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"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!


  1. Happy 100th birthday to Marsha Hunt-- a woman of integrity..

    I was delighted with your post on Marsha Hunt, as it gives me an opportunity to comment on an individual who stood out against the norm. In a Hollywood and a society dominated by the “blonde sex-pot vapid starlet”, she was an intelligent brunette who fought for social justice. I see her as a woman of integrity-- a rare find in America even today.

    I happen to be reading Stephen Carter’s book “Integrity” at the current time. For those of you who do not know Mr. Carter, he is a professor of law at Yale University and has written many critically acclaimed books on current affairs and sociology.

    Marsha Hunt is a true integral human being. What does it take to have integrity? According to Mr. Carter, it is a 3- step process. The first step is to discern what is right and what is wrong. The second step is to act on what you have discerned – even at personal cost. And finally, the third step is to express openly that your actions are a reflection of what you personally, believe to be right or wrong.

    Seems rather simple in writing. In reality, not so easy. True integrity comes at a cost. First of all, true personal moral reflection takes energy and commitment to think beyond accepted norms and to not just go with the flow of those around you. It requires digging deep inside yourself and answering some fairly tough questions. It goes beyond: “my pastor says it’s so, it must be so”, or “I was raised to believe whites are superior”, or “poor people are poor because they are lazy”, or “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”. I think most people simply lack the intellectual capacity to discern right from wrong on a personal basis. They simply conform to those around them and confuse status quo with truth.

    (to be continued)

  2. Marsha Hunt took that first step. While the country was in the grips of the right-wing conspiracy crisis known as the McCarthy age, it would have been easy to just go along. Most Americans did, if you recall. Marsha did not. She perceived McCarthy’s threat as the violation of the First Amendment and individual freedom it so clearly represented.

    Furthermore, she was not afraid to take action and to do something about it. And, that action came at great personal cost to Marsha and to her career. Speaking out against the right-wing extremists and participating in activities that protested the right-wing agenda cost her dearly. Her movie career was stymied and she was blacklisted in Hollywood by a group of right wing thugs.

    When asked to denounce her ideas and beliefs, she refused. She could have done like so many others and refuted her position so she could continue to work. She did not. In fact – and this brings me to criteria number three, she kept acting against injustice her entire life and speaking publicly to let people know why. She had the courage and moral conviction to say – “This is what I believe; this is what I do; this is why I do it”.

    Can many people in America today say the same? I think not. Too many people love to spout off what they “believe” but lack the capacity to take action and to act with commitment. Marsha Hunt spent her adult life fighting social injustice around the world. She continues to do so even today at the age of 100.

    We need more people like Marsha Hunt. We need more people with her Integrity today. We need to become people of integrity. Because, sadly for our society, Right Wing conspirators have once again raised their ugly heads and threatening fists. We are once again surrounded by right wing thugs – throw backs to a past that many intelligent Americans felt were largely behind us. These are criminals and ruffians who steadfastly stand against the First Amendment unless it conforms to their belief system. They are a group of brutes who would silence women, silence truth, silence justice, silence equality-- self-serving bigots who work to undermine the poor, the unfortunate, the elderly, the immigrant, and yes, even the middle class as they strive to place their own self-interest ahead of what is right for their country. These are the people we need to stand against, to protest against, to take action against.

    Yes, America – we need all the Marsha Hunts we can get. Once again, Marsha, I wish you good health and great happiness on your 100th birthday!

    1. Hi, Kathryn!

      Thank you very much for coming in to wish a happy birthday to the beloved actress, philanthropist and civil rights activist Marsha Hunt as she reaches the 100 year milestone of her amazing life. I also thank you for taking considerable time to expound your position on the state of the union as it was in the mid-20th century when Marsha and many others were targeted by the zealots behind the infamous entertainment industry blacklist, as well as the state of the union as it exists today.

      It is interesting to me that Marsha was paired with John Wayne in Hell Town, a story line that informs a romantic spark between their characters. While it is true that Wayne identified as Democrat around the time Hell Town was made, having voted for President Franklin D. Roosevelt the previous year, he would, in the years that followed, switch political affiliation, becoming one of the most prominent and outspoken conservative Republicans in Hollywood, an ardent anti-communist and vocal supporter of the House Un-American Activities Committee, the investigative body that derailed Marsha’s career. John Wayne voted for Richard Nixon in the 1960 presidential election. Critics called Wayne racist. In an interview he stated "I believe in white supremacy, until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility. I don't believe giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people." If he were still alive I wonder what Wayne would have to say about Barack Obama, one of the best and most popular Presidents in U.S. history, a black man whose qualifications, intelligence, wisdom, temperament and presidential decorum far exceeded that of the TV reality show host who currently occupies the White House.

