Actions
Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Hellmans in:
 • Chilmark Cemetery
 • Chilmark
 • Dukes County
 • Massachusetts
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Discussion Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Lillian Hellman
Birth: Jun. 20, 1905
New Orleans
Orleans Parish
Louisiana, USA
Death: Jun. 30, 1984
Tisbury
Dukes County
Massachusetts, USA

Playwright. Born in New Orleans to Max and Julia Hellman. Attended both New York University and Columbia University. She began her literary career reviewing books for the "New York Herald Tribune" and had some short stories published. Married to playwright Arthur Kober (1925-1932). In 1930 she moved to Hollywood where she reviewed movie scripts for MGM. She also met author Dashiell Hammett and would have an intimate relationship with him until his death. Hammett maintained Lillian was the inspiration for Nora Charles, a character in his "Thin Man" mysteries. Hellman's first success as a playwright came in 1934 with "The Children's Hour," a story she said was "... not about lesbians" but rather "... about the power of a lie." Family hatred and greed was the subject of "The Little Foxes" (1939), and is one of Hellman's best-known works. Both plays had successful runs on the stage and were later adapted to the movie screen by MGM. "The Little Foxes" received nine Academy Award nominations. After traveling in Spain during it's civil war, Hellman wrote her antifascist play "Watch on the Rhine" (1941), for which she received the New York Drama Critics Circle Award. The play brought to the forefront her left-wing political leanings and though she always maintained that she never joined the Communist Party, she was involved from time to time in liberal and leftist organizations and activities. In 1952, she was subpoenaed to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee where she was pressured to reveal names of theatrical associates who might have Communist affiliations. She responded to their demands by saying, "To hurt innocent people whom I knew many years ago in order to save myself is, to me, inhuman and indecent and dishonorable. I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year's fashions, even though I long ago came to the conclusion that I was not a political person and could have no comfortable place in any political group." Blacklisted for not cooperating with the committee, and while Hammett served a six month prison sentence for his refusal to cooperate, Hellman went to Europe with the help of friend William Wyler. Even though she was blacklisted into the 1960s, Hellman continued to work. During the 1950's she adapted the works of other writers for the stage, and in 1960 she wrote "Toys in the Attic." She taught creative writing classes and worked on her autobiographical trilogy, "An Unfinished Woman" (1969), "Pentimento" (1973) and "Scoundrel Time" (1976). Lillian received many honorary degrees from various universities. She died of cardiac arrest at her home in Martha's Vineyard. (bio by: Nan) 
 
Burial:
Chilmark Cemetery
Chilmark
Dukes County
Massachusetts, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jan 01, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 2423
Lillian Hellman
Added by: Nathaniel Karie
 
Lillian Hellman
Added by: Scott Michaels
 
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.


- Derek SJ.
 Added: Nov. 3, 2014

- R I P
 Added: Aug. 22, 2014

- Donna B.
 Added: Jul. 3, 2014
There are 156 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
Do you have a photo to add? Click here
How famous was this person?
Current ranking for this person: (4.2 after 61 votes)
 

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service