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Howard Da Silva Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (3)  | Trivia (10)  | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (4)

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Died in Ossining, New York, USA  (lymphoma)
Birth NameHoward Silverblatt
Height 5' 10½" (1.79 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Howard da Silva was one of 324 actors, writers and directors who fell victim to the Hollywood blacklisting of the early 1950s, and had his career halted in the blink of an eye. Originally was a steelworker before making his stage debut at age 20 in New York. He made a name for himself on Broadway before going to Hollywood, but kept up his stage work after making the move to films. His most memorable performance came in the 1943 Broadway production of Oklahoma!. In Hollywood, he became a well-liked character actor, appearing in such films as Sergeant York (1941), The Big Shot (1942) and The Lost Weekend (1945). In 1947, his career was threatened when the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) began its investigation into alleged Communist influence of Hollywood. Actor Robert Taylor, called as a "friendly witness", accused many of his fellow actors and writers of either being communists or having communist sympathies. When questioned about da Silva, Taylor said, "I can name a few who seem to sort of disrupt things once in a while. Whether or not they are communists I don't know. One chap we have currently, I think is Howard da Silva. He always seems to have something to say at the wrong time." On November 25, 1947, a meeting of Hollywood executives held in New York released a statement known as the Waldorf Statement, in which they announced a blacklist would be immediately imposed aimed at anyone named or suspected as a communist. "We will forthwith discharge or suspend without compensation those in our employ and we will not re-employ any of the ten until such time as he is acquitted or has purged himself of contempt and declares under oath that he is not a communist." Howard appeared in a few more films before he was called before HUAC, refused to answer any of the committee's questions and was promptly blacklisted by the studios. He continued working in the theatre, and once the blacklist was lifted in the early 1960s made a return to film and television. He passed away two years after making his last movie.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Keith Burnage <webmaster@keithsnet.com>

Spouse (3)

Nancy Nutter (30 June 1961 - 16 February 1986) ( his death) ( 3 children)
Marjorie Nelson (17 August 1950 - 9 May 1961) ( divorced) ( 2 children)
Jane Louise Taylor (10 January 1941 - 28 July 1948) ( divorced) ( 1 child)

Trivia (10)

Although he was named by writer Martin Berkeley, he was investigated by the FBI as member of the Communist Party and was subpoenaed to appear before the House Committee on Un-American Activities. He testified on March 21, 1951 and was the first witness from Hollywood to invoke the Fifth Amendment objecting to being called to testify against himself. As a result he was listed in Red Channels and could find no more work in Hollywood and Broadway for one decade.
Did voice-over links for serial episodes of the BritishScience Fiction series Doctor Who (1963), which were edited for American television (circa 1973).
Played Jud Fry in the original 1943 stage production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Oklahoma!.
Was the star of the historic Unit 891 production of Marc Blitzstein's Camera Three: The Cradle Will Rock (1964).
Between 1974 and 1977, he appeared in 26 episodes of the CBS Radio Mystery Theater.
Suffered a heart attack during the Broadway run of 1776 (1972), making him unable to attend the cast recording sessions. Understudy Rex Everhart took over the role and can be heard on the cast recording.
Was nominated for Broadway's 1960 Tony Award as best supporting or featured actor in a musical for "Fiorello!".
Twenty-five years after playing Wilson in The Great Gatsby (1949), he played the role of Meyer Wolfshein in The Great Gatsby (1974) .
Played Benjamin Franklin on Broadway in the original production of 1776, in the movie version of 1776 (1972) and in a National Park Service film presented in the 70s and 80s at Ben Franklin's home at Franklin Court, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Had a remarkably long career on the Broadway stage as an actor, director and playwright, working there from 1930-1982. His most notable production was in the hit Rodgers & Hammerstein's musical, Oklahoma! originating the role of Jud Fry for 2212 performances.

Personal Quotes (1)

As long as my parts have some meat in them, I'm not going to bite the hand that feeds me.

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