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John Wayne Co-Star From Classic 1937 Film Passes Away At 104

Golden Age Hollywood star Marsha Hunt, who co-starred with John Wayne 85 years ago in the 1937 classic Born to the West, passed away on September 7 at the age of 104. Her death was unfortunately overshadowed by that of Queen Elizabeth, who died one day later at the age of 96.

Marsha Hunt Passes Away

As per The Hollywood Reporter [4], Hunt died of natural causes at her home in Sherman Oaks, California; where she had resided since 1946. At the time of her death, Hunt was just over one month away from celebrating her 105th birthday. 

Hunt was only 20 years-old when she starred opposite Wayne, who was 30 at the time, in Born To The West. The IMDB synopsis [5] of the film simply states, “Can Dare Rudd (Wayne) prove he is responsible enough to win the heart of Judy (Hunt) and also outwit the crooked saloon owner?”

Related: John Wayne Once Blasted Kirk Douglas For Playing A Role He Deemed “Weak” And “Snivelling” [8]

Hunt Recalls Working With Wayne

Later in life, Hunt recalled working with Wayne, and she seemed to always remember him as a down-to-earth guy who didn’t see himself as anything special.

Hunt told Western Clippings [9] that Wayne “was just a likable big lug. Nothing at all extraordinary. He was the first to say he was no actor. In those days, he wasn’t into politics. None of us were. I don’t think we became aware—politically— until World War II.”

When asked about making Born To The West, Hunt remembered how making “six pictures a year for two years” made for quite the busy life as Hollywood star at the time.

“We really ground them out in those days,” she said. “Born to The West I recall as being pretty nice—not extra special. But don’t ever let me be the judge. I do think it was well made.”

“When I first went to Paramount, I didn’t want to do westerns,” Hunt disclosed. “I was not suited to them. I said, ‘I should be in Easterns, I’m not a strong, western gal type.’ They retorted with, ‘You’re tall and look good on horses.’”

‘John Wayne Was A Nice Guy’

Four years ago, in another interview to celebrate her 100th birthday, Hunt made similar comments about working with Wayne.

“John Wayne was a nice guy. That’s all I can say,” she recalled. “We made a small western picture when we were both at Paramount [Born To The West] and I was still in my teens, I think. And he, you know, he grew taller than statues and became everybody’s hero.”

Watch Hunt talk about this around 55 seconds into the video shared below.

Related: John Wayne’s Daughters Hit Back When Cancel Culture Renews Push To Destroy His Legacy [13]

Watch Born To The West For Yourself!

Incredibly enough, Born To The West is actually available in its’ entirety on YouTube, where you can watch it completely for free! Below you can check out this classic film for yourself if you want to see The Duke and Hunt in action 85 years ago.

It should be noted that the movie was given the name Hell Town when it was re-released years later, which is the title that can be seen during its opening sequence.

Wayne has been gone for over 40 years now, so it’s becoming more and more rare to hear from someone who actually costarred in a movie with him, particularly from such an early point in the legendary actor’s career.

Hunt was one of the last stars standing from the Golden Age of Hollywood. While she will be dearly missed, this classic actress will always live on through the many movies she left behind. May you find peace in eternal rest, Marsha Hunt. And rest in peace, John Wayne!