      I was never more proud to be an American than I was in my youth when John F. Kennedy was president. It was a time of hope, optimism and positive energy (“vigor”). Kennedy inspired us. He made idealistic young people like me believe we could make a difference in the world. I often wonder precisely when, why and how we got things twisted around backward in this country. When, why and how did common sense go out the window along with common decency, tolerance and respect for human life? When, why and how did it become “un-American” in a democracy to embrace liberal ideals and support freedom of speech? Why do good people on both sides of the political aisle who call for common sense measures to address America’s gun violence epidemic receive death threats? If you think about it, “Un-American” is an ugly term used by haters to discourage, thwart, weed out or exclude anyone who is different, anyone who chooses an alternative lifestyle or anyone who expresses views that are not aligned with those of the establishment. When they say we must fight to “preserve American values and ideals” what they are really fighting to preserve is a society that benefits the rich, a society with white men at the top of the pyramid and big corporations and the gun lobby calling the shots.

      I believe it is un-American to suppress free speech and violate civil rights. It is un-American to deny someone work because of his or her political beliefs. It was un-American to essentially require Marsha Hunt to wear a scarlet letter "C" (for Communist) branding her a subversive and impeding her promising career as a motion picture actress. During WWII Marsha was ranked 7th in star potential among all up-and-coming actresses in Hollywood. After her name appeared on the blacklist, she was persona non grata.

      (to be continued)

    2. I admire people like Marsha Hunt and you, Kathryn - people who think for themselves instead of following the herd, people who know in their hearts what is right and what is wrong, take appropriate action to combat injustice, and openly and proudly elucidate the rationale of those actions. We can all learn from the example set by people like you and by Marsha Hunt.

      If you watched that video of Marsha’s song “Here’s To All Who Love,” you know that she has a message, a very simple message for every man, woman and child. It is the same message that our dearly departed friend Margaret Schneider, “The Oldest Living Dell Rat,” delivered throughout her life of 105 years. “Love everyone and let go of the hate.” It is a message that I endorse and will continue to spread here on SDMM and elsewhere.

      When it feels so good to love… why would anyone choose the poison of hate?

      Please, people, before it’s too late. Stop the madness. Stop the hate.

      “Reach out and touch somebody’s hand. Make this world a better place if you can.”

      Marsha Hunt is indeed a national treasure, an American heroine. She has dedicated her life to humanitarian service and the support of important causes. Marsha is a leader in the fight for right, an inspiration to the millions of people who share her ideals. Bless you, dear Marsha, and thank you again, Kathryn, for expressing yourself so eloquently in your comment!

  3. One hundred today! Wow, not many hit that. She looked really good in that last video. Yes, obviously she quit smoking and took care of herself. What an impressive career and life.

    1. Hi, Alex!

      Thank you for coming over on this happy occasion as the much loved actress Marsha Hunt turns 100 years of age.

      I just checked a "List of living actors from the Golden Age of Hollywood" and found only three actors and actresses with which I am familiar that are still living and are older than Marsha. The first is Norman Lloyd who starred as Dr. Daniel Auschlander in the medical drama St. Elsewhere. Norman will turn 103 a few weeks from now.
      The next is famed movie actress Olivia de Havilland (sister of Joan Fontaine) who is now 101. The third is film icon Kirk Douglas who will be 101 in December.

      Thank you again, Alex, for helping me celebrate the life and 100th birthday of Marsha Hunt!

  4. Tom,

    WOW, how amazing that Marsha Hunt celebrates 100 years! She was a beauty in her the day, wasn't she? It's interesting that she was blacklisted for being a communist sympathizer. I don't know if Marsha was part of all of this or not but I couldn't help to think how things have changed. Today, Hollyweird blacklists conservatives. Thanks for sharing such an interesting post, my friend. Have a good day!

    1. Hi, Cathy!

      Thank you very much for joining the celebration as we honor Marsha Hunt, a great vintage actress of the silver screen and a dedicated civil rights activist, on this her 100th birthday.

      Marsha and many others were targets of a smear campaign that listed people as "Red" even if they were merely SUSPECTED of having Communist ties, sympathies or leanings. There was no presumption of innocence. A wide net was cast and people's reputations were trashed simply because they embraced liberal ideals and stood up for freedom of speech. That's not the American way, not the America I came to know and love in my youth when President Kennedy was our leader. We need another John F. Kennedy and more like Marsha Hunt.

      Thanks again for being here today, dear friend Cathy!

    2. Tom,

      I don't remember anything about JFK other than what I've read about him later in life but Kennedy (as were many Dems from years' past) was more conservative than most are today. It's interesting to see how the party lines have blurred over the years. I think America didn't want to risk compromising Americans' safety and today political correctness takes precedent over safety. All this aside, it's still amazing that Ms. Hunt is celebrating her 100th bday. :)

    3. Hi, Cathy!

      Thanks for returning today to share your thoughts and opinions. Your viewpoint is always welcome here.

