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Lester Cole Biography

  • Profession: Screenwriter
  • Born: Jun 19, 1904
  • Died: Aug 15, 1985

Screenwriter Lester Cole will go down in cinema history as a member of the original "Hollywood Ten," one of the first unfortunate people in the film industry to be black-listed by the House Anti-American Activities Committee in 1947. Cole, the son of Polish immigrants, began writing and directing plays at age 16 after he dropped out of high school. During the 1920s and '30s he worked as an actor on stage and screen before embarking on his screenwriting career. While in Hollywood, he was a union activist and became a co-founder of the Screen Writers Guild in 1933. He was later black-balled for challenging the committee's right to interrogate him about his political beliefs. He then served 1 year in prison, leaving behind an unfinished script that was later finished by John Steinbeck for Kazan's [[Feature~V52942~Viva Zapata~vivazapata]] (1952). Following his release from prison, Cole worked a series of odd jobs. In 1961 he went to London, but eventually returned to the states where he began collaborating on screenplays under an assumed name. He also taught screenwriting at the University of California, Berkeley ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi


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