Lillian Hellman

Lillian Hellman

The Children's Hour

Biography (excerpt):

Lillian Hellman (1905-1984), playwright and author, divided and continues to divide opinion -- Stalinist or McCarthyite victim? Self-mythologist or reliable historical witness? Radical dramatist or peddler of slick melodrama? -- a division that does not follow straightforwardly ideological left/right contours. It is not easy to separate fact from legend where this controversial figure is concerned. As Deborah Martinson, her biographer, says, 'I write of Hellman as sometimes a truth teller of the highest order, sometimes a creative spinner of artful yarns, and occasionally the demon liar others assume she was.'

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In Her Own Words:

Lillian Hellman Chronology:

 Lillian Hellman. Katherine Lederer. Twayne's United States Authors Series 338. Boston: Twayne, 1979.

From The Twayne Authors Series. Chronology

COPYRIGHT 1979 Twayne Publishers, COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning

1906     June 20, Lillian Florence Hellman born in New Orleans, Louisiana to Max and Julia (Newhouse) Hellman.

1911     Family moves to New York, N.Y . 

1924-1925    Graduates from Wadleigh High School in New York; attends New York University; works for Boni and Liveright Publishing House; writes reviews for

                   New York Herald Tribune; works as play reader. 

1925     December 31, marries Arthur Kober.

1925-1930     Lives in Paris, then Hollywood, working as script reader.

1930     Meets Dashiell Hammett. Returns to New York.


1932     Divorces Kober. 

1934     The Children's Hour

1935     The Dark Angel (film).

1936     Days to Come; These Three (film adaptation of The Children's Hour). 

1937     Dead End (film). 

1939     The Little Foxes

1941     Watch on the Rhine; Hellman wins Drama Critics' Circle award; The Little Foxes (film). 

1943     Watch on the Rhine (film); The North Star (film).

1944     The Searching Wind

1946     The Searching Wind (film); Another Part of the Forest

1948     Hellman blacklisted in movie industry; Another Part of the Forest (film). 

1949     Montserrat (adaptation of Emmanuel Roblèes' play); Regina (Marc Blitzstein adaptation of The Little Foxes as an opera). 

1951     The Autumn Garden.

1952     Revival of The Children's Hour; Hellman testifies before House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC).

1955     The Lark (adaptation of Jean Anouilh's L'Alouette).

1956     Candide (libretto by Hellman, music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Richard Wilbur).

1960     Toys in the Attic; wins Drama Critics' Circle award.

1961     January, Dashiell Hammett dies.

1963     My Mother, My Father and Me (adaptation of Burt Blechman novel How Much?).

1967     June, Dorothy Parker dies; Hellman named executor of will; The Little Foxes (all-star revival at Lincoln Center).

1969     An Unfinished Women (memoir, wins the National Book Award). 

1972     Collected Plays. 

1973     Pentimento (memoir). 

1976     Scoundrel Time (Hellman's memories of McCarthy period).

Note: Hellman's father, like many of his generation with European backgrounds, spoke of his daughter as being six, for instance, on her fifth birthday. Hence, for years her birthdate has been incorrectly given as 1905.

Source Citation: "Chronology." Lillian Hellman. Katherine Lederer. Twayne's United States Authors Series 338. Boston: Twayne, 1979. Literature Resources from Gale. Gale. Los Angeles Public Library. 10 Nov. 2009 < p=LitRG&u=lapl>.

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