      Have a great week!

  5. I've seen her here and there in old movies, but did not know she had been blacklisted. So was Lee Grant, Zero Mostel, and many, many others, so she's certainly in good company. That she came out for same-sex marriage in her 90s is amazing. Happy birthday, Marsha!

    1. Hey, Kirk!

      Thank you for showing up for Marsha, good buddy! I was hoping you would see this post because I knew someone like you would appreciate it.

      The list of Hollywood entertainers whose names landed on the infamous Blacklist included Green Acres star Eddie Albert, Orson Bean, Harry Belafonte, Dallas star Barbara Bel Geddes, Herschel Bernardi, Charlie Chaplin... (I'm getting carpal tunnel - these are just a few at the beginning of the alphabet. The list goes on and on).

      Yes, Marsha is one cool lady, very intelligent, progressive, open-minded and walks her talk. I love her!

      Thanks again, Kirk, for being here today as we celebrate 100 years of a life well lived by this great lady - Marsha Hunt!

  6. Good Morning, Shady! Vellly interesting, indeed! I am sure I have seen Marsha in one film or other over the years, but I only vaguely remember her. What a beauty, and, I can see why she has been a fashion icon! I also believe she couldn't have done any better as a blonde! I love your references to the smoking, and had to chuckle! It seems as though there was so much smoking by both men and women those years ago. The movie, "Kid Glove Killer" would be a movie that I would probably enjoy today, since I am a fan of black and white detective and mystery movies! I do recall the title of "Joe Smith, American", and I'll have to go back and find a trailer. I may have seen that movie.

    I'm just not politically inclined, but I do remember the events years ago that blacklisted some of the actors under suspicions of having Communist leanings, or ties! Yes, Shady...what a "witch hunt"! And, I'm glad to know that Marsha was able to rise above the allegations, and show that she is an intelligent and caring American!

    "Here's to All Who Love" is a very great song. I truthfully think it's "cool", but, I know "cool" is probably not the most appropriate word to describe it. This lady is 100 years old, and, has witnessed so much during her life time. She has participated in many aspects of events that society and life have thrown her way. She has grown with the times, and, has accepted the changes for better or for worse. Her song, is a plea for all who have feelings and compassion, to accept and love those whose preferences may not be the same. Marsha's song leaves no one out! Happy 100th Birthday, Marsha Hunt!

    It's a nice cool morning in the Lone Star State, Shady. I've turned my furnace on just to get the chill off, as we are expecting temps to rise into the mid-seventies. Scootie and I are gathering items and making preparations for our Halloween decorations, and he is getting excited. Thank you for this celebration of a beautiful lady and her life story! Hope you are doing well, dear friend. Have a nice day! ♫

    1. Hi, Suzanne!

      Welcome in and thank you very much for leaving such a thoughtful comment, dear friend! Mrs. Shady was compelled to write a book length comment for this post. She is reading all of the comments and I am sure she will appreciate the thoughts you shared here as well.

      I agree that it would have been a mistake for Marsha or her handlers to reinvent the brunette beauty, bleach her hair and cast her in roles playing a ditsy blonde. She is too smart a woman. Her intelligence shines through in all of her performances, great and small. I spent the morning watching Marsha in various films available on YouTube. She brings warmth and zest to her performances. I spent the entire year 2007 watching old movies on Turner in order to educate myself about films of the 1920s through 50s. I had a chance to watch all of the movies in this post except for Hell Town which I watched on YouTube the other day. I own Kid Glove Killer and Raw Deal on DVD. I know you would enjoy those two crime dramas. Kid Glove Killer is my favorite Marsha movie because the lead characters are so quirky and likable. They have chemistry galore, flirt constantly and exchange witty "artificial" dialogue. Marsha plays Robert Young's wife in Joe Smith. It is a minor role but nevertheless a great performance by our birthday girl. There are several other notable Marsha Hunt movies that I have not yet seen. They include Pride and Prejudice, Cry 'Havoc', The Happy Time, and the little known war movie None Shall Escape, produced during WWII and considered to be the first feature film to deal with Nazi atrocities against the Jews.

      I am thrilled that you appreciate the song Marsha composed. You are so right. "Here's To All Who Love" is inclusive. It leaves no one out. What a fine example Marsha sets for every man, woman and child in this country and in our world. Marsha reminds me a lot of Margaret Schneider, a woman who attributed her 105 year longevity to her ability to let go of negative thoughts and emotions and focus on the positive.

      It is somewhat cooler here in coastal Florida today but we still need to run the a/c 24-7. Your weather sounds much nicer. Won't be long before you can make an evening bonfire and tell ghost stories to Scootie. The church down the block from us has hundreds of pumpkins covering the lawn. They are being sold to raise funds for the needy. It is a sight to see!

