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Biography

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Overview (3)

Date of Birth 6 August 1892New York City, New York, USA
Date of Death 6 January 1963Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA
Height 6' (1.83 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Writer / director Frank Tuttle, whose Hollywood career stretched from the silent movie era to the dawn of the 1960s, was born on August 6, 1892, in New York City. His first credit in the movie industry was as a screenwriter for the Monte Blue picture The Kentuckians (1921) in 1921 for Famous Players-Lasky (Paramount). He made his directorial debut the following year with the melodrama The Cradle Buster (1922), starring Osgood Perkins. A contract director at Paramount, he directed 73 more movies before hanging up his megaphone after 1959's Island of Lost Women (1959). His output included films ranging from the classic This Gun for Hire (1942)--the film that made Alan Ladd a star--to the Edgar Bergen-Charlie McCarthy farce Charlie McCarthy, Detective (1939).

Tuttle worked in every genre, including slapstick, and with greats and near-greats, from silent stars Clara Bow, Evelyn Brent, Louise Brooks, Thomas Meighan and Gloria Swanson to sound-era stand-outs Jean Arthur, Mary Astor, William Bendix, Joan Blondell, Eddie Cantor, Bing Crosby, William Demarest, Cary Grant, Veronica Lake, Fredric March, Adolphe Menjou, William Powell, Robert Preston, Edward G. Robinson, Charles Ruggles, Simone Signoret and Phil Silvers.

Tuttle became notorious during the Hollywood Red Scare for his associations with the American Communist Party, revealed in testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). Not only had the director had been a member of the Communist Party, but Tuttle had hosted Party get-togethers in his New York City home, which served as the site for one meeting of party members attended by V.J. Jerome. Jerome was a cultural commissar for the Communist Party USA, who served as editor of its theoretical journal "The Communist" (later retitled "Political Affairs"). In 1951 Jerome was indicted for subversion under the Smith Act along with other members of the Communist Party. Convicted, he was imprisoned for three years. Lionel Stander, who was blacklisted, was at the Jerome meeting at Tuttle's home.

The same year the Communist Party leadership was indicted along with Jerome, Tittle returned to the US to play tattle-tale. In an appearance before HUAC, he admitted to being a Party member from 1937 to 1947, when he quit the party as it had become "too violent" for his taste (Jerome and other Communist Party leaders were indicted for advocating the violent overthrow of the U.S. government). Tuttle went through the ritual of "naming names", including that of director Jules Dassin, who himself was blacklisted and forced into exile in Europe. Avoiding the blacklist by his public show of contrition, Tuttle continued to direct in Hollywood, but ironically his career ended in 1959, the year that the blacklist was broken when Otto Preminger and Kirk Douglas openly hired blacklisted Hollywood 10 member Dalton Trumbo to write the scripts for Exodus (1960) and Spartacus (1960), respectively.

Frank Tuttle died on January 6, 1963, in Los Angeles, California. He was 70 years old.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood (qv's & corrections by A. Nonymous)

Spouse (3)

Fredericka Staats (? - ?)
Tatiana (? - ?)
Carla Tuttle (? - ?)

Trivia (4)

Children: Frederica and Helen
Graduate of Yale University.
Wrote for "Vanity Fair" magazine before entering the film business as a screenwriter.
"Named names" before the House Un-American Activities Committee, including that of director Jules Dassin. Dassin was blacklisted and had to go into exile in Europe.

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