generic viagra delhi nexium capsules 40 mg buy dapoxetine usa cipla viagra price buy generic viagra from india check your credit score once a year for free tabletki glucophage 500 mg celebrex bleeding disorders order viagra overnight how to order a credit how to pull a credit report for a tenant doxycycline untuk gonore causas viagra suhagra 100 with free shipping consent for credit check form landlord clindamycin 300mg capsules for acne norstan inc pleasant prairie wi zip code zanaflex capsules coupon eritromicina prospect generic viagra that takes mastercard levetiracetam generic brand buspar anxiety dose cipla cialis online viagra pills to buy kamagranow voucher code lidocaine and prilocaine cream for burns no rx cialis in edmonton buy amoxicillin canada online order trazodone no prescription 200 mg phenergan buy cheap pfizer xalacom zoloft 12.5 mg anxiety nolvadex buy pct canadian cialis ordering cialis toronto cipro vs levaquin cost costco hours memorial day short term money lenders sydney cialis famous actor cymbalta 30 mg dose cipro pharma 250mg ems generico viagra realandmore.at loc:es cefixime trihydrate 200 mg pfizer viagra dosierung full coverage drugstore foundation government free equifax 3-bureau credit report and scores acnelyse retinol a cream free credit history and scores ed drugs for sale increasing lung capacity for running cialis 5 prezzo implicane pil perancang mercilon credit repair oilfield service business for sale propranolol causing headaches natart allegra canada minocycline non perscription contacts viagra facebook uk doxycycline hydrochloride 100 online bisoprolol fumarate 5mg tablets what they taken for buy keppra xr online allopurinol side effects kidney metformin 850 mg stada buy cipro prescription protonix without buy propecia 5mg online uk ontario viagra cost utah online pharmacies avodart dutasteride 0 5 mg credit cards used ways to repair bad credit international free consumer credit reports oxybutynin er 10mg side effects cheap price propecia clonidine hcl 0 1mg overnight delivery priligy overnight shipping duphaston 10mg uses walmart valtrex generic cialis daily dosage pharmacy price voltaren emulgel 100g como suspender strattera buy viagra generic canadian cipro lawsuits kamagra jelly 50mg clenbuterol side effects drug cheap payday advance online lenders cheap viagra 20 mg mupirocin 2 prozac price uk viagra 160 mg software development manager what are the ingredients in neurocet viagra discount coupons free instant online credit reports no credit card needed cheapest ed meds credit repair router templates letters where can i buy azithromycin buy viagra denmark procalisx scammer estradiol side effects treatment side effects of casodex bicalutamide cheap propecia australia cefixime trihydrate usp buy clomid vancouver buy nizoral without prescription rocket raccoon cosplay alli orlistat 120 mg levitra online cheap prescription for xenical ranbaxy labs new delhi celebrex related drugs piroxicam medication doctor noble drugs online drugstore prednisone 10mg dose pack prednisone 10mg treatment deep discount viagra australia levitra web prescriptions genuine levitra 20mg levamisole dosage for fish doxycycline hydrate uses levitra prices usa viagra licensed pharmacy metformin bilayer tablets naproxen side effects patients amitriptyline buy in uk nolvadex rx cialis 200mg fta augmentine online lisinopril rx 532 clomid 50 mg dosage aurochem india buy cialsis tylenol 3 codeine high best canadian pharmacy for viagra diflucan fluconazole 200 mg duloxetine 30mg credit expert cancel number metformin dosage information valtrex strengths lexapro prescription drug cialis 20 mg utilizzo where can i purchase prazosin overdose healthy men free credit report mags4cheap scam money back obestat no prescription priligy aus holland celebrex 100mg nebenwirkungen legitimate viagra online made in england viagra benazepril hydrochlorothiazide dosage canadian pharmacy abortion pills buy doxycycline pharmacy phenergan and pregnancy dosage where to buy alli diet pill available cheap pharmacy viagra cytotec pastillas genericas doxepin for sleep side effects what are the credit report companies viagra philippines sale black market prednisone celebrex 200 tabletas clomid 50 mg by balkan pharmaceuticals amoxicillin for cheap viagra pillen wirkung amaryllis belladonna pills valtrex for cold sores while pregnant buy cialis in israel nhs generic valtrex bula levitra 10mg credit credit score repair calculator rollbox 46321 fluconazole 150mg how long does it take to work how to pay auto loans off faster celebrex 100 mg beipackzettel quick cash loans without a job credit repair attorney in san antonio tx lasix continuous infusion 1 cialis generic viagra erexin capsules yohimbe fueleriacta buy viagra australia buy serm nolvadex renagel 800 mg doxycycline get you high levitra purchase generic how to get trazodone prescription diflucan no prescription canada no rx overnight to usa 2 mg estradiol triderm cream schering plough borderline personality lexapro about generic cialis is bactroban over the counter or prescription funginix prezzo cialis 20mg shqip buy glucophage usa metformin er 500mg weight loss lamictal buy online samonas therapeutic listening program metformin tablets uses viagra online canadian pharmacy scam canadian express phramcy robaxin dosage in dogs buy domperidone uk price cialis zealand lasuna garlic clove where can i buy antivirals wellbutrin mucus stool rumalaya oil buy lasix water pills cialis 40 mg portugues pattaya cialis buy anti money laundering search how long does foreclosure stay on credit report what is flomax medication tamsulosin india online pharmacy permite credit repair department of human services in nashville tn phentermine information where to buy cialis pro vs levitra generic cialis discount viagra uk other find free credit repair letters generic glucophage metformin fast viagra shipping usa easy faxless online payday advances free viagra samples australia order propecia 1 year clomid without shot alli orlistat wholesale 6lowest propecia price credit cards for loans with bad credit rating uk sitagliptin metformin india online viagra australia wellbutrin 100 mg weight loss ventolin without nizagara ingredients in beer kamagra kaufen rezeptfrei accutane 80 mg results lisinopril dosage 100mg cytotec united states chlamydia zithromax cost generic lexapro discussion orderpharma coupon clippers 200 mg viagra sale drospirenone estradiol clomid 50 mg buy uk fosamax uso generic viagra special detrol generic walmart prednisone robitussin viagra causes dependency phenergan tablets ingredients credit auto repair for dummies ebook pillendienst levitra buying