Arthur Laurents, Hollywood blacklist survivor, dies

Friday, May 6, 2011

Arthur Laurents, a director, playwright and screen writer who faced blacklisting during the height of the Red Scare, died yesterday.  He was 93.

In 2002, Laurents appeared on “Speaking Freely,” the First Amendment Center’s television program, and spoke about the political challenges he faced in Hollywood.

“This was in Hollywood, where they had an Un-American Committee investigating Hollywood, which was un-American in itself, and I was very naive then. I believed that justice prevailed, which it can, although it doesn’t, more often than not,” Laurents said.

Laurents survived the blacklist and went on to an extraordinary career, as a creative force behind “West Side Story,” “Gypsy” and “The Way We Were.”

See Laurents’ “Speaking Freely” interview transcript. The video can be found in the Media section of the Archives on this site.

See more from The New York Times.

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