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Albert Maltz Biography

Date of Birth 28 October 1908, Brooklyn, New York, New York, USA

Date of Death 26 April 1985, Los Angeles California, USA (shingles related following a second stroke)

Mini Biography Oscar-nominated screenwriter Albert Maltz, a member of the Hollywood 10, was born on October 28, 1908 in Brooklyn, New York. A graduate of Columbia (Class of 1930), he attended the Yale School of Drama for two years as a tyro playwright. After striking out on his own as a dramatist, his plays were produced by the left-wing theatrical companies the Theatre Union and the Group Theatre. He also wrote novels and short stories. In 1935, during the Great Depression, he joined the Communist Party.

Maltz labored as a screenwriter for Warner Bros., which had made its reputation in the 1930s for its socially aware dramas. He worked on the classic Casablanca (1942) and other feature films and documentaries during World War II. He wrote the Oscar-winning documentary The House I Live In (1945), a plea for racial tolerance, and was nominated for an Oscar for writing Pride of the Marines (1945).

Maltz wrote an article in 1945 for the "New Masses" that demanded more intellectual freedom from the Communist Party for its members. Pressure from the Party made him recant his position, which had a chilling effect on some other Party members and liberal supporters of the Party's right to exist.

In 1947, Maltz and other Party members (and suspected Party members and sympathizers) were called before The House Un-American Activities Committee. HUAC was committed to stopping "communist infiltration" of the movie industry. At first, interviewed 41 movie industry professionals who volunteered to testify. Some of these so-called "friendly witnesses" denounced fellow workers who had left-wing views or were seen as being radicals in their respective guilds. HUAC then subpoenaed suspected subversives in the industry.

Maltz and nine others were cited for contempt of Congress for their uncooperative behavior before the Committee, which included not "naming names" of other communists. These "unfriendly witnesses", originally 19 in number, subsequently were tried and convicted on the charge. All were fined and jailed, and they were blacklisted by the industry.

A committed communist, Maltz continued to write using fronts who peddled his screenplays and received any credit alloted by the studios and guild. He remained unrepentant about his progressive politics until the end, which came on August 26, 1985 when he died in Los Angeles at the age of 76. At the time of his Death, the Hollywood 10 were no longer regarded as Cold War traitors but as martyrs to the cause of free speech.

Spouse Margaret Larkin (1937 - 1964) (divorced) 2 children
Trivia Blacklisted in 1950s; one of the Hollywood Ten.Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume one, 1981-1985, pages 541-542. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1998.Albert Maltz
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... org CLEVELAND, Sept. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage has added...
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