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Odets, Clifford, 1906-1963



  • Existence: 1906 - 1963

Clifford Odets was born on July 18, 1906 in Philadelphia. A high school dropout, Odets turned to acting first and appeared in several plays at Harry Kemp's Poet's Theatre on the Lower East Side and later in smaller roles on Broadway. Odets was also among America's first disc jockeys. In 1931, he became a founding member of the Group Theatre, who were the first to base their work on the Stanislavski Method. It was during his time with the Group Theatre that he turned to play writing. His first produced play was "Waiting for Lefty" in January 1935. Other early plays include "Paradise Lost" (1935), "Golden Boy" (1937), "Clash by Night" (1941) and "The County Girl" (1950). In 1936, Odets moved to Hollywood and wrote several screenplays including "The General Died at Dawn" (1936) and "Sweet Smell of Success" (1957). He was also an uncredited writer on Hitchcock's "Notorious" (1946). As one of the screenwriters to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities, he was spared blacklisting but his career never recovered. In the 1960s, he did some work in television before his death of cancer on July 23, 1963.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

"Sister Carrie" screenplay collection

Identifier: MS-1388
Overview The collection contains the screenplay, synopsis and outlines of "Sister Carrie," by Clifford Odets as well as research clippings and photographs, story test and notes by Odets on character and plot development.