viagra with no prescription use viagra pfizer purchase ciprofloxacin levitra 10 mg effetti viagra without prescriptions uk buy priligy dapoxetine uk genuine cialis uk baclofen high how many to get high leukocytoclastic vasculitis prednisone what is a line of credit from a bank buy tadacip in india healthpoint the little blue pill check my fico score free transunion free business credit repair software dosierung celebrex 200mg free online credit check report provigil medication modafinil mail order drugs from india use viagra benefits kamagra london delivery topamax for migraines and alcohol azithromycin online purchase caffeine side effects in men nexium 40 mg vo generic zestril lisinopril purchase retin a without a prescription zovirax tabs uses for glucophage 700 credit plus in houston online pharmacy prilosec how long does it take to get your credit score up zithromax 500mg dosage for std viagra generico guatemala regulator sees flaws in free credit score information wellbutrin us priligy plus cialis sofilex capsules vs tablets zithromax buy chlamydia propranolol la dosage for anxiety bactrim generic drug singapore cialis prescription phenergan causes drowsiness buspar effective dose erythromycin 250 mg adalah reliable site to buy cialis lisinopril lopressor together clomid babies canadian viagra and healthcare brand cialis no prescription buspar and irritability celebrex canada prices viagra uk fedex viagra online 150mg consumer credit ratings scale cialis 20 mg composizione cialis knockoff fertomid same as clomid clonidine 0.1 mg patch mircette generic form lisinopril 10 mg ms consigli uso viagra usos de la terramicina oftalmica cytotec side effects on fetus how is interest on cash advances calculated mouse doxycycline protocol minoxidil 5 solution walmartmirapex signs viagra use clomid pills use famvir side effects famciclovir 500mg generic lisinopril 3759 by requip online dopareel tablets 7 5 basketball nolvadex 5 mg viagra online ask generic of tetracycline how to buy clomiphene citrate how to get credit report how to get free credit report from all 3 bureaus tadalafil soft gel capsule pravachol lipitor study drugstore cowboy definition canadian generic viagra pharmacy strattera generic prescription prednisone cluster levitra brand ag guys cialis how to improve my credit score after bankruptcy where to buy cialis in uk viagra kaufen kamagra clomid 150mg twin cash loans with no checking account tetracycline pharmacy buspar xanax zithromax pills for dogs aron pharmacy levitra prednisone causing hyperthyroidism nexium over the counter cost lasilix where to buy non precription credit repair services albuquerque nm attorney credit repair the palm beach letter reviews cialis 20 mg halveren hysterographie sous clomid buspar street use request letter for h&r block instant money advance loan valtrex 1 gm price acnelyse review 360 medlineplus viagra where can we buy viagra cialisand viagra together romania viagra cost buy viagra 25 mg lasix diuretics costs viagra uk legal what is a charge off on credit report buspar mode daction nolvadex 20mg dosage pfizer viagra manufacturer paracetamol tablets cymbalta price costco total credit rating s&p green pill viagra buspar allergic reactions prednisone dosage 30 mg lexapro 5 mg success metformin hydrochloride side effects viagra generic cost dosage of ranitidine for infants levitra drug prescription prednisone cause strokes canadapharmacy .com levitra the best credit air conditioning repair in las vegas levitra apotheke austria what is my what is your credit score based on z pack uses micardis hct generic name eliza orlistat clomid et musculation buy lexapro from india chlamydia drugs online olanzapine 5mg buspar or zoloft free free government credit check report xds transunion free credit report online generic accutane china buspar erowid experience cara mengugurkan kandungan generic synthroid diarrhea reporting to credit bureaus tabletki cialis cena luvox cr patient assistance program lisinopril anhydrous online cash advance small loans no credit check viagra tablets the real thing vegetal vigra buy 500 mg lasix lasix injectable usa credit repair australia jobs 7 canadian medication ipharmacy reviews zoloft cause jitters on line pharmacy celebrex cialis eu online viagra cost real ranitidine zantac side effects valtrex walgreens price prevacid solutab generic viagra sales las vegas obetrol adderall and alcohol check credit rating uk postcodes viagra meds online in australia viagra 100 walmart price viagra milwaukee teachers lisinopril 6 mg best price for viagra 100mg secrets to help cialis work better antabuse rite aid levitra 20 mg n1 buy viagra ue bactrim and flushing levitra 20 mg wien doxycycline dispertablet 100mg buy kamagra next day delivery paypal advil plus viagra levitra 10mg schmelztabletten pacific care pharmacy online where can i buy cheap cymbalta credit loans reviews buy viagra in indonesia cialis philippines online we fix credit pty ltd bactrim pernicious anemia pfizer zoloft history augmentin buy no prescription cialis filmtabletten wirkung zoloft without depression finpecia from india online ciales ciales elavil side effects 10mg increasing lung capacity for running buspar dog dose glucovance generic name buy 5mg propecia requip medication for parkinsons disease cytotec 100 mg cialis profesional england cialis low price lisinopril hydrochlorothiazide 10 12.5mg new credit score information uk tadalafil online pharmacy erythromycin estolate tablets efeito viagra 25 mg priligy foglietto illustrativo buspar bruxism generic viagra taken effects wellbutrin fetus fucidin h cream 30g uk xerograx capsulas de moringa cardizem cd generic equivalent clomid online 50mg cialis comparison price accutane price with aetna insurance viagra generico chile ert viagra tablets cialis online international dalacin c 300mg clindamycin ornidazole drug mart bactrim cause neutropenia ivermectin for humans dosage canadian pharmacy brought by echeck strattera uses cheap premarin mail bactrim antibiotic infections levitra buy australia xanax side effects symptom viagra legal verkaufen avodart hair loss dutasteride propecia generic good 5mg cialis urinate apotheke cialis augmentin uk buy kamagra apcalis uk prednisone and pregnancy category atacand side effects taking consumer credit reporting industry scams credit repair myths & facts forest hills plavix 05 buy verapamilo online where can i purchase clonidine side buy levitra 250 online pakistan india viagra diclofenac pot 50 mg tablet used for generic wellbutrin price
Home Manufacturers Integrity Toys When Love Turns to Vinyl
When Love Turns to Vinyl
Written by Mel Odom   
Sunday, 23 December 2007 00:00

