Photography by Danny Fulgencio.

Steve Hunter wanted to do a mural of Stevie Ray Vaughan on Zang Boulevard.

But the apartment complex that hired him, Novel Bishop Arts, already had commissioned a sculpture tribute to the blues artist from Oak Cliff. And they named their pool and lounge area after him.

“It was like Stevie Ray Vaughan overload,” Hunter says. “And I get that.”

Art consultant Lesli Marshall suggested he paint Linda Darnell.

Hunter already depicted one iconic actress from Oak Cliff, Yvonne Craig. His “Raised in Oak Cliff” Bat Girl mural in Bishop Arts draws many an admirer. There are hundreds of photos under #oakcliffbatgirl on Instagram.

“I didn’t even know Linda Darnell was from Oak Cliff,” he says. “I had seen the old Vincent Price movies, but I didn’t know much about her other than that.”

Born in 1923, Linda Darnell grew up in Oak Cliff and attended Sunset High School. Her mother had six children, but she believed that Linda, born Monetta, had talent and pushed her into an entertainment career. Darnell appeared in theater in Dallas and was a hostess for the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition. The following year, a 20th Century Fox talent scout visiting Dallas invited Darnell to a screen test in Hollywood.

She landed a contract with RKO and was cast in grown-up roles starting at age 15.

Between 1939 and 1965, she appeared in more than 40 films, and in the 1940s, she was considered to be one of the most beautiful women in the world.

She played the leading lady opposite Tyrone Power in “The Mark of Zorro” in 1940, and Hunter’s mural is a poster for that movie.

“I showed them my design for the mural, and they said, ‘Go paint it,’” Hunter says. “It’s rare that you get to paint something that’s cool and that you enjoy painting without the client making a lot of changes.”

Hunter has been working as a full time muralist for more than 20 years. Now that everyone wants a mural, he says he gets to be pickier about which jobs he takes.

He still wants to do a Vaughan mural; he restored another artists’ Stevie Ray Vaughan mural that had been tagged in Deep Ellum. And he wants to do a Pantera mural.

Since he’s done Yvonne Craig and Linda Darnell, might he paint another iconic Oak Cliff woman?

“I’d love it,” he says. “If someone commissions me for that, I would love to do it.”

Photography by Danny Fulgencio.