United States actress Frances Chaney Lardner during McCarthyism

Book by Ms Lardner's daughter

From the Independent series about United States activists:

Frances Chaney Lardner


In the McCarthy era, the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) blacklisted actors, and those deemed “subversive” quickly found themselves unemployable.

I was an actress and I had a decent career in New York. But after the HUAC hearings, I couldn’t get any real work. From 1947 till 1963, I was able to play only one part on night-time television. An agency sent me for a big part on the Philco Playhouse, in a script written by Paddy Chayefsky. I thought, “See, by God, I’ve sneaked through.” That spring, the same agency said they had a part for me in Marty. Chayefsky had written it with me in mind, and all they wanted was script approval. And then the process started: “Call us back in an hour.” They finally said they were very sorry. Someone else had been cast in the part. Then they recast the first Chayefsky programme: I was out. The terrible thing about the whole business is what it did to people. It made the victims of the blacklist suspicious and fearful. For example, I remember well the time that I got my first important job in a Broadway play in 1962.

There was a lovely woman who understudied me. We were in the dressing-room we shared, and I suddenly felt, “What if she’s from the FBI?” I had nothing to conceal whatsoever, and yet I had this sense that she was put there. You found yourself worried because there were things that had to be protected: children had to be protected, your livelihood had to be protected. I went from being an open, free, healthy, outgoing person to suddenly having these walls around me.

18 thoughts on “United States actress Frances Chaney Lardner during McCarthyism

  1. Pingback: Hollywood witchhunter’s son apologizes for persecution | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Bahrain human rights woman interviewed | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Sean O’Casey’s play Juno and the Paycock and Irish history | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Singer Pete Seeger remembered | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: NSA scandal continues with attacks on Snowden | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: Edward Snowden and journalists threatened | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  7. Pingback: Happy International Women’s Day today! | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  8. Pingback: African American singer Paul Robeson and Wales | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  9. Pingback: British government killing Mockingbird, Steinbeck and Arthur Miller | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  10. Pingback: US military and CIA interventions since World War II | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  11. Pingback: Paul Robeson, new film coming | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  12. Pingback: Ted Cruz, Republican candidate for United States President? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  13. Pingback: We Shall Overcome and United States folk singer Guy Carawan | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  14. Pingback: Folk singer Ronnie Gilbert, RIP | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  15. Pingback: Arthur Miller’s play The Hook on stage at last | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  16. Pingback: Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman, a critical review | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  17. Pingback: British Labourite Corbyn attacked and racism | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  18. Pingback: British Blairites attack left Labourite voting rights | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s