AN MGM starlet who was blacklisted from Hollywood during the “Red Scare” communist hysteria in the US has passed away at the age of 104.
Marsha Hunt, known for her roles in These Glamour Girls, Pride and Prejudice, and Raw Deal, died from natural causes at her home, reports said on Tuesday.
Hunt died peacefully in her home where she has resided since 1946, director Roger C Memos told The Hollywood Reporter.
After working as a model, Hunt dove into acting when she signed a contract with Paramount Pictures at just 17 years old.
After losing the role of Melanie in Gone With the Wind, she decided to move on to MGM where she earned her most memorable parts.
She went on to star in “These Glamour Girls,” “Flight Command,” “Pride and Prejudice” and “The Human Comedy.”
Hunt earned the title of “Hollywood’s Youngest Character Actress” when she starred in the best picture Oscar nominee The Human Comedy in 1943, a title she is immensely proud of.
Her promising career came to an abrupt halt when she joined the Committee for the First Amendment with her husband Robert Presnell Jr.
Senator Joseph R. McCarthy investigated allegations of communism in the government and the film industry, triggering a climate of hysteria, fear, and repression.
The group Hunt was a part of questioned the McCarthy-era attempts to find and excommunicate suspected communists in the entertainment industry.
Speaking about her own experience, Hunt told the Associated Press: “The whole thing was such a bafflement to me.”
“I never understood why I was included in it, fully,” she went on. “I wasn’t all that active or liberal. I was too busy working. I think I was a liberal by instinct.
“But it wasn’t who I was. I was an actress with, I guess, liberal leanings.”
However, in a recent interview with AP, Memos said she wishes to be remembered not as the unfairly blacklisted talent but as a notable character actress.
Instead of spending her time lobbying for the leading lady roles, Hunt said that she would “beg” to play supporting characters.
“I was determined not to just be a leading lady,” she said.
“I didn’t want to always play the sweet young things,” she explained. “I so loved character roles.
“And being a lead and winning the leading man, that was not the point.”
After leaving acting behind, Hunt invested in humanitarian work in her “home” of Sherman Oaks, California, where she resided since 1940.
She would have celebrated her 105th birthday next month and told AP she was determined to live life to the fullest in the 2020 interview.
“I hope it will be long,” she said. “I think I’m just very lucky,” she said. “I have no enemies that I know of and I have no hatred. I go around loving people and getting along with them.”