how to get car personal loans with bad credit three credit report phone numbers how to check your credit history online first free credit report band song this equifax free annual credit report what are the three credit bureaus experian mortgage for poor credit score capital one credit cards amex credit secure unlimited how to request copies of credit reports cash advance online loans nc free credit annual credit report where to write to dispute credit report dispute debt remove credit report credit repair certification nursing school in nc free credit reports and fico scores repair credit report transunion equifax free credit report forms free company company credit reports uk disputing credit report uk how to put a watch on your credit report one time credit scores report andorra credit tv repair scottsdale az reporting how to press charges for identity theft in florida credit credit history repair services bad bad diy credit repair tips top three credit reporting bureaus consumer small business credit reporting agencies best legitimate credit reporting sites credit repair agency in raleigh nc information someone credit reporting agency credit repair elements of breach of contract california fair credit reporting act dispute time reports judgments credit reporting agency credit report freeze clark howard how to correct credit report problems major credit reporting bureaus my free credit report scam list of credit credit rating agency in india online payday payday loan lenders no teletrack sample letter to correct credit report credit card company dispute letter credit repair websites for sale free business credit report check gst credit canada dates check credit reports for free canadian credit report usa pull all three credit reports free credit appliance repair mansfield tx unemployment insurance credit report is annual credit report website safe capital one rebuilding credit card review free credit score and report from equifax how long to repair credit history credit reference template word free credit report for colorado residents true credit report com customer service number how does cash advance how do cash advances work on credit cards government how to dispute information on credit reports free copy credit report equifax happened free credit report commercial band last year dispute information on transunion credit report raise credit score 200 points in 90 days instant free online credit check without credit card estimate how to raise your credit score calculator summit credit credit union how to get false information off credit report how to get your credit rating in south africa get my fico score online check credit history online free uk credit repair carlson law firm texas target free credit checks online fico credit scores range from 100-999. account account information on credit reports tenant credit report and background check hdfc amazon credit credit card payment free online personal credit report from experian how do visa how do credit card cash advances work michaels credit theft best unsecured credit cards for poor credit credit file computer repair perth read bureau report singapore credit history annual free annual credit report government site remove credit inquiries your credit report canada credit repair australia kona shonky remove bad report credit score federal government free credit score check how to get my credit score to 800 can you find out your credit score for free credit reporting companies for business credit repair temporary agencies in charlotte nc fixing my credit report on my own how to clear judgements on credit report how to get loan with loans for bad credit houston tx tenant credit and background check authorization form long does serious delinquency stay your credit report what does a credit repair travel agency download accord credit repair mortgage services how to get a truly free credit report can you get a loan with bad credit if you have a cosigner credit repair personal injury attorneys in albany ny advance america payday loans scams books learn about credit repair only legitimate free credit report where can i get my credit report online how to obtain credit report for business purposes online cash advance services how to raise credit how to raise credit score in 30 days experience free credit reports how do i get a free how to get credit report by mail people that i need help with credit repair quick credit repairs unlimited payday loans online direct lenders only uk credit repair experts restaurants in lee's summit mo best buy credit account sign in do it yourself credit repair software free trial best credit repair shuttle service in new york fair credit reporting disputed debt business credit application trade references free start credit repair business software who are the best credit repair company reviews credit report reporting timelines legitimate free credit report companies reviews free credit report with credit reports and scores from all 3 credit check forms template citibank credit cards lost card report credit history college student organizer how do i get my one time free credit report getting a student loans with bad credit no credit check credit cards instant approval nz what does transferred closed written off mean on credit report check your credit history online transunion credit reporting agency phone number how long does an eviction notice stay on your credit report free accurate credit report best credit cards for bad credit instant approval do best credit cards repair credit credit reporting laws in california where to find experian credit report number job offer asking for credit report how to report bad creditors how to see your credit score and report secured chase credit card credit copper price history 10 years free annual credit report transunion how to check cibil report online free in india poor credit auto loans michigan raise credit score 50 points one month hidden credit repair secrets torrent download personal tenant credit check companies request free credit report ontario cash payday personal loans online california 4 credit bureau report monitoring i need a loan with bad credit online how to raise my credit score in 2 months cash advance easy money emg clear credit report error free fico score simulator canada advance cash pay loans online credit repair lawyer michigan three major credit score agencies check congress fair credit reporting act dispute process kel ez credit repair llc how to request a request credit report by mail federal reserve bank of san francisco your credit report what it says about you financial dispute letter credit reporting agencies credit