When Marsha Hunt posed naked in Patrick Lichfield’s Notting Hill studio on 6 January 2005, it wasn’t the first time. They were duplicating the famous shot he’d taken of her 37 years earlier for American Vogue. That was back in late September 1968, after the opening night of the first rock musical Hair. With its notorious nude scene, the show was destined to take London by storm. It would also make Marsha, then 22, a household name and launch a career that included 15 years in rock, further stage and film roles, her stunning, albeit brief, spell in radio and international acclaim as a writer.
What was so different about her second sitting with Lichfield in 2005 was that a TV film crew was on hand to record it as part of the prime-time documentary that was being shot about Marsha’s battle with cancer. Only five weeks earlier, she’d had her right breast and lymph glands removed.
Though cancer strikes fear into its victims, Marsha decided to treat it like a dangerous adventure. Her bravery and courage, tinged with a touch of her usual madness, transformed the crisis into an opportunity to change perceptions about female sexuality and beauty.
Whether it is the daring decision to pose naked with a single breast, the hair-cutting party Marsha throws at her daughter Karis Jagger’s Hollywood home, Marsha’s fight against the hospital superbug MRSA or falling in love on the Internet, the story of this lone woman’s determination to remain undefeated by cancer and the threat of death is an inspiring tale with twists and turns that will make you laugh and cry.