Marsha Hunt, blacklisted actress who fought Communism’s witch hunt, dies aged 104

Marsha Hunt, the film actress blacklisted for fighting witch hunts against communists in Hollywood in the 1950s, has died aged 104.

An ex-model who appeared in The human comedy and pride and prejudice and appeared on the cover of lifeHunt’s career fell apart after her name was imprinted Red Channelsa compendium of entertainment industry figures accused of being sympathizers of communism.

Hunt was the last surviving person to be daubed by him Red Channelswhich included such luminaries as Lee J. Cobb, Lillian Hellman and Leonard Bernstein.

In a 2020 interview with the BBC, Hunt said she came under scrutiny after joining an entourage of bigger stars who traveled to Washington in 1947 to support writers who had been dragged before the House Committee .

“We were a brigade to defend those who were blacklisted or suspected,” she said. “We were serious citizens trying to get Washington straight: We weren’t a bunch of Reds. We were led by the Bogarts, so we were a pretty nifty team.

“We gave our speeches and did a radio show called Hollywood is fighting back and came home thinking we were patriots and defending our profession. If there were some communists among us, that was their business and not ours,” she added

“I didn’t know anything about Communism but I just thought other people had the right to join the damn thing if they wanted to since it’s a legal party. But it was a time of hysteria and all of us who spoke out against blacklisting were punished in one way or another.”

Ed Asner and Marsha Hunt at a 2017 Gala in Los Angeles, California.

Amy Graves/Getty

Hunt saw job openings dry up and after her appointment worked mostly in television and on stage Red Channels—although her agent persuaded her to make an anti-communist statement of her beliefs. She spent her later years doing charity work and humanitarian causes.

In 2015 she had a leading role – in the documentary Marsha Hunt’s Sweet Adversity.

“A lot of younger people don’t know much about the Hollywood blacklist,” she told the BBC. “Sometimes I get asked if that could ever happen again. I hope America learned from what happened all those years ago. But how can you ever be sure?” Marsha Hunt, blacklisted actress who fought Communism’s witch hunt, dies aged 104


Hung is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Hung joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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