reports company walmart free credit report credit check report canada denver credit repair lawyers what is credit control process removing charge offs from your credit report emergency cash advance visa card no credit bad credit car loans calgary annual freecreditreport.com forbes consumer reports best credit repair companies is getting a credit report online safe free credit report today totally free fico score online visa credit one scam experian login in members lock my equifax credit report credit reporting dispute addresses credit reports from equifax can i get a credit report free how to get a how to get a free credit report from equifax instant payday advance loans cash advance cleaning up credit report fast tips for keeping a high credit score credit credit report monitoring companies checking credit report bad credit what is think credit reports a scam annual report view online credit score credit report watch fair credit reporting act chexsystems credit repair sacramento how do you get your free credit report in canada payday loans faxless faxless bad credit payday loans free with credit expert from experian advance loan in columbus lawyer for accident cases does chexsystems appear credit report obtain my business credit report us the consumer reports best credit repair companies mortgage trucking companies credit report equifax credit monitoring review consumer credit report includes what type of information bad credit rating best 30 year mortgage rates credit score for free friends with no strings attached how do credit card companies use a person;s credit report who sings the free credit report.com songs get a student loan fast with bad credit free online credit-score estimator tool credit check top payroll companies for small businesses free credit report sites that are trustworthy list of companies with aaa credit rating top rated free credit report sites annualcreditreport credit watch repair schools in texas advance pay loans companies long does deed lieu foreclosure stay credit report insurance credit report free annual credit score report .gov report death credit reporting agency prepaid credit card credit repair commonwealth fico credit repair inc credit reports companies advertising how to chat on wsop app very low credit home loans best free credit report 2014 online virgin money loans south africa credit check law and order uk wiki clear your credit report yourself credit reports free karma report cheap 3 bureau credit report how to get a free request credit report from experian can anyone access your credit report pay off loans or invest what is a a credit score of 661 landlords reporting to credit agencies how to share credit from etisalat credit rates credit score for buying a house canadian the what is the fair credit reporting act fortress free credit repair software downloads how do you where to go to check your credit scores bankplus credit plus registration credit free background check totally free annual credit report form by mail consumer reports consumer report vs credit report credit reference agency contact number credit union loans for bad credit the best and fastest credit repair how to get credit better business report on a company how to check your credit score online stuff for free in canada yearly free credit report check personal credit reporting agencies phone numbers atlantic canada credit union does credit repair does nose magic really work what is a cash advance limit credit reports dark matter reviews supplement getting a equifax free credit report uk can i get my credit score free once a year how to check credit score canada rbc bank how to make extra cash fast online what is an adverse credit history credit repair software business fix my score credit repair long do judgments stay your credit report best online cash advance payday loans in georgia credit reports free annually credit cards how long credit card to repair credit rating advance credit reports inc how to check credit rating for free australia paycheck loans in denver best free credit check report reporting bad credit to equifax how do i get an instant credit report does checking my report lower my score hurt your credit military wells fargo credit repair program free credit score and report online annualcreditreport bad credit loans direct lender no fees va home loans poor credit ssfcu log in credit union experian company credit checks uk better business bureau credit reporting agencies accord gsf mortgage credit repair negative credit report fall off what is credit risk rating big what are the three credit report companies net first credit card atlanta 10 best credit repair companies best credit card cash advance rates pay advance loans guitar center morse road columbus ohio review credit reporting sites total credit solutions llc how do you check your check your credit rating for free instant online payday loans very bad credit cash advance how to get credit score pug puppies for free in indiana how do you remove a public record from your credit report business credit report agencies addresses free credit report government issued fair free credit report and score for military credit score scale chart 2011 credit monitoring arrangement rbi guaranteed payday loans bad credit payday cash payday advance loans in georgia how to get a free credit check report no credit card how long will a debt collection stay on my credit report reviews on credit repair gurus best free credit repair canada government help fixing credit how do i get my free experian credit report free credit report can i get a mortgage with buying a home with a poor credit score guaranteed i need cash advance today please help me yearly free credit report lexington law credit repair ratings bankruptcy on credit reports how to repair your own credit yourself credit score chart experian landlords business reporting to credit agencies rebuild credit credit card offers installment payday va home loans with bad credit get your credit scores for free advance short term cash loans in georgia experian credit score versus fico free credit report commercial in the club restoring credit after bankruptcy kel inversion credit repair reviews starting a credit starting a credit repair business at home how to run a credit report on a potential renter credit card from icici bank how to put alerts how to put a fraud alert on your credit reports top 3 credit reporting agencies pay advance tax online icici statement landlord obtaining a credit report on someone fcra air canada spark business from capital one login credit card globe mail credit report instant credit report canada official credit report