Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Year To All...!!

Hello and Happy New Year to friends and Marsha Hunt Fans far and wide..!!

 Well, I've said it before but it's true.  It DOES take a village to produce a documentary!  I am most grateful to fellow producers Joan and Richard for their tenacity and passion for this project that is so near and dear to all of us.  And we'd be lost without our wonderful crew: - Director of Photography, Stephon Litwinczuk , our sound man, Andrew Zutto as well as P.A. David Guerrero.  Special thanks to our NYC crews, DP  Jonathan Weaver and Thomas Myers on sound ( Belafonte shoot) and DP Neil Smith and Mark Hoppe on sound for the Anne Meara/Victor Navasky NY shoot..  Thanks also to my friend Michael Graham who filmed Marsha's 90th birthday party in Beverly Hills..  We cant forget our original DP's- Cat & Kelly, we are also most grateful for your hard work.. It was because of you and our incredible editor Adam Severin that we were able to produce our 16 minute "snapshot" of Marsha that so many people have enjoyed thusfar..

As we head towards 2011, I want to take this opportunity to thank ALL of you that have supported our project.  While  donations are always appreciated, your kind words and notes have gone a long way in keeping me inspired and helping to build my confidence.. My computer is surrounded by  notes and emails of encouragement from many across the country. Tthis means the WORLD to me..THANK YOU!!
Because of all of you, we were able to finance the filming of our project.  Thank you for supporting our fundraisers the past few years. And a BIG thanks to all the organizations that participated in all of our fundraisers, especially the very special "activist" tribute to Marsha this past November. I KNOW it is a day Marsha will NEVER forget. Thanks again  to everyone who participated!! I'm sorry that I haven't been more proactive in thanking everyone individually.  I got tied up with my day job- please forgive me..

 There would not be a documentary if Marsha had not agreed to allow us to probe and dig into her long and lively past.  I know that Marsha is a most private person and we am honored that she has agreed to let us share her AMAZING  story with the world.  Thank you  Marsha.  Get over your cold, we have work to do in the new year!!

Many of you may not know that Marsha was recently honored in New York City by the organization New York Women in Film and Television.  What an event!!  About 1000 women were in the ballroom  at the New York Hilton to hear Marsha speak.  I imagine many in the crowd had no idea who she was but, after she spoke, they didnt care.  They LOVED her!  She touched a chord with the audience - and she was ambushed with new "fans" who lined up to take her picture and say hello..  We had a great trip... I was so pleased to have had the opportunity to interview Victor Navasky and Anne Meara..And thanks again to "The Nation" Magazine for allowing us to use their offices for our shoot. Here's a you tube audio clip of an interview with Marsha at the MUSE Awards in NYC on December 8th..

As we move forward in to the new year, my goal for this project is to continue to let the WORLD know that we are producing this documentary on one of Hollywood's first celebrity activists.  I'd LOVE to see more articles written about the project and Marsha as an actress and activist.  It broke my heart that I couldn't get any local papers to do a cover story about Marsha as she was the ONLY actor that  the Turner series "Moguls and Movies" interviewed for the series.  I could use help finding  radio, print and media outlets from all over the world to help get our story out there. The more publicity Marsha and our project gets, the more chance that we will "bump" into someone that has funds to help us complete our project.

 Please. Please , Please, everyone if you would, pass this blog on to friends, family, journalists AROUND THE WORLD.. I want everything to move faster..More Publicity = More Awareness =More Money!!.  Please fell free to email me with thoughts of possible venues for interviews, articles, grants for filming, ideas of people who may want to donate, etc. Through our affiliation with the International Documentary Association, let people know that they can make a tax deductible donation for the film. Here' a link to donation page...

Thank you again from the bottom of my heart.  Marsha means the world to me. She DESERVES to have her moment in the sun..Thanks to all of you, I KNOW IT WILL HAPPEN VERY SOON!

