Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Feb 6 17:50:25 MST 2020

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Date: 	Thu, 6 Feb 2020 16:38:05 -0800
From: 	ed rampell <70hollybl at gmail.com>

Dear Friends,

The Anti-Blacklist/HUAC/McCarthyism community and free speech champions 
everywhere have lost two of our historic giants. It has been widely 
reported that actor/producer *KIRK DOUGLAS* passed away at the age of 
103. It is gratifying that news reports have noted that Kirk played an 
important, courageous role in breaking the Hollywood Blacklist and cited 
1960’s /Spartacus /as probably his most iconic role.

As you likely know, it was with that epic movie that Kirk helped end the 
Blacklist by allowing screenwriter *DALTON TRUMBO*, one of the 
*HOLLYWOOD TEN *- who’d been banned from (openly) making movies since 
1947 - to publicly have screen credit. Just as *OTTO PREMINGER *bravely 
did that same year, for the Trumbo-scripted /Exodus/.

But what hasn’t been reported and you may not know is the significant 
role that Kirk and the Douglas family personally played in the 70^th 
Anniversary Commemoration of the Hollywood Blacklist held Oct. 27, 2017 
- the exact 70^th anniversary to the day when the first member of the 
Hollywood Ten, *JOHN HOWARD LAWSON*, testified before the House 
Un-American Activities Committee on Oct. 27, 1947. Kirk wrote a personal 
message for the Commemoration, that was read by his granddaughter, 
*KELSEY DOUGLAS*, to the almost 500 people gathered together to pay 
tribute to those persecuted by - and who resisted - the Tinseltown 
Inquisition. By doing so, Kirk, Kelsey and their team helped make the 
sold out event at the Writers Guild of America Theater in Beverly Hills, 
that went on to be repeatedly broadcast on nationwide TV, a huge success.

For that, we are eternally grateful to the Douglas family. I personally 
had the pleasure and honor of briefly meeting Kirk once with his wife 
*ANNE* at UCLA during the LA Times Festival of Books. I had the presence 
of mind to tell this legendary actor that he’d actually played his 
greatest role offscreen - by helping to break the Hollywood Blacklist. 
I’m also thankful that Kirk autographed a copy of his book /I Am 
Spartacus /for me.

The other giant the Anti-Blacklist/HUAC/McCarthyism community and First 
Amendment stalwarts lost this week is *LILA GARRETT*, who died Feb. 1 at 
age 94. Lila was reportedly the role model for *BARBRA STREISAND’S 
*character Katie Morosky, the fiery organizer in the 1973 movie /The Way 
We Were/, which of course dealt in part with the Hollywood Blacklist. 
Lila’s screen credits include /My Favorite Martian/, /Bewitched/, /The 
Addams Family/, /Get Smart /and many other productions. Lila became a 
fixture on the progressive radio scene, hosting the early Monday morning 
/Connect the Dots /program on L.A.’s Pacifica station, KPFK, 90.7 FM. 
Lila was also President of the L.A. Chapter of Americans for Democratic 
Action, and was the mother of casting director/actor *ELIZA ROBERTS*, 
married to actor *ERIC ROBERTS*.

The fact that both Kirk and Lila lived such long lives made me reflect 
on longevity, and I remembered something the blacklisted screenwriter 
*ROBERT LEES*, who lived to be more than 90, once told me during an 
interview. “Bobby” was earning $1,500 per week writing Abbott and 
Costello, et al, comedies, when HUAC subpoenaed him to testify, but he 
refused to save his lucrative career by becoming a fink. Bobby told me 
his secret to living to a ripe old age was:

“The fact that I didn’t betray my friends makes long life that much 
nicer to live… I’ve nothing to hate myself for. Thank god I did what I 
did [not informing]. You could even laugh at the blacklist; it was an 

Our sincerest condolences to the Garrett and Douglas families. Kirk 
Douglas and Lila Garrett will be remembered at the 70^th Anniversary 
Commemoration of the imprisonment of Dalton Trumbo and John Howard 
Lawson, followed by the incarceration of the rest of the Hollywood Ten, 
scheduled to take place June 19, 2020 at the Writers Guild of America 
Theater. (Details to be announced soon.)

Until then, the motto of everyone fighting for freedom of speech and 
human rights during these dark days is, to paraphrase Trumbo: 


Ed Rampell, Coordinator Hollywood Blacklist 70th Anniversary Cinema Series

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