With just her modeling credits behind her, Hunt managed to get a contract with Paramount Pictures, reported the Associated Press. The studio was home to Hollywood luminaries such as Cary Grant, Mae West, and Carole Lombard.
Hunt had wanted to be in films but friends and relatives advised her to act coy about her ambitions so movie studios will come knocking on her door to convince her to change her mind. And it worked. She got her first starring role the year she moved to Hollywood and was a leading actress in “The Virginia Judge.” The Los Angeles Times says Hunt went on to appear in movies like “Pride and Prejudice“ in 1940 and 1941’s “The Trial of Mary Dugan“ both with MGM.
Hunt’s career was doing well, she even almost got the part of Melanie in “Gone with the Wind” (which ultimately went to Olivia de Havilland) but it all went downhill after a visit to Washington, D.C.
It was 1947, and it was the height of McCarthyism. As the BBC explains, Hunt joined the board of the Screen Actors Guild and later the Committee for the First Amendment. During this time, the Senate had begun investigating Hollywood for communist ties. Hunt, along with other big-name actors, were invited to testify in Congress. For Hunt, it was a chance to defend her profession from baseless attacks.
But it would prove disastrous. Unlike those stars like Humphrey Bogart, who recanted their previous opposition to McCarthyism, Hunt did not. Instead, it landed her on the Blacklist.