Arnaud d'Usseau

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Arnaud d'Usseau (April 18, 1916 – January 29, 1990) was a playwright and B-movie screenwriter who is perhaps best remembered today for his collaboration with Dorothy Parker on the play The Ladies of the Corridor.[1]


D'Usseau was born in Los Angeles and was the son of Leon d'Usseau, also a screenwriter and director of some repute during the silent era. He first came to notice as the co-writer (with James Gow) of Tomorrow the World, a 1943 drama about a German boy adopted by an American couple who then have to struggle with his Nazi upbringing. In 1945, he followed with another controversial play, Deep Are the Roots, about a black army officer who falls in love with a former Senator's daughter.

In late 1950, his name appeared on the Hollywood blacklist as a Communist sympathizer. He was forced to appear before Senator Joe McCarthy's investigative subcommittee in 1953, but declined to answer any questions, declaring that he would be glad to discuss Communism with the Senator in a forum where the cards weren't stacked against him. Afterwards, he moved to Europe and continued to write screenplays under various pseudonyms. Upon returning to the United States, he taught writing at New York University.

He died in 1990 at his home in New York, following surgery for stomach cancer.[2]

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ The Ladies of the Corridor, Dorothy Parker and Arnaud d’Usseau, introduction by Marion Meade, Penguin Classics, 2008, ISBN 978-0-14-310531-2
  2. ^ Obituary by C. Gerald Fraser, New York Times, February 1, 1990.