Marsha Hunt

Marsha Hunt (born April 15, 1946 in Philadelphia) is an American singer, novelist, actress and model, who moved to Britain in the 1960s.

In February 1966 Hunt moved to Britain and for a time lived in Edinburgh. Although Hunt indicates that she had no great musical talent, she worked as a singer for 18 months after arriving in England. In 1968 Hunt achieved national fame in England when she appeared as Dionne in the rock musical ‘Hair’, a box-office smash on the London stage. Hunt only had two lines of dialogue in ‘Hair’, but she attracted a lot of media attention and her photo appeared in many newspapers and magazines. Her photograph was used on the poster and playbill of the original London production, photographed by Justin de Villeneuve. Hunt says that the role was a perfect fit for her, expressing who she actually was. She was one of three Americans featured in the London show, and when the show began she had no contract to perform. When the show opened she was featured in so many stories that she was offered a contract right away. Hunt played at the Jazz Bilzen and Isle of Wight music festivals in August 1969 with her backup band “White Trash”.

Three months after ‘Hair’ opened, Hunt was on the cover of British high-fashion magazine Queen, the first black model to appear on their cover. In 1968, Hunt posed nude for photographer Patrick Lichfield after the opening night for Hair and the photo appeared on the cover of British Vogue′s January 1969 issue.

In 1971 Hunt played Bianca in ‘Catch My Soul’, the rock-and-roll stage version of Othello produced by Jack Good. In 1973 she starred in a new London show entitled ‘Man to Woman’, the music from which was released on vinyl in 1982 by Virgin Records, featuring vocals by Robert Wyatt. In 1975 Hunt appeared as Sabina in ‘The Skin of Our Teeth’. In 1991 Hunt appeared as Nurse Logan in the world premier of Arthur Miller’s ‘The Ride Down Mount Morgan’ at London’s Wyndham’s Theatre. Hunt became a member of the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
In 1994, Hunt performed a one-woman play in Scotland at the Edinburgh Festival playing Baby Palatine, a 60-year-old woman who becomes the wardrobe mistress to a female pop group. The play is based on Hunt’s 1990 novel ‘Joy’. Hunt was directed in the play by her daughter Karis Jagger.

Hunt’s film career included appearances in Dracula AD 1972 (1972), Britannia Hospital (1982) directed by Lindsay Anderson, The Sender (1982), Never Say Never Again (1983), Howling II: Your Sister Is a Werewolf (1985), and Tank Malling (1989). In 1990 Hunt played Bianca in the BBC television production of Othello directed by Trevor Nunn.

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