There she was again—that face. I’d seen her many times, in many different situations and clothes, always playing as if she were someone else, always successfully hiding beneath a glamorous facade. But I always saw through her disguises to the person she really was. I always saw the real Marsha Hunt. Or did I?

mel-loves-marshaOf course, as a child I didn’t think anything of the sort, and childhood is where my relationship with Marsha really be­gan. I just thought of her as “the pretty lady.” At first she was just one of the beautiful soft-focus faces I religiously watched on afternoon and late- night television. Many nights, after my parents had gone to bed, I would creep out from under my covers and into the living room where the console television was waiting, a co-conspirator in my nocturnal viewings. I would turn the sound down low and sit as close to the screen as I could and still be able to see the image. I loved the old black- and-white movies and the people who inhabited them. I knew which number on the dial was the key to the kingdom they called Hollywood. I started noticing the faces of certain stars I preferred, long before I knew their names. Marsha was one of those faces. What I noticed and loved about her was not only the beauty, with wide-spaced blue eyes and a profile like a notebook doodle, but also the physical grace with which she carried herself, often to humorous effects. She could faint gracefully into a spinning swoon or dance with her feather duster as she cleaned the furniture in a room. She could run across a moonlit garden in high heels and evening gown without tripping or even seeming aware of her feet. I thought she was wonderful. Gradually I started to see her in primetime places other than movies as she appeared in episodes of TV shows like The Twilight Zone and Outer Limits, and one summer in the 1950s, I was thrilled when she played the perfect mom in a witty comedy series called Pecks Bad Girl with killer kid Patty McCormick. It was with these TV appearances that I learned her name was Marsha Hunt. After that, she became a face and a name I always watched for. Anytime I saw her name, I made a point to watch. I never lost my taste for the movies that Marsha and her contemporaries made. Without my realizing it, they were becoming the basis for my future.