I wish ALL of you a happy, healthy, prosperous and creative New Year!
Take care,

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Hi Everyone: I want this to be a very special day for Marsha.. Please join us - and pass the word about this special tribute... also, we'll be selling beautiful archival postcards and magnets of Marsha for a $20.00 donation to help raise money to finish our documentary..We're looking to raise $100,000 for the next phase of editing and post production. please,, if you love Marsha, come out and support her and our film!!


WHO: A tribute to Marsha Hunt, Long time San Fernando Valley Activist and Former “Honorary” Mayor of Sherman Oaks. Volunteer Activism Fair held in her honor. Come learn about volunteer opportunities in the San Fernando Valley.
WHAT: Non profits from the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles, many of which Marsha has supported over the years will participate in an “activism” fair to help raise community awareness about volunteer opportunities with their organizations. Event to be held next door to the first homeless shelter in the Valley which Marsha was instrumental in helping to open in 1985. This event is hosted by L.A. Family Housing, an organization which helps families transition of homelessness and poverty through housing enriched with supportive services. ( .
WHERE: Sydney M. Irmas Transitional Living Center 7817 Lankershim Blvd. North Hollywood California 91605. Limited parking in front of facility. Plenty of street parking available.

WHEN: Sunday November 14, 2010. 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Short tribute program with special guests to begin at 2:30 p.m.

WHY: Marsha Hunt has been an activist and humanitarian for almost seven decades. Please come and learn about volunteer opportunities with local nonprofits and help to carry on the good work that Marsha has accomplished for the San Fernando Valley. If you’ve worked with Marsha or have been touched in any way by her activism, please come by and meet her. A feature documentary on her life is currently in production. The filmmakers will be present to discuss the project. For more information on this event as well as the documentary, please go to

Press Contact: Roger C. Memos 310-717-9364

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Thank you Marsha Hunt: A Truly Great American.

As we recently celebrated our country’s 234th birthday, I’d like to tell you about a  patriotic American  I have come to know and love, Marsha Hunt.

Many people remember Marsha Hunt as an actress at Paramount and MGM in the ‘30s and ‘40s.  Fewer people remember her tireless activist and humanitarian efforts beginning during World War II.  Servicemen in Los Angeles, soon to be shipped to the Pacific spent many a night at the Hollywood Canteen where Marsha volunteered, while her husband Jerry Hopper was away in the army.  Every Saturday night, a thousand men an hour came into the Canteen.  Marsha signed almost five thousand autographs a night and danced with nearly as many soldiers.

 Clark Gable was the chairman of the Hollywood Victory Committee, an organization that was set up to utilize Hollywood celebrities in support of our troops at home and overseas.  As a member of this group, Marsha toured veterans hospitals in California, Texas and Louisiana.  The hospitals were so large that she would spend three days at each hospital, performing for and comforting injured soldiers.  In between filming eight war -related films for MGM, Marsha went on U.S. war bond tours across the country, raising thousands of dollars for the war effort.  She also gave “morale booster” speeches in weaponry and aircraft plants to weary factory workers.

Marsha hounded MGM to let her go out of the country to entertain the troops.  She finally got her wish, joining fellow performers Kay Francis, Reginald Gardiner, Patty Thomas and Teddi Sherman on a six week USO tour of the Arctic and Canada in 1944.  This group performed for soldiers that were on assignment in the most remote parts of western, central and northern Canada and Alaska.  

In her autobiographical pictorial book  The Way We Wore: Styles of the 1930s and '40s and Our World Since Then , Marsha shares this reflection on why this USO tour meant so much to her:  “I hadn’t realized before, how much movies mean to their audiences, and how a player seen often on the screen becomes a kind of friend in common with everyone else.  Thus, to meet a familiar actress in person, way up in the Arctic Circle was to find a link with all else that was familiar, a link, in short, with home.  Back flooded memories of seeing her movies with one’s best girl, buddy or family.  That link brought a kind of warmth to the chill surroundings, a kind of reassurance to isolated, lonely men who, more than anything else, longed for home.”