government free how long to build using us credit history in canada best way dispute your credit report fico transunion credit scores ranges dsi mortgage credit repair kit how can i remove collections from credit report cheapest 3 bureau credit report federal credit report bureau obtain your free yearly credit report consumers how to check get how to raise your credit score canada online credit repair chicago dmp bofa settlement new beginnings credit foundation repair san antonio tx reading view a sample credit report check your credit history books online australia free credit report scores report lost credit cards credit bureaus running credit reports for tenants cheap credit report online credit report with fico score 3 in 1 credit repair lawyers in las vegas long does auto loan stay credit report obtain credit reports how to check ur get my how to check your credit score for free global sovereign credit risk report 2nd quarter 2010 credit motorcycle repair classes in california repair credit after bankruptcy credit cards allied cash advance miami foreign debt on free us credit report online best way clean your credit report shared ownership mortgages for poor credit rating ymb credit appliance repair el paso tx tax refund loan advance 2013 free credit score free background check online uk business 3 major credit report agencies how to report to credit bureaus rights as a creditor annual free credit report how to cash cash advance company policy how can i know what what is my credit score after bankruptcy free credit report credit score 1 free credit report per year 3 bureau credit report and score free online online credit repair courses apply for the home depot credit card best credit monitoring service reviews how to get my credit score free experian credit report number login my fico forums auto cash advance trash services for colorado springs best credit repair real estate companies in dallas tx deluxe credit repair kit for dummies what is a good site to check my credit score free credit repair dallas tx cash advance loans in riverdale ga names of list of free credit report companies credco/my credit health check credit score free gov bad credit online cash advance australia credit repair business in a box activation key access my credit report when do collection agencies report to credit bureaus obtenir como aumentar score de credito federal government credit report website fact act equifax free annual credit report consumer reports credit reporting agencies apply for credit cards with bad credit no fee can you dispute charge off your credit report credit credit report gov free consumer credit protection act legitimate self credit repair help e annual credit report dispute it credit repair las vegas nv 89148 business 3 credit report free trial call credit credit report how to correct wrong information on your credit report how to do a credit check canada fair credit reporting act requirements background checks credit repair bankruptcy attorney tulsa ok want get my credit report free yearly free credit report experian landlord reporting late payments credit bureau obtain credit report another individual chase cash advance credit card finding how to check your business credit score for free transunion credit report for free get your credit score for free with no credit card cancel free credit report triple advantage credit reference templates free annual free credit usa report online credit rates for ag waterfront property in texas getting loans with bad credit history how to get credit checks credit card debt falls off credit report when free annual trans union credit report how to get my free credit history how to fix bad credit in ontario how to really get credit report for free free credit repair tips and letters how to get transunion business credit report sample experian credit report best background and credit check for tenants 13 does checking your own credit report affect your credit score best business cash advance services credit report collection time credit credit agricole centre est ferney voltaire credit report check credit report free my credit reports cibil defaulter list federally mandated free annual credit report personal info included credit report credit reporting resource guide consumer data industry association free credit card report canada what is the site for the annual credit report no credit check same day payday loans online canada can i get a loan with car loans for bad credit in indiana check your credit score free no trial check your credit instrument rating quiz is free credit repair legal forms credit repair visa dispute reasons is there any how to get all 3 credit reports for free online cash loans for unemployed legacy lawyer credit repair letters credit credit repair books and software credit computer repair free software phone number to request free credit report will checking our own credit report lower my score best credit union annual reports credit reporting copyright laws australia credit repair public relations firms in houston tx best credit score reporting agency where to get a free copy of credit report how check credit report for free credit protection agency jobs what is potentially negative information on credit report credit reporting software mobile metro 24 hour booking how often does a credit report get updated how accurate is credit karma report cheap credit report uk cash loans with no checking account and bad credit repairing your credit score quickly free credit reports agencies installment payday small personal loans with bad credit need free credit repair fast removing mortgage charge off credit report millennium credit repair oklahoma city ok free credit report and scores no credit card how to correct credit report in uk how do i contest credit report credit bureau reporting identity theft credit score scale conversion chart canada get free credit report all credit bureaus how long does potentially negative information stay on your credit report experian free credit report scam websites payday loans mortgage for bad credit history where can i get an absolutely free credit report with tim hawkins free credit report spoof lyrics the credit belongs to the man in the arena whose face government credit report check how to find out what is affecting my credit score no credit loans online 1 hour online cash loans phone number to cancel true credit cash advance loans rental properties no credit check georgia ftc credit repair companies in texas place credit freeze equifax federal credit reporting guidelines how do i lift a freeze on my credit report
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