      Thank you again for your kind visit and marvelous comment, dear friend Suzanne!

  7. Thank you for introducing me to a lovely lady, whom I knew nothing about. 100 years - now that's an accomplishment!

    1. Hey hey hey, Kelly!

      Thank you very much for swinging by this week as I pay tribute to Marsha Hunt, a wonderful actress in films, on television and on stage, and a lifelong social activist, philanthropist and humanitarian.

      I have had this 100th b-day salute to Marsha produced and saved as a draft for close to a year now. It gives me a great sense of completion to finally get it published on this very special day. Marsha has the distinction of being one of the oldest living major stars of Hollywood. I am delighted to introduce you to her life and her work.

      Thanks again for your kind visit and comment, dear friend Kelly!

  8. Thank you for showcasing the great Marsha Hunt for her 100th Birthday! This is a rare person who lived in Hollywood and stuck to her ethics and beliefs resulting in her career being damaged as a result. Those times induced fear in the country...much like today. She was highly intelligent which also did not go well with the powers at be. I tried listening to everything but, at work, it won't let me because of the computers being old or something like that. Thanks for showcasing this beauty

    1. Hi, Birgit!

      Thank you very much for coming down for my special 100th birthday tribute to Marsha Hunt, a great actress and so much more.

      Knowing you are a vintage movie buff, I was quite confident that you are familiar with Marsha and her films and the story of how her career was nipped in the bud by the Red Channels anti-Communist tract and the Hollywood Blacklist. I have been checking on Marsha for years and holding my breath until I could get this special salute published on her 100th birthday.

      I agree with you. The men who controlled the studios back then (along with plenty of men today) were not fond of strong, intelligent, independent women who thought for themselves. Marsha is about as far as you can get from the bimbos and bombshells of her time, some of which rose to greater fame and fortune.

      When you get home, I hope you will listen to the three videos, especially the last one in which you will have the opportunity to hear Marsha's song and listen to her describe in her own words how it came about and its meaning.

      Thank you again for your visit and wonderful comment, dear friend BB!

  9. Hi Shady,
    I never heard of this beautiful starlet but she appeared in many films with huge leading stars( I'm glad she didn't bleach her hair!).
    She was certainly ahead of her times (for her age) with her beautiful "love" song and her way of thinking.
    She is STILL beautiful at age 100+-- (just like someone else we knew)!
    Toni Deroche

    1. Hi, Toni!

      I am delighted to have you over today, dear friend. Thank you very much for dropping by to help me pay tribute to vintage movie actress and political activist Marsha Hunt on this her 100th birthday.

      Yessum, I knew this post about Marsha would remind you of another great centenarian - our dear friend Margaret Schneider, "The Oldest Living Dell Rat" - who passed away earlier this year. The two women shared similarities. They both believed in loving unconditionally and letting go of hate. They both had the survival instinct, the determination and perseverance of a champion. Marsha seems so sharp minded and articulate in recent interviews that she might end up Hollywood's oldest living actor or actress someday. It wouldn't surprise me one bit.

      I'm so pleased to know that you salute Marsha for being ahead of her time and having an open mind about same sex marriage. Her song is something special, and the message it conveys an important one. Bless her!

      Thank you again, very much, for your kind visit and comment, Toni!

  10. Wow, wow, wow! Am I ever glad that you have showcased and illuminated the amazing Marsha Hunt - a treasured American icon: a film icon, a fashion icon, a cultural icon and a civil rights icon all in one! And she sure is a beauty! Gorgeous woman, then and now.

    I'm thrilled that you have introduced her to me. I most likely have seen her in some old movies but just didn't know who she was. I didn't have time to watch all of "Hell Town" but thanks for posting the film in its entirety. I plan to go back and watch it all. I love John Wayne too.
    And I definitely want to find and watch "Kid Glove Killer" and "Raw Deal"-- I love those old black and white crime and murder movies.

    I'm also intrigued by her coffee-table book on fashion styles from the 30s and 40s. I checked amazon and I have put it on my wish list! It would be wonderful to see Marsha wearing all those amazing fashions and accessories. I read a few of the book reviews and everyone seems to rave about it.

    But obviously more impressive than her acting and modeling success is the great activism and humanitarian work she did. Indeed she overcame a very dark period in her life when she and many other good people were blacklisted in a wave of radical right-wing paranoia and the perpetual spreading of misinformation. Sounds eerily familiar, no? Fox News anyone? I mean, for cryin' out loud, we have a president who wants to step all over the First Amendment.

    Marsha Hunt was obviously strong and steadfast in her pursuit of shining a light on social injustice and working to help set right the wrongs inflicted by misguided "moralities".
    I loved hearing about how her song "Here's to All Who Love" came about. The melody stayed with her all these years, just waiting for the right words to create the lyrics that would carry forth her message.

