Joined the Group Theatre in 1931, where she worked with Stella Adler, Lee Strasberg, and Morris Carnovsky, whom she married in 1941. After moving to L.A. with Carnovsky, she taught the Method at the Actors Lab. Brand’s name was first given to HUAC by Leo Townsend and then by Elia Kazan. She returned to New York in the 1950s and directed plays for the Theatre in the Street, which she had cofounded.
J. Edward Bromberg
Character actor who, after ducking subpoenas for two years, was forced to appear before HUAC against his doctor’s orders. He suffered a fatal heart attack in December 1951 and was named by Kazan in April 1952.
Morris Carnovsky One of the first actors in the Group Theatre, he worked there through 1939. His successful film career (Rhapsody in Blue, Edge of Darkness) was stalled for 10 years after he refused to give names to HUAC. After moving back to New York, Carnovsky worked Off-Broadway until he was recruited by John Houseman to work at the American Shakespeare Festival. About his HUAC experience, he said in 1965: “It was revolting, injurious, and hurtful. But from the point of view of the entire picture, in an odd way it nurtured me, strengthened me, made me hard, objective, even resigned. And to that degree I think it fed me as an actor.” He died in 1992.
Actor and folksinger who held executive positions in radio and television before the Red Scare. In 1951, CBS network management fired Kraber, suspecting that he would be summoned by HUAC. Kazan’s testimony followed promptly in 1952. When dragged before HUAC in 1955 and asked if he knew Kazan, Kraber demanded, “Is this the Kazan that signed the contract for $500,000 the day after he gave names to this Committee? Would you sell your brothers for $500,000?” When the anti-Communist fervor subsided, Kraber went on to direct films, including the prize-winning documentary Boundary Lines. He died in 1986.
Actor married to Virginia Farmer and co-leader of the Group Theatre’s CP unit, he supposedly had the habit of disappearing for weeks without explanation, which made him a prime target for HUAC.
Paula Miller (Strasberg)
Actress who joined the Group Theatre in the early ’30s and later married Lee Strasberg. Until her death in 1966, she worked as an acting coach with her husband, most famously with Marilyn Monroe.
Playwright, cofounder of the Group Theatre, and screenwriter. His second play, Waiting for Lefty, won him great acclaim. After giving testimony to HUAC, including six names (Kazan among them), Odets complained about the press coverage. “I find this a disturbingly immoral time and this immorality exists as much on the left as on the right.” He died in 1963.
Actor and teacher who joined the Group Theatre in the early ’30s and collaborated with Kazan on the company’s “first revolutionary production.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on March 16, 1999