude Astor

ACTORS AND SIN (1952) DIR – PROD – SCR Ben Hecht CAM Lee Garmes ED Otto Ludwig CAST Edward G. Robinson, Marsha Hunt (Marcia Tillayou), Dan O’Herlihy, Rudolph Anders, Eddie Albert, Alan Reed, Ben Hecht (narration only)

THE HAPPY TIME (1952) DIR Richard Fleischer PROD Stanley Kramer SCR Earl Fenton (stories by Robert Fontaine; play by Samuel A. Taylor) CAM Charles Lawton, Jr. ED William A. Lyon MUS Dimitri Tiomkin CAST Charles Boyer, Louis Jourdan, Marsha Hunt (Susan Bonnard), Bobby Driscoll, Linda Christian, Kurt Kasznar, Marcel Dalio

DIPLOMATIC PASSPORT (1954) DIR Gene Martel PROD Gene Martel, Burt Balaban SCR Paul Tabori CAM Eric Spear ED Max Benedict MUS Eric Spear CAST Marsha Hunt (Judy Anderson), Paul Carpenter, Henry Oscar, Honor Blackman, Marne Maitland, John McLaren

NO PLACE TO HIDE (1956) DIR – PROD Josef Shaftel SCR Norman Corwin (story by Josef Shaftel) ED Arthur H. Nadel MUS Herschel Burke Gilbert CAST David Brian, Marsha Hunt (Anne Dobson), Hugh Corcoran, Ike Jarlego Jr., Celia Flor, Eddie Infante, Manuel Silos, Lou Salvador

BACK FROM THE DEAD (1957) DIR Charles Marquis Warren PROD Robert Stabler SCR Catherine Turney (also novel ‘The Other One’) CAM Ernest Haller ED Leslie Vidor MUS Raoul Kraushaar CAST Peggie Castle, Arthur Franz, Marsha Hunt (Kate Hazelton), Don Haggerty, Marianne Stewart, Otto Reichow, Helen Wallace, James Bell

BOMBERS B-52 (1957) DIR Gordon Douglas PROD Richard Whorf SCR Irving Wallace (story by Sam Rolfe) CAM William Clothier ED Thomas Reilly MUS Leonard Rosenman CAST Natalie Wood, Karl Malden, Marsha Hunt (Edith Brennan), Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Don Kelly, Nelson Leigh, Robert Nichols, Juanita Moore, Stuart Whitman

LEGEND OF THE LOST (1957) DIR – PROD Henry Hathaway SCR Robert Presnell, Ben Hecht CAM Jack Cardiff ED Bert Bates MUS Angelo Francesco Lavagnino CAST John Wayne, Sophia Loren, Rossano Brazzi, Kurt Kasznar, Sonia Moser, Angela Portaluri, Ibrahim El Hadish, Marsha Hunt (uncredited)

BLUE DENIM (1959) DIR Philip Dunne PROD Charles Brackett SCR Philip Dunne, Edith R. Sommer (play by William Noble, James Leo Herlihy) CAM Leo Tover ED William Reynolds MUS Bernard Herrmann CAST Carol Lynley, Brandon De Wilde, Macdonald Carey, Marsha Hunt (Jessie Bartley), Warren Berlinger, Buck Class, Nina Shipman

THE PLUNDERERS (1960) DIR – PROD Joseph Pevney SCR Bob Barbash CAM Eugene Polito ED Tom McAdoo MUS Leonard Rosenman CAST Jeff Chandler, John Saxon, Dolores Hart, Marsha Hunt (Kate Miller), Jay C. Flippen, Ray Stricklyn, James Westerfield, Dee Pollock

JOHNNY GOT HIS GUN (1971) DIR Dalton Trumbo PROD Bruce Campbell SCR Dalton Trumbo (also novel) CAM Jules Brenner ED Millie Moore MUS Jerry Fielding CAST Timothy Bottoms, Kathy Fields, Marsha Hunt (Joe’s Mother), Jason Robards, Donald Sutherland, Charles MacGraw, Diane Varsi, David Soul, Dalton Trumbo

CHLOE’S PRAYER (2006) DIR – PROD – SCR Maura Mackey CAM Robert Mehnert ED Lewis Schoenbrun MUS Nigel Holton CAST Cameron Daddo, Chloe Mackey, Tara Stewart, Maura Mackey, Marsha Hunt (Elizabeth Lyons)

TV MOVIES

FEAR NO EVIL (1969) DIR Paul Wendkos PROD Richard Alan Simmons SCR Richard Alan Simmons (story by Guy Endore) CAM Andrew J. McIntyre ED Byron Chudnow MUS Billy Goldenberg CAST Louis Jourdan, Lynda Day George, Carroll O’Connor, Bradford Dillman, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Marsha Hunt (Mrs. Varney), Katharine Woodville

JIGSAW (1972) DIR William A. Graham PROD Stanley Kallis SCR Robert E. Thompson CAM Michael D. Margulies ED Jim Benson MUS Robert Drasnin CAST James Wainwright, Vera Miles, Andrew Duggan, Edmond O’Brien, Marsha Hunt (Doctor Gehlen), Irene Dailey, Gene Andrusco

TERROR AMONG US (1981) DIR Paul Krasny PROD James H. Brown SCR Dallas L. Barnes, JoAnne Barnes CAM Robert B. Hauser ED Richard Freeman MUS Allyn Ferguson CAST Don Meredith, Sarah Purcell, Jennifer Salt, Kim Lankford, Sharon Spelman, Marsha Hunt (Marge)

MEURTRES À L’EMPIRE STATE BUILDING (2008) DIR William Karel PROD Bernard Tibi, Dominique Tibi SCR William Karel, Jérôme Charyn CAM Ned Burgess ED Stéphanie Mahet MUS Carolin Petit CAST Ben Gazzara, Mickey Rooney, Kirk Douglas, Cyd Charisse, Richard Erdman, Anne Jeffreys, Marsha Hunt (Norah Strinberg), Sara Sumara, Patrick Floesheim