    I would imagine she’s beyond dismayed with our current state of affairs. She has experienced how far we as a nation and we as a people have come in her 100 years, only to now have to watch in horror as that progress starts to unravel, and bear witness to a progressive and inclusive country suddenly going backward.

    Indeed we need more people like Marsha Hunt! The madness has to stop!

    Happy Birthday dear Marsha! Thank you for your brilliant contributions to our country. May you have many more productive years in which you get to see your heart’s mission come to fruition. May we all.

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Hi, Michele!

      Thanks a billion (with a B) for coming over today and helping me salute this wonderful woman - an American heroine, a national treasure - Marsha Hunt.

      As I said in the text, Marsha to me represents the total package. A model early on, Marsha is tall, beautiful and glamorous. I am sure you will love her fashion book. Moreover Marsha has a head on her shoulders and a mind of her own. She stood up for freedom and civil rights at a dark and dangerous point in our nation's history when bucking the system was hazardous to one's reputation and livelihood. As a result of her supporting liberal causes and protesting the actions of a right-wing kangaroo court, Marsha and dozens of other people in the entertainment industry were smeared, blacklisted, their reputations tainted, unjustly branded subversive and "Red." A person with less integrity would have caved in, recanted, and gone with the flow to secure work. Instead Marsha remained true to her beliefs regardless of the price she had to pay. She toughed it out, worked in theater for a few years and eventually found her way back to acceptance in the film community after the Red Scare died down. I couldn't be more proud of her!

      Thank you for weighing in, as did Kathryn, on the state of the union. As you well know, I rarely go political on SDMM. However, about once a year, the opportunity - indeed the obligation - presents itself. This is one of those occasions. Today it is a time to stand up and be counted along with Marsha Hunt, a woman who was not afraid to speak up and speak out. As you have discovered, Mrs. Shady is very passionate and opinionated about the issues at hand and so am I. We are deeply troubled by the systematic dismantling of the Obama legacy and the rollback of progress on a number of fronts that was made in recent decades. Last November we were denied our opportunity to celebrate. We were good sports about it. On Nov. 9 we congratulated the winning side. Today it is our turn. "This is our moment. This is our time." Today we celebrate the 100 year life of a true leader in the fight against hate, discrimination, censorship and social injustice, miss Marsha Hunt.

      As I told Toni above, Marsha seems so fit, so clear minded and articulate in recent interviews including one conducted just last year as she was turning 99, that she seems destined for many more years of of life and leadership. I certainly hope so.

      "Here's to All Who Love" - and here's to Marsha Hunt, part of the solution, an outstanding citizen who makes us proud to be American.

      Thank you again for bringing your best to the party today, dear friend Michele. Take care and enjoy the rest of your week!

  11. Happy Birthday To Marsha.
    I know I have seen her in something ? She is beautiful and talented.
    Maybe that is why she never really hit stardom she reminds me of Joan Bennett and Gene Tierney. Maybe not different enough ?
    She is amazing.

    cheers, parsnip

    1. Hi, Gayle!

      Thank you very much for being on hand for this very special celebration as we honor one of the all time great actresses and humanitarians, miss Marsha Hunt, on her 100th birthday.

      As this fine day approached I did lots of extra reading and research on Marsha. It still seems a bit of a mystery why she wasn't already a major star by the time the Blacklist put a damper on her film career. With her tall, lithe figure and delicate model features, perhaps she was not voluptuous enough to attract attention and land the leading lady roles. Marsha is also highly intelligent and principled and that might have worked against her in a Tinseltown culture where women were expected to be soft, pliable and submissive. Marsha appeared in dozens of films and delivered stellar performances, but never got the really big break that would have catapulted her to genuine stardom. That fact notwithstanding, Marsha was and is a star in my book, and today she is the star of the show here at SDMM as we join her in celebrating a life well lived, all 100 years of it.

      Thank you again for your kind visit and generous comment, dear friend Gayle. Please smooch Winston for me and enjoy the rest of your week!

  12. I just saw her name on a TCM movie today, "A Letter For Evie" how funny is that.

    1. Hi again, Gayle!

      Now that you are familiar with Marsha Hunt's name you will probably be seeing it quite often as you page through the old movie listings. I have seen all of the Marsha Hunt movies featured in this post and I own the crime drama Kid Glove Killer and the film noir classic Raw Deal on DVD.

      Thank you again for your friendship and support, dear friend Gayle, and please give Mandibles Of Doom a treat for me!

