The famous American screenwriter Walter Bernstein, (Walter Bernstein) an Oscar nominee, died at the age of 101.
According to Variety, Bernstein, who was blacklisted in Hollywood in the 50s, managed to save his career by writing several screenplays under a pseudonym. Western Writers Guild president Howard Rodman confirmed his death, calling Bernstein “a legendary screenwriter” and “one of the greats.”
Born in Brooklyn in 1919, Bernstein began his writing career doing film reviews while in college. He later worked as a correspondent for an Army newspaper when he was drafted to serve during World War II. He published stories about his experiences in The New Yorker after the war.
He moved to Hollywood in 1947 and began working as a screenwriter, but it wasn’t until a few years later, in 1950, that his support of left-wing political organizations led to his name being listed on the Red Channels. Because of this and his status as an alleged Communist supporter, Bernstein could not work in the industry. However, by working under assumed names and working with writers who were not blacklisted, Bernstein was able to continue to secretly produce scripts for television during the 1950s.
In the late 1950s, director Sidney Lumet hired him to write the screenplay for Such a Woman with Sophia Loren. After that, Bernstein wrote “Paris Blues,” “No Job,” the 1960 version of “The Magnificent Seven,” and others.
In 1976, Bernstein wrote the screenplay for “The Front,” a film directed by Martin Ritt and starring Woody Allen, for which he was nominated for an Oscar.