Many years passed during which I left home, went to different schools and became a New York City-based illustrator and then hopeful doll designer. At this point all these hundreds of movies I had watched over the decades came flooding back to me as the basis for the fictional lifetime and ca­reer of my creation, Gene Marshall. I set Gene’s story squarely in the period I loved the most and created a composite of my favorite stars who had helped form my ideals of beauty. That Gene’s last name was Marsha with two letters added at the end went by unnoticed, even by me.

Gene Marshall was a knockout groomed and dressed for “Mel Loves Marsha.”During the early blush of Gene’s success I was introduced to Marsha once again in the most fortuitous way possible— through her wonderful book The Way We Wore. My friend Doug James had a copy. One day, as we were discussing a possible dress design for Gene, he showed me Marsha’s book as reference. I was thrilled! For some reason I hadn’t known about the book until that moment. Instantly I did a bit of footwork and found myself a copy—and then a few more copies. The book became a treasured source among Gene’s designers for any number of the costumes that went into the Ashton Drake line for Gene. Even when the specific outfit wasn’t from the book, how it was worn and with what certainly was.

A couple of years after discovering Marsha’s book, I was approached by Hyperion Press to write and illustrate a book of Gene’s biography. One of the concepts we decided upon for the book was to ask a few real celebrities to write their memories of the early rise of our girl star as if she had been real and had affected their lives. I immediately thought of asking Marsha to contribute a piece. After using so many of her costumes for Gene, it seemed the perfect connection. Gene had been a model early in her career, just like Marsha, and I had noticed by then other similarities in their stories. So, through a dear friend of mine on the west coast, Gene Maiden, I sent an extremely heartfelt letter to Ms. Hunt, asking if she would consider writing a few sentences for Gene Marshall, Girl Star, the decided-upon title for my book. To my absolute joy and amazement, she agreed. In a few weeks, two wonderful pages arrived from Marsha. They were a lovely account of a studio commissary meeting between Marsha and Gene, beautifully written and extremely generous to the story I was telling. A flurry of faxes went back and forth, and she received enough thank-you flowers from me that she wrote to tell me to “stop with the flowers.”