  13. What a wonderful actress! I love your tribute to Marsha. :) Tomorrow morning I'll watch some more of the videos.I

    1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

      Thank you, dear friend, for making good on your pledge to be here today as we celebrate the 100th birthday of Marsha Hunt, a fine actress and a dedicated civil rights crusader. It is my pleasure to introduce a 20-something like you to this wonderful centenarian who continues to this day to lead by example. I hope you will watch all of the Marsha Hunt clips and films available on YouTube, especially the video containing her song in support of same sex marriage and espousing universal unconditional love.

      Thank you again for joining us, dear friend JM!

    2. Hi Shady!

      While I'm taking somewhat of a break (I'll e-mail you this weekend), I wanted to keep good on my promise!

      I just watched all of the clips and wow! She is amazing and I'm speechless! I have to check out these John Wayne movies. I definitely want to see more by her.

      Thank you for sharing Marsha Hunt's life with us. Thank you for all that you post, dear friend.

    3. You're very welcome, dear friend Jessica! Marsha Hunt is not only a fine actress. She is an excellent role model for young women like you. I hope she becomes an inspiration to you.

      If you need to take a blogging break you will be missed. SDMM is your home away from home, so keep in touch. Thank you again for your visits and comments, dear friend JM!

    4. I didn't get a chance to e-mail you. My parents are away and the past few days have been crazy. Tomorrow or Wednesday I'll shoot you a message... but I might send you one tonight.

      I definitely want to check out more of Marsha's work!

    5. Hi, Jessica Marie!

      You can find several full length Marsha Hunt films on YouTube including:

      Long Shot

      Star Reporter

      Hell Town

      Back From The Dead

      and a 1955 short called Kitchens: "A Word To the Wives"

      I purchased two of Marhsa's best movies, Kid Glove Killer and Raw Deal on DVD and highly recommend them.

      Thanks again, dear friend JM!

  14. 100? Wow! She was a beautiful woman, and at 100, she still looks pretty good. Too bad about her being blacklisted. But I'm glad she had the courage to stand up for what she believed. (I liked the picture with John Wayne. He looked so young in that one!)

    Have a great week!

    1. Hi, Sherry!

      Thank you very much for coming to the party as beloved veteran actress Marsha Hunt observes her 100th birthday.

      You are right, dear friend. Marsha still looks good, sounds good (sharp as a tack) and is still influencing young and old alike with her message of hope, unconditional love and tolerance. "Love Is So Simple," sang the Dells. Why then do so many people choose instead to hate?

      Thank you again for sharing your thoughts about Marsha on this special occasion, dear friend Sherry. Enjoy the rest of your week!

  15. You have the gift of finding the most interesting people that we've probably seen over the years but didn't see their shining light as they stood behind the bigger names. Marsha Hunt is a true beauty at 100 years as she was in her younger days. To go through all she did in the 50's and not let it stop her or make her cynical and angry is a wonderful legacy, but to bring a song to light that truly touches everyone in this day and age is amazing. Does it take 100 years of life to really understand what life is about? When reading about today's crazy people I think some could live to 500 years and not "get it"...hate would still be in their heart. Thanks for the smile today and showing us a person who has lived life to it's fullest...Happy Birthday Marsha!

    1. Hi, YaYa!

      Thank you very much for dropping by, dear friend! I am very happy to see you and delighted to read your kind remarks about one of my favorite people in the world - Miss Marsha Hunt. Truth be told, I don't think I ever heard of Marsha until 2007, the year I challenged myself to binge watch hundreds of old movies on Turner Classics in an effort to become educated about vintage films and the people who made them and appeared in them. That year I had the opportunity to watch several Marsha Hunt movies and quickly became a fan. Marsha stood out from the pack as a very smart actress with an endearing smile and magnetic charm. Delving into Marsha's personal life I found much more to like. She is intelligent and articulate and cares deeply about humanity. Marsha has spent her life supporting civil rights and charitable causes including UNICEF, The March of Dimes, The Red Cross and the United Nations. She is also an advocate for the homeless and the mentally ill.

      As I have mentioned in other replies, Marsha Hunt reminds me of our dear friend Margaret Schneider. She was put through the wringer back in the 50s but seems to hold no grudges today. All she is interested in doing is promoting goodwill, unconditional love and tolerance. The world could use more like her. I an very thankful that Marsha has survived to the age of 100 and is still as sharp and articulate as ever, still an inspiration to millions of people young and old.

      Thank you again for your kind visit and wonderful comment, dear friend YaYa. I wish you a pleasant Friday and a safe and happy weekend!

  16. This was truly a joy to read. It's always so refreshing when stars use their position for good!

    1. Hi, Ashton!

      Welcome back to SDMM, dear friend! I agree with you 100%. Stars and celebs are under no obligation to give back to the community or to stand up for what is right. Some don't. It is always refreshing to encounter one like Marsha Hunt, a fine actress who has devoted her entire life to helping others and fighting for freedom and civil rights. She is part of the solution and still making a difference at age 100.

