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.

About these ads

13 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

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