Alvah Bessie

Alvah Bessie

New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Death 21 Jul 1985 (aged 81)
Terra Linda, Marin County, California, USA
Burial Donated to Medical Science, Specifically: Body donated to University of California at Berkeley Medical School
Memorial ID 13576531 · View Source
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Writer. One of the "Hollywood 10," a group of ten writers, producers and directors who appeared before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in 1947 and refused to answer the question, "Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist Party?" The ten - Bessie, Dalton Trumbo, John Howard Lawson, Adrian Scott, Ring Lardner, Jr., Samuel Ornitz, Herbert Biberman, Albert Maltz, Lester Cole and Edward Dmytryk - based their refusal to answer on the protection of the First Amendment. The courts disagreed and found the ten guilty of contempt of Congress, fined $1,000 each, and sent to various federal prisons to serve time ranging from a few months to a year. Bessie spent a year at the Texarkana Prison. After his release, he was put on a blacklist - unable to work in Hollywood. He managed to find work as a stage manager in San Francisco, CA (an occupation he had during his college years) and he resumed his writing, publishing novels such as "The Un-Americans" in 1957, "Inquisition in Eden" in 1965 - which detailed his experiences with the HUAC, "The Symbol" in 1966, and "One for My Baby" in 1980, among others. A graduate of Columbia University, his first short story, "Redbird," was published in 1928. His first novel, "Dwell in the Wilderness," was published in 1935. He was a member of the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). He wrote about his experiences in that war in "Men In Battle" (1939). He also wrote the screenplays for movies such as "Hotel Berlin," "Northern Pursuit," "The Very Thought of You," and "Objective Burma."

Cause of death: Heart attack

Bio by: Donna Di Giacomo


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Donna Di Giacomo
  • Added: 9 Mar 2006
  • Find a Grave Memorial 13576531
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Alvah Bessie (4 Jun 1904–21 Jul 1985), Find a Grave Memorial no. 13576531, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Donated to Medical Science, who reports a Body donated to University of California at Berkeley Medical School.