By | January 12, 2024

Norma Barzman, Blacklisted Screenwriter Who Took on Hollywood, Dies at 103

Norma Barzman, a renowned screenwriter who fearlessly challenged the Hollywood establishment during the era of McCarthyism, has passed away at the age of 103. The news of her demise was announced by twitbituaries, a popular Twitter account that pays tribute to notable individuals who have left an indelible mark on our society. The LA Times first reported the news on January 11, 2024.

Born in 1917 in Chicago, Norma Barzman was raised in a family that valued intellectual pursuits and social justice. Her father, Ben Barzman, was a prominent lawyer, and her mother, Anne Barzman, was a suffragist. Norma’s upbringing instilled in her a deep sense of activism and a commitment to fighting for what she believed in.

Barzman’s career in the film industry began in the 1940s when she moved to Hollywood with her husband, Ben Barzman, who was also a screenwriter. Together, they collaborated on various projects and became known for their progressive and socially conscious storytelling. Their work often tackled controversial subjects, challenging the prevailing norms of the time.

During the height of McCarthyism in the 1950s, Barzman found herself on the infamous Hollywood blacklist. This blacklist, created by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), targeted individuals believed to be sympathetic to communism or leftist ideologies. Barzman’s uncompromising political views and refusal to cooperate with the committee led to her exclusion from the film industry for over a decade.

Despite being blacklisted, Barzman continued to fight for her right to work and express her beliefs. She relocated to Europe with her husband and found work in the French film industry under a pseudonym. It was during this time that she penned the screenplay for the film “Dance, Little Lady,” which received critical acclaim and further established her talent as a writer.

In 1964, Barzman and her family returned to the United States after the political climate had begun to shift. Slowly but surely, she made her way back into the Hollywood scene, contributing to projects like “The Lusty Men” and “The Naked Earth.” Barzman’s triumphant return was a testament to her resilience and unwavering dedication to her craft.

Throughout her career, Barzman remained an outspoken advocate for civil liberties and the rights of artists. She believed in the power of storytelling to challenge societal norms and effect change. Her legacy as a pioneering female screenwriter and a fearless champion of free expression will continue to inspire generations to come.

The cause of Norma Barzman’s death has not been disclosed at this time. However, her impact on the film industry and her unwavering commitment to her principles will forever be remembered. As we mourn the loss of this remarkable woman, let us also celebrate her remarkable achievements and the lasting legacy she leaves behind. Norma Barzman will forever be remembered as a trailblazer who fearlessly took on Hollywood and left an indelible mark on the world of cinema..


@twitbituaries said Norma Barzman, blacklisted screenwriter who took on Hollywood, dies at 103

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