Bryan Cranston has held some pretty legendary roles over his career. Walter White in Breaking Bad. President Lyndon B. Johnson in the upcoming HBO series All the Way. The dad on Malcolm in the Middle…
While these roles are all important in their own unique ways, perhaps one of the most important roles Cranston has embodied to date is that of Dalton Trumbo in the flick Trumbo. The flick, which debuted recently at the Toronto International film Festival follows the rise, fall and eventual black market resurgence of the script writer during the cold war.
As history buffs may well know, the 1940s were a dangerous time for anyone who happened to have joined the communist party in the U.S. during a time when the word “communist” didn’t have such a negative connotation. (It was only when the Soviet Union and the U.S. fell out that the “commies” got a bad rap.) During this period, McCarthyism (named after the senator who presided back then) reigned supreme. Hundreds upon hundreds of U.S. citizens were branded treasonous without any just cause. That included those in Hollywood.
Here are 10 Hollywood players whose careers were forever tainted when they were called out (or even blacklisted) for being “communist.”
10 stars who were too communist for Hollywood
Dalton TrumboTrumbo served a year in jail for his "crimes." When he was released he was blacklisted from writing any scripts. Fortunately for him there was a black market for high calibre work such as his; he won two Oscars under someone else's name. Getty Images
Burgess MeredithThe Of Mice and Men actor was among the actors known to have "communist" sympathies. It's no wonder he spent so much time living abroad after the war. Getty Images
Charlie ChaplinJ. Edgar Hoover was so concerned about Chaplin and his supposed Red activities that he even tried to have him deported. The actor then made his home in Switzerland, returning only in 1972 to pick up an award.Getty Images
Danny KayeThe actor, whose full name was David Daniel Kaminsky, was often used as an example of how McCarthy was secretly using the Cold War to go after Jewish people. Getty Images
Dorothy ParkerThe screenwriter's "left-wing" political views quickly put a stop to her career when she found herself on the infamous blacklist. Getty Images
Fredric MarchThe Hollywood staple appeared not once, but twice in front of the House of Un-American Activities Committee to defend himself against absurd allegations. Getty Images
Lena HorneThe trailblazing entertainer supposedly had her activities tracked for nearly 30 years thanks to her connections to communism. She denied them each and every time. Getty Images
Orson WellesThere was a real War of the Worlds when the FBI placed Welles on their must-watch list. At one point, it was demanded that the actor be taken into custody should the States ever declare a national emergency. Getty Images
Paul RobesonWhen the actor, singer and social rights activist said that black Americans should not have to fight in a war against the Soviet Union, it branded him as a communist for the rest of his career. Getty Images
Richard AttenboroughThe British actor was never shy about his own political views; so naturally they landed him on the blacklist along with hundreds of others during this tumultuous time. Getty Images