High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Marsha! Marsha! Marsha!

No, dear friend. This post is not
about Marcia Brady or jealous Jan.

It is a salute to a

Marsha I like more...


one of the greatest actresses of

The Golden Age of Hollywood,

a lady I admire and respect

and today wish to honor.

Marsha began her career as
a model and singer on radio.

She went on to become a fine actress
in films, on stage and on television.

In a notable early role, Marsha appeared
with John Wayne in the 1937 movie
Born to the West aka Hell Town.

AT 13:40 MARK!

Marsha had a supporting role in the
1939 comedy film These Glamour Girls
which starred Lana Turner and featured
Ann Rutherford - "Polly Benedict" in
the Andy Hardy movie series.

One of my favorite Marsha movies is
the 1942 crime drama Kid Glove Killer.
Marsha and male lead Van Heflin play
Stone Age CSI's. The chemistry between
them is palpable. The best scenes take place
in the lab as the two work together to solve
a murder case. They flirt a lot, smoke a lot
and exchange clever jargon that includes
"cigarette me," "light me" and "match me."
They even use the lab's Bunsen burner
to fire up their cigs! Start playing the
trailer at the 2 minute mark.

AT 2:00 MARK!

Van Heflin died more than 45 years ago.
Marsha Hunt, I am very happy to report,
is still with us, leading me to believe
that at least one of them had the
good sense to quit smoking.

Marsha co-starred with Robert Young of
Father Knows Best and Marcus Welby, M.D.
fame in another 1942 picture, the spy
drama Joe Smith, American.

In 1943, Marsha appeared in the
Mickey Rooney drama film
The Human Comedy.

In 1948, Marsha starred in another
of my favorite movies, the noir
crime drama Raw Deal.

Marsha Hunt was the complete package -
beautiful, intelligent and a great actress -
yet stardom eluded her.

Perhaps Marsha would have enjoyed greater
success if she had bleached her hair and
played the quintessential dumb blonde.

Maybe Marsha would have become a major star
if she had not been blacklisted in Hollywood,
an act that derailed her career for several years.
Marsha's reversal of fortune took place in the
McCarthy Era, the period known as the second
Red Scare. Marsha was denied work after she
joined other actors, directors, writers, and film-
makers in a protest against the actions of the
House Un-American Activities Committee,
a task force created to investigate alleged
disloyalty and subversive activities on the
part of private citizens, public employees and
organizations suspected of having Communist
ties. Marsha's name along with the names of
many other actors, writers, musicians and
broadcast journalists appeared in a publication
listing Americans in the entertainment field
suspected of having Communist ties,
"leanings" or sympathies.

Branded by the tract as a potential
Communist or Communist sympathizer,
Marsha was effectively added to the industry
blacklist. Throughout the early 1950s she was
regarded as box office poison. Marsha found
a way around the problem by turning to the
theater which was not affected nearly as much
by the stigma of the Communist witch hunt.

In the mid 50s Marsha bounced back.
She resumed her film acting career and
branched out into television which
kept her busy well into the
new millennium.

A style icon at the peak of her career,
Marsha published a book on fashion in
1993 titled The Way We Wore: Styles
of the 1930s and '40s and Our
World Since Then.

In later years Marsha became a popular
guest speaker on the college lecture circuit
and continued her lifelong commitment to
activism and support of progressive causes.
Marsha is a humanitarian, a leader in the
fight against global pollution and climate
change, worldwide poverty and hunger.
She is an advocate for the homeless
and the mentally ill.

In 2013, in her mid 90s, Marsha introduced
a song she had written decades earlier titled
"Here's to All Who Love." The song about
love and same-sex marriage was sung
by Bill Jones, cast member of the hit
TV series Glee. The video went viral.

Marsha Hunt is one of my favorite actresses
and so much more. I love Marsha and all that
she stands for. She is an inspiration, a resilient
survivor who overcame adversity. The record
shows she took the blows...and did it her way.

Marsha Hunt is a national treasure.
She is part of the solution. Now
more than ever, America needs
people like Marsha. Hers was
and still is...a life well lived.

"Here's to All Who Love"

and here's to you


on this your

100th birthday!