      I'm delighted to know you enjoyed learning about the life and growing legacy of Marsha Hunt, dear friend Ashton. Thank you again for joining us this week!

  17. Kathleen Mae SchneiderOctober 20, 2017 at 5:50 AM

    Well Tom, this birthday post really hit quite a few nerves for Bob and me. The "old" movie clips first reminded us of the black and white television shows of our youth and even the newsreels before the main feature at the movies. We both grew up watching the Westerns where the good guys always wore white hats and the bad guys black ones!

    The historic value of Marsha Hunt's life cannot be underestimated and is very relevant for today. I agree totally with the above comments about her beauty, talent, character and integrity. Although I didn't remember Marsha's name in movies, I knew about McCarthy's blacklisting. Bob could fill me in on some things I'd forgotten, since he taught high school history, but I was curious to fill in the gaps of my education through additional research about that era.

    I was only three when "Tail-Gunner Joe" came on the scene, and I came of age during the first years of the Cold War. I remember being taught in school to fear Communist Russia and practicing hiding under my desk in case of a bomb sent to destroy us and our way of life. Now at my age, Russia is again in the news in other nefarious ways, but I'm fascinated to learn about the long geopolitical back story behind both what's happening now and what fueled that dark time. The paranoia, long imbedded racism, hate speech, and the basic us-vs-them thinking have never really gone away and remain a potent force in our society.

    For instance, I never learned in my 16+ years of education anything about the Lavender Scare, which was even more destructive than the Red one. How awful that so many competent people, both in and out of the government, were ruined after the guilt by association designations were leveled at them.

    When I hear the same mean-spirited voice getting louder and gaining momentum recently, directed at anyone who is different in some way, I am as frightened and dismayed as I was when a child, especially when it it encouraged from the halls of power. However, given the enemies within, there are no desks protective enough to hide under unfortunately!

    So I feel here's where Marsha's life and song, and lessons I learned first hand from another 100-year-old wise and wonderful woman, come into play and just might be the seeds of our salvation.

    Agreeing with Marsha's song, I am hopeful that love, properly understood and practiced, will eventually win out over the forces of hatred. I was taught by my mother, Margaret Schneider, that to truly love means first trying to discern the source of the hatred we encounter in others. Then, after hearing their life experiences, we often can see why they feel as they do and see why they choose lashing out as their only way to survive. The last step is to find ways to help lessen the reasons for their rage and do something to lift their burdens.

    Now this isn't to say we shouldn't speak out, protest or stand up to the evils perpetrated by power hungry individuals or those who seem to dedicate their lives to dividing us. I think we must do that in any way we can, at the very least with our ballot (while making sure we are equally represented thereby!). However, perhaps we can add another approach, one that enlists the better angels in us and appeals to our basic and good humanity, while still speaking truth to power.

    (to be continued)

  18. Kathleen Mae SchneiderOctober 20, 2017 at 5:53 AM

    The answer IS unconditional love, but that cannot happen by ignoring the needs of others and only choosing to see our point of reference and assigning blame for their woes on them. That's what unconditional means, right? We care for them, not based on anything other than empathy and compassion, especially if they aren't like us.

    As far as what any of us can do in such a troubled world, I remember a quote attributed to Mother Teresa: "We cannot do great things, but we can do small things with great love." She also said, "If you want to promote world peace don't worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you."

    My mother "loved everyone" she said, and told me that God tells us not to hate anyone, no matter how nasty. It was also important to love my enemies, especially the ones that hurt me the most. She quietly and gently lived by that command and the Golden Rule, in spite of much tribulation in her long life.

    That's easier said than done when so much seems wrong all around us, and we see some people causing others to suffer. But I believe Mother had, and Marsha still has, the best tactic to heal the sickness that has always plagued mankind and ultimately has the power to change the world. If more people lived as they have, and made loving and understanding others their guiding principle, how different the headlines and newscasts would be!

    Instead of returning the evil that happened to them, they persevered and stood up steadfastly for what they thought was right and good. Marsha of necessity took an altered path to a more lasting legacy than movie stardom ever could have provided. By setting this gracious example, writing her gentle song about love, and shining the light of acceptance and truth, her influence will travel farther.

    I'm encouraged by a movement I just recently learned about called The Peoples' Supper, where folks with different mindsets, politics and experiences are invited to share one of mankind's most elemental events - breaking bread together. There, in one of their homes, over good food that they all contribute, they learn about one another's lives and circumstances, agree to rules of civil dialogue and conversation, and hopefully fan the elusive ember of peace.

    I love that image in my mind: White and black, Asian and Hispanic, Christian and Muslim, liberal and conservative - side by side - just having a delicious meal together. There might just be hope for our species after all. Perhaps this is one place to begin, and would be a perfect 100th birthday gift for Marsha Hunt!

