1937 Hunt House Car, and child star, on movie set in Hollywood
This is the 2nd photo I've ever seen of this rare RV, and it's amazing, because the rv was 1 of 50 made by a Hollywood cinematographer
the Hunt House cars, were unique early housecars built by Hollywood cinematographer Roy Hunt between 1935 and 1945, considered to be the first mobile home with a working shower.
This one was known as the Star, and the image was a 1938 publicity photo. This black and white photo on a Hollywood set is the first photo I've ever seen of a Hunt, in use during it's heyday, and only the 2nd photo I've ever seen of a Hunt house car.
The Hunt house car from 1937 used a 1937 Ford truck chassis.
Due to the nature of his work, Hunt spent several weeks at a time away from home. He occupied hundreds of places while practicing his profession and he raced cars and motorcycles for a hobby. His strangest past time, however, was building RV’s.
Hunt was able to use aircraft engineering to build the streamlined body you see in the photos. He had a auto-body shop help him with the fabrication. Hunt built almost 50 of them over the next decade, making it one of the rarest production motorhomes in existence, it also featured a disappearing toilet that folds into the wall so the shower has additional space
Currently, the 1937 Hunt House Care is housed at the RV/MH Museum and Hall of Fame in Indiana.
That little Hollywood star? Donnie Dunagan. Was in Hollywood for only 4 years. And in 4 years, worked in movies with Carole Lombard, Peter Cushing, Boris Karloff, Vincent Price, Basil Rathbone, and Bela Lugosi. Then he was chosen by Walt Disney to be the model for, and voice of, the young fawn Bambi.
He said "bird-a" "flower" and "butterfly", some of the most recognizable lines in all Disney films.
Dunagan was born in San Antonio, Texas, but his family soon moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where they struggled with poverty. There at the age of three-and-a-half he won a talent contest prize of $100.
Spotted by a studio talent scout, the family moved to Hollywood, where Dunagan appeared in a series of films and soon became his family's main breadwinner.
He recalls the "great ice-cream" they served in the cafeteria and the way Uncle Walt brought real-life deer to the studio because the animators were city kids and had never seen one before. "Mr Disney was a very nice man, very courteous," he remembers. "Some people are the boss because they wear a badge saying 'I'm the boss'. But Mr Disney didn't need that. I had the sense that he was a natural leader."
The incredible success of Bambi broke up his parents, and his mom died, he went to an orphanage, broke.
By the age of 13, Dunagan was living in a boarding house and working as a lathe operator. In 1952, at the age of 18, he enlisted in the Marine Corps, became a boxer and Harley rider too.
He became the Marines' youngest-ever drill instructor and served three tours in Vietnam, where he was wounded several times in the Tet offensive in Feb '68, then was an instructor at Quantico in combat skills and military law, before finally retiring in 1977 with the rank of Major.
For his service he received a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts. Dunagan kept his acting career a secret while serving in the Marines
He worked with Karloff, Lugosi, and Walt Disney, and as a spy in cold war Berlin, and was shot a couple times in the Tet offensive in Vietnam. The collapse of Enron ate his savings and he is now working to make ends meet.
It's a fact, he's one of the last alive to have worked with Karloff who acted up until he died in 1969, and with the 65-year interval between the making of the original Bambi and his participation on the Bambi retrospective DVD interviews with the cast, Donnie probably holds the record for the longest-awaited show business comeback of any entertainer in the world!