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08/05/2010

One year ago: Budd Schulberg

August 5, 2010 |  6:00 am

Schulberg Budd Schulberg, who died one year ago, was Hollywood's favorite writer to hate in the mid-20th century. His famed novel, "What Makes Sammy Run?", exposed the dark side of Hollywood and American ambition, earning him the public disdain of many in the industry.

If his scathing novels weren't enough, he also was infamous for appearing before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1951 to name 17 people he said he had known in the Communist Party.

Although the writer had been a member of the Communist Party from 1936 to 1939, he later became disillusioned with the party after party members in Hollywood tried to dictate how he should write "What Makes Sammy Run?"

Schulberg had many famed encounters in his life, including once getting into a fight with John Wayne, who despised Schulberg's negative depiction of the film industry in the book. He also nearly came to blows with Ernest Hemingway when Hemingway challenged Schulberg's knowledge of boxing.

"What Makes Sammy Run?" made Schulberg famous, but his greatest success came with "On the Waterfront." His screenwriting Oscar was one of eight Academy Awards the 1954 film received.

Schulberg once said, however, that his proudest achievement was as founder and director of the Watts Writers Workshop. Launched in 1965 after the Los Angeles riots of that year, the workshop lasted until 1971 and spawned workshops in other cities.

For more about the writer who exposed Hollywood's dark secrets, read Budd Schulberg's obituary by The Times.

--Michael Farr

Photo: Budd Schulberg. Credit: Associated Press

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