November 15, 1890|
New York, New York
|Died||March 10, 1957
Woodland Hills, California
Samuel Ornitz (November 15, 1890 – March 10, 1957) was an American screenwriter and novelist who was one of the "Hollywood Ten" who were blacklisted by the Hollywood movie studio bosses during the era of McCarthyism.
Born in New York City, New York to a Jewish family, Ornitz's first success was the novel Haunch, Paunch and Jowl, an "anonymous autobiography" about his Jewish roots that contains early examples of stream-of-consciousness writing in American fiction. He first participated in the writing of a Hollywood motion picture in 1929. Between then and 1945 he wrote or co-wrote another twenty-nine screenplays.
In 1931, Ornitz collaborated with Theodore Dreiser, John Dos Passos and other left-leaning writers on the report of the Dreiser Committee, an investigation of the Harlan County War strike in Harlan County, Kentucky. This experience resulted in a short play, "A New Kentucky", published in The New Masses in April, 1934.
Samuel Ornitz died in 1957 in Woodland Hills, California, aged 66.
- Obituary Variety, March 13, 1957, page 63.
- Radical Innocence: A Critical Study of the Hollywood Ten, by Bernard F. Dick, page 21
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