History | October 20, 2017 9:00 am

Hollywood Actors Who Were Blacklisted During the Red Scare

October 20th marks the 70th anniversary of the start of the notorious Red Scare.

Charlie Chaplin in "The Gold Rush"
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Back in 1947, a Congressional committee began investigating Communist influence in Hollywood starting Oct. 20th.

The Cold War began to heat up between the United States and communist-controlled Soviet Union after World War II, writes HistoryThe House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) began questioning a number of prominent witnesses, asking “Are you or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?” Some witnesses gave the committee names, whether out of fear or patriotism. A small group, called The Hollywood Ten, resisted, History explains, saying this violated their First Amendment rights. All 10 were convicted of obstructing the investigation and served jail time. Hollywood then started a blacklist policy, banning the work of about 325 screenwriters, directors and actors who the committee had not yet cleared. Some people were able to keep working, whether it was through pseudonyms or crediting their friends. It wasn’t until the 1960s that the ban began to lift, and finally, in 1997, the Writers’ Guild of America unanimously voted to change the writing credits of 23 films made during the blacklist period, reports History. 

Time put together a list of entertainers who were blacklisted. Check out some of them below.

Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin in ‘The Gold Rush’ The Gold Rush in 1925

Charlie Chaplin
Chaplin was blacklisted for refusing to co-operate when called before the House Un-American Activities Committee

Orson Welles
American actor, producer and director Orson Welles circa 1938 (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Orson Welles
Welles was a vocal political leftist. He directed Citizen Kane, which some believe supports a Communist ideology.

Burgess Meredith
Actor Burgess Meredith performing in the play, Playboy of the Western World, circa 1946 (Eileen Darby/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
The LIFE Images Collection/Getty

Burgess Meredith
The actor was blacklisted and was not in movies for seven years.

Lena Horne
Actress Lena Horne as Selina Rogers in the 1943 film Stormy Weather. (George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty Images)
Corbis via Getty Images

Lena Horne
Horne was a singer, dancer, and actress. She was blacklisted for many years and labeled as a Communist sympathizer because of her civil rights activism and connection to Paul Robeson, who was heavily targeted because of his communist affiliations.

Langston Hughes
American poet and writer Langston Hughes poses on the steps of his house in Harlem, New York, June 1958. (Robert W. Kelley/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
The LIFE Picture Collection/Gett

Langston Hughes
Hughes was affiliated with Communist-linked groups. His poetry sometimes appeared in Communist newspapers.

Arthur Miller
Arthur Miller sitting in his office in 1949. (Getty Images)
Bettmann Archive

Arthur Miller
Miller was a celebrated playwright, but he refused to name suspected Communists when called before the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC).

Pete Seeger
Folk singer Pete Seeger, 36, appears at the HUAC hearing August 18, 1955, in New York (Getty Images)
Bettmann Archive

Pete Seeger
Seeger was an open member of the Communist Party, but refused to name anyone before HUAC in 1955. He was convicted of contempt of Congress and was sentenced to 10 years, though that was later overturned.

Gypsy Rose Lee
Gypsy Rose Lee, the famous burlesque queen and author, shown seated at the makeup table in her dressing room before a show. (George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty Images)
Corbis via Getty Images

Gypsy Rose Lee
Lee was a burlesque star. She attended meetings of the Communist United Front.

Leonard Bernstein
Composer Leonard Bernstein at piano conducting (Getty Images)
Bettmann Archive

Leonard Berstein
Berstein was a composer. He was a suspected Communist but was never called to testify in front of HUAC.

Dorothy Parker
Writer Dorothy Parker reviews a draft copy of a manuscript at her home, circa 1948. (New York Times Co./Getty Images)
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Dorothy Parker
The FBI had a 1,000-page file on the writer. She reported for a Communist magazine and was suspected of supporting the party.

John Garfield
John Garfield in Blackwell’s Island, 1939. (John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
Corbis via Getty Images

John Garfield
Garfield, who was an actor, refused to name anyone’s name when he testified in front of HUAC. This led to the end of his movie career.

Burl Ives
Actor/Folk singer Burl Ives during a recording session, circa 1945 (Harriet Arnold/Pix Inc./The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
The LIFE Images Collection/Getty

Burl Ives
Ives was a folksinger and actor. His involvement with labor unions was suspicious, but he denied affiliation with the Communist Party and cooperated with HUAC. He was removed from the blacklist, but his former friends in the folk community seemed to think he had sold out.

Judy Holliday
Judy Holliday plays divorcee Nina Tracey in ‘Phffft!’,1954. (John Kobal Foundation/Getty Images)
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Judy Holliday
The actress and singer was blacklisted from radio and TV.

Uta Hagen
Actress Uta Hagen, circa 1945. (Joseph Scherschel/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
The LIFE Picture Collection/Gett

Uta Hagen
Hagen was a German actress who was affiliated with Paul Robeson. She found limited opportunities after she was blacklisted.

Jazz clarinetist Artie Shaw leads his band during a scene from the movie Second Chorus in 1940.
Bettmann Archive

Artie Shaw
Shaw was a clarinetist and bandleader. He attended Communist meetings and was brought before HUAC, where he claimed he only attended the meetings out of interest in social justice. However, people who knew him said his affiliation with the party ran deeper.

Dashiell Hammett
Dashiell Hammett speaking before Senate committee circa 1953. (Getty Images)
Bettmann Archive

Dashiell Hammett
The author was a member of the American Communist Party. He took the Fifth Amendment at a hearing. Afterwards, he was charged with contempt of the court and imprisoned for five months.

Lloyd Bridges
American actor Lloyd Bridges in the 1952 film ‘High Noon’ (Pictorial Parade/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Lloyd Bridge
The actor was briefly blacklisted in the 1950s after he admitted to the HUAC that he had once been a member of a group found to have had links to the Communist party. He was later cleared by the FBI.