    1. Hello, dear Kathleen!

      Welcome back to Shady Dell Music & Memories - land of long comments and replies! :)

      I thank you and your husband Bob, the history teacher, for reading this post about the life and career of Marsha Hunt, for taking time to gather your thoughts, and for giving birth to yet another brilliantly written essay.

      I am reminded of the Santayana quote from The Life of Reason: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." A common variation includes "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." In America today the pendulum is swinging back. A significant percentage of the population is in the grip of a Scare. I am also reminded of a scene in one of my favorite films - Easy Rider:

      George Hanson: You know, this used to be a helluva good country. I can't understand what's gone wrong with it.
      Billy: Man, everybody got chicken, that's what happened. Hey, we can't even get into like, a second-rate hotel, I mean, a second-rate motel, you dig? They think we're gonna cut their throat or somethin'. They're scared, man.
      George Hanson: They're not scared of you. They're scared of what you represent to 'em.
      Billy: Hey, man. All we represent to them, man, is somebody who needs a haircut.
      George Hanson: Oh, no. What you represent to them is freedom.
      Billy: What the hell is wrong with freedom? That's what it's all about.
      George Hanson: Oh, yeah, that's right. That's what's it's all about, all right. But talkin' about it and bein' it, that's two different things. I mean, it's real hard to be free when you are bought and sold in the marketplace. Of course, don't ever tell anybody that they're not free, 'cause then they're gonna get real busy killin' and maimin' to prove to you that they are. Oh, yeah, they're gonna talk to you, and talk to you, and talk to you about individual freedom. But they see a free individual, it's gonna scare 'em.
      Billy: Well, it don't make 'em runnin' scared.
      George Hanson: No, it makes 'em dangerous.

      Fear is dangerous. Fear spawns hate and violence. I agree with you and Mother Margaret that we cannot fight fear and hate with even more fear and hate. It would be like fighting a fire with gasoline. My philosophy has always been and will continue to be as follows. Whenever I encounter hate, I "love it to death." I totally agree with you about The Peoples' Supper as an effective way to ease tensions and build bridges. Some of my best friends in blogging are so far on the opposite side of the political spectrum that they appear as dots on the horizon; yet our friendship is ongoing because we have learned how good it feels to party together, listen to music together and share humor with each other. Maintaining a sense of humor is crucial. There have been times in my life when, in the middle of a loud and bitter argument with someone, we have both burst out laughing. Instantly the tension is broken and both sides feel better. That's a starting point for reconciliation, consensus and unity. Stand up for what you believe and try to understand where the other guy is coming from.

      Walk a mile in my shoes
      Just walk a mile in my shoes
      Before you abuse, criticize and accuse
      Walk a mile in my shoes

      (to be continued)

    2. You mentioned the old Western films and shorts in which the good guys always wore white hat and the bad guys wore black hats. To me it is interesting to observe the action and body language in that scene I selected for you from Hell Town. John Wayne's character, wearing a white hat, interrupts the conversation of a romantically involved couple. To force an introduction, he drives a wedge, positioning himself between them, then proceeds to do everything in his power to steal the woman away from her lover. The lesson conveyed in that scene is that the bigger, taller and bolder man always wins, always defeats the smaller, mild mannered man. All is fair in love and war. If you see something you want - grab it... take it. Generations of boys learned what it takes to be a "real man" in America from swaggering, two-fisted brawny characters that overpowered the weak and the meek and took whatever they wanted, including land and women. My Western role models were The Lone Ranger, a man of reason, restraint and principle, and Hoppy Cassidy who urged kids to obey their parents, wash daily and use plenty of soap. I am happy to see a new and different type of American hero portrayed in the hit TV series The Good Doctor, a show that Mrs. Shady and I highly recommend.

      Thank you again, Kathleen, for taking time to compose this wonderful comment and helping expand the discussion thread as we honor Marsha Hunt the week of her 100th birthday. Take care, dear friend, and please come back soon!

  19. Have no idea, who Marsha is but thank you for educating me about her ... At this time I am working on renewing my annual nursing license and things, besides working ... and trying to do harvest done ... weather is not favourable this year ... looks like I can maybe harvest will take place in the spring ... Anyway, nice to hear from you, friend Shady ... so long ... meouw ... Love, cat.

    1. Hi, cat!

      Clearly this is a hectic time for you. Knowing that makes me all the more grateful for your visit. Thank you very much for being here this week to help me honor a great American and an outstanding citizen of the world, Marsha Hunt.

      It makes me happy to know that you appreciated this introduction and the opportunity to learn about Marsha's film career, what she stands for, and all that she has accomplished over the years in service to humanity including the song she wrote about universal love.

      Thank you again for making time for me and for Marsha today, dear friend cat. Take care and have a wonderful weekend.

      Lubbins lubbins lubbins!


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