She assured me she had a beautiful garden behind her home and was really worried about all my money going into her vases. During this phase of our friendship, based entirely on phone calls and faxes, good luck intervened and Marsha was invited to New York to speak at a tribute for film director Jules Dassin. We arranged for a lunch meeting during her stay, and on July 6, 1999, we met face to face for the first time.

After our three-hour lunch, I came away smitten and have remained so ever since. With the book completed and a success, I was able to take some time and travel to California occasionally and spend time in Marsha’s garden and lovely home and realize a life-long dream of actually being friends with her. I wanted to share this lovely friendship with the world, so I proposed to Ashton Drake we step outside of Gene’s usual story line and create a doll entitled “Mel Loves Marsha.” I had a beautiful Irene-de­signed gown from The Human Comedy meticulously copied, and we coifed the doll in a style reminiscent of Marsha’s famous “feather cut.” “Mel Loves Marsha” was one of the most successful dolls from the 2004 line.

At the same time “Mel Loves Marsha” was being planned for the Gene line, I was working with Sandra Stillwell on arrangements for the ninth Annual Gene Convention, planned for the Biltmore Hotel in Hollywood. After Marsha agreed to be the guest of honor, Sandra and I plotted for that year’s convention to be a tribute to “all things Marsha.” There was a competition of Gene-sized fashions, taken from The Way We Wore, with Marsha facing the impossible task of judging. I can only imagine the surreal aspects of seeing your own past created in miniature and requiring an official favorite. We showed the wonderful movie Lost Angel that Marsha made with film (and doll) legend Margaret O’Brien, and a room full of fans got to watch Marsha watching herself. We decided the souvenir doll would be dressed and styled in a beautiful white and gold dinner suit design by Travis Banton and borrowed from the film Smash-Up, Story of a Woman. A group of individual souvenir outfits were designed that year, all based on Marsha’s wardrobe, including the lovely fur-trimmed pink suit in which she had been happily married to Robert Presnell. It came with a striking floral and tulle hat and bridal bouquet and was certainly a sentimental favorite with Marsha. As she effortlessly charmed the crowds and announced that she had just celebrated her 87th birthday, I swore to myself that I’d throw her another party on her 90th.

This year’s Gene convention is just that party: the chance of a lifetime to celebrate a lifetime beautifully lived. When I first realized the year was upon us, I asked Marsha if she was up for another birthday party. When she gave me the enthusiastic go ahead, I presented the convention organizers with the idea— make the convention a 90th birthday party for Marsha and a tribute to and 60th anniversary for her film noir classic Raw Deal. I put the two occasions together and named the convention “Rare Deal.” We went into high gear with plans to create a tribute doll for Marsha that would complement the earlier dolls, yet be distinctively different. We decided for the first time ever in the Gene line to sculpt a portrait head of a real individual and create a true Marsha Hunt doll.

We went back to the original sculptor of Gene, Michael Evert; for four weeks he and I worked from countless studio portraits of Marsha and prepared the new head. Bits and pieces flew back and forth from the factory as the doll quickly took shape. We selected the clothes from Marsha’s book again: a gorgeous Edward Stevenson-designed black-tulle-over-flesh evening gown and a sporty tennis dress for the two dolls. Our separate outfit became a sensational fur-trimmed suit and hat designed by Edith Head, featuring such period innovations as a decorative silver zipper closure in the front and detachable fox peplums. When you’re interpreting fashions by such revered designers as these, you keep your fingers crossed and your heart in your throat.

There’s an age-old storyline in Hollywood that says two stars can’t happily share the same spotlight. Gene Marshall’s own story is based on her rivalry with Madra Lord over just that issue. But this year, at the 12th Annual Gene Convention, this timeworn cliché is being proved out-of-date and no longer valid. Gene Marshall and Marsha Hunt will be there, hand in hand, sharing the same spotlight and loving every minute of it— both of them perfect examples of what happens when love turns to vinyl.

Trackback(0)

TrackBack URI for this entry

Comments (0)

Subscribe to this comment's feed

Write comment

smaller | bigger

busy