SHERMAN OAKS—Actress Marsha Hunt, who was blacklisted from Hollywood for her activism died on Wednesday, September 7, at the age of 104.
Hunt was a veteran actress of the Golden Age of film, radio and Broadway who appeared in over 100 TV shows and films. Hunt’s career fell short after her name appeared in a 1950 publication called Red Channels which was a report of Communist influence supposedly found in radio and television. The pamphlet-style book names 151 actors, writers, musicians, broadcast journalists, and others in the context of purported Communist manipulation of the entertainment industry.
In October 1947, she and other performers went to protest the imprisonment of writers, directors and producers who refused to reveal their political allegiances to the House Un-American Activities Committee which was an investigative committee of the US House of Representatives during the Second Red Scare. Hunt’s participation in protests led to many Hollywood executives blacklisting her, making work difficult for her to find as an actress.
When work slowed down, Hunt began to dedicate her time to causes she believed in like same-sex marriage and climate change.
Hunt’s career as an actress is extensive and began in 1935 with the film “The Virginia Judge.” She appeared in “The Human Comedy” alongside Mickey Rooney and 1945’s “The Valley of Decision” with Gregory Peck and Greer Garson. She also appeared as “Viola in Twelfth Night” which was the first Shakespeare play to be aired coast to coast.
Her caregivers, nephew, actor/director Allan Hunt and Elizabeth Lauritsen, confirmed her death. She died in her Sherman Oaks home and donations in her memory may be made to LA Family Housing lafh.org.