Following the war, Marsha worked steadily in radio, films,TV and Broadway, and it was there that her luck ran out in 1950.  She went from being the "toast of the town" to "persona non grata" when her name appeared in the right wing publication "Red Channels".

It was a trip she took around the world in 1955 that opened her eyes to her true calling in life.  Dismayed by the poverty she saw on this trip, she realized that she'd been on a soundstage for so much of her life and that there was so much to learn about the world. She vowed in that moment to become a "planet patriot". 

One of Hollywood's first celebrity activists, Marsha worked with the United Nations Association when it wasn't popular to do so.  Even after her local United Nations gift shop was firebombed, she didn't relent but went out on the lecture circuit, fighting ignorance and raising awareness.  She had limited funds but unlimited passion.  The United Nations Association is only one of many many non profits  that Marsha has supported over the last 55 years.  For her twenty five years of service to the United Nations Association, Marsha was awarded with the "Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian Award, the organization's highest honor.  This award meant even more to Marsha because she knew and admired Mrs. Roosevelt.

In 1983, Marsha was named “honorary mayor” of Sherman Oaks, a position she held for 18 years.  As honorary mayor, she was one of the first to recognize a growing homeless community in her neighborhood, so she spearheaded fundraising and opened the first two homeless shelters in the San Fernando Valley, one specifically for women and children.   As “honorary mayor”, she could have rested on her laurels as a “celebrity” but chose to do what she had always done when faced with challenges, she acted on her conscience.  Having been a resident of Sherman Oaks since the mid 1940’s, there was no way she could sit back and allow people to suffer needlessly.  Not in this town she cared so deeply about. 

NPR's "All Things Considered" recently did a piece on Marsha and the 60th anniversary of “Red Channels”, a publication from 1950 that purported to identify Americans of dubious allegiances that included Marsha in that number. here is link to 5 minute story.. please take the time to listen..

It broke my heart to hear Marsha state her fear that she will be remembered only for being blacklisted rather than for the work she had done as an actor.  I have taken on the task of ensuring that this is not so by producing “Marsha Hunt’s Sweet Adversity”, a feature documentary on Marsha’s life and achievements.  It is my fervent desire this documentary will serve as a “document of social activism” to inspire a new generation of activists who may be feeling “helpless” in these uncertain times and to let them know that there can be a positive result of their dedication.  In telling Marsha's story, we get to show the audience how one act of generosity can have a “ripple effect” from generation to generation. 

As much as Marsha was committed to activism, she was equally committed to her acting career.  I am proud to tell you about an important acting milestone that Marsha has recently achieved.  Seventy five years ago, on May 14, 1935, Marsha Hunt signed a contract with Paramount Pictures.  Her story of how she came to sign with this studio is the stuff that dreams are made of. 

All she ever wanted to do was act.  She's still got the acting bug.  In 2008, she gave a "tour de force" performance in the "film noir short" "The Grand Inquisitor."  If you've never seen this, you owe it to yourself to check it out here....

I am so proud of what Marsha stands for.  She is the epitome of overcoming adversity with elegance and grace. She put her country and the town she loves before her own needs and is a role model for what it means to be a patriotic American.

For more information on how you can support the documentary with a tax deductible donation "Marsha Hunt's Sweet Adversity", please go to
Please feel free to "tweet" this blog, or pass it on to websites and persons to whom you feel would care most about Marsha.  The more publicity we get, the better for us in getting funding to finish the project.  We are working diligently toward finishing filming this fall. 

Thanks to ALL of you who have been there for Richard, Joan and I since we started this project in the spring of 2006.  Your support means the world to us! Hillary Clinton wasn't kidding when she said "It takes a village"...  it takes a village to get a documentary produced, that's for darn sure...

take care,
Roger C. Memos
Zelda Can Dance Productions
12740 Pacific Avenue # 6
Los Angeles CA 90066
Tel: 310-390-1338
Fax: 310-439-2038
Cell: 310-717-9364