Notable Deaths Elsewhere

February 07, 2010|By Los Angeles Times

ANNE FROELICK TAYLOR, 96

Blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter

Anne Froelick Taylor, a Hollywood screenwriter who co-wrote the 1950 Joan Crawford drama "Harriet Craig" but whose career was cut short when she was blacklisted during the McCarthy era, died Jan. 26 in a nursing home in Los Angeles.

A onetime model and actress in New York City, Ms. Taylor began her writing career in 1938 while serving as secretary to Howard Koch, then a writer for Orson Welles' "The Mercury Theatre on the Air."

Mr. Koch "soon began giving me dialogue to write and some of the scenes, and he encouraged me to be creative," Ms. Taylor said in an interview for the 1997 book "Tender Comrades: A Backstory of the Hollywood Blacklist," an oral history by Patrick McGilligan and Paul Buhle.

Ms. Taylor also assisted Ms. Koch on his adaptation of H.G. Wells' "The War of the Worlds" for "The Mercury Theatre on the Air," which made radio history when it was broadcast in 1938.

After helping Mr. Koch on the psychological themes and rewriting some of the scenes for his screenplay for the 1940 Bette Davis crime drama "The Letter," Warner Bros. signed Ms. Taylor to a writing contract.

Her first screen credit was the 1941 drama "Shining Victory," which she co-wrote with Mr. Koch. Four other Froelick writing credits followed: "The Master Race" (1944), "Miss Susie Slagle's" (1946), "Easy Come, Easy Go" (1947) and "Harriet Craig." Ms. Taylor's involvement in left-wing causes, such as fighting against fascism and promoting unions and desegregation, had led her to join the Communist Party.

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