Howard Da Silva

  1. Ward Bond, On Dangerous Ground, 1950.    Da Silva, Lee J Cobb, Albert Dekker plus the unknowns James Bell and Rhys Williams were up for Walter Bent in the snowy mountains thriller – co-directed by Nicholas Ray and an un-credited Ida Lupino…who also played the blind Mary. It cannot be a coincidence that the right-wing bigot Bond –  who helped put Cobb, Da Silva (and so many others) on the ignoble Hollywood blacklist – won the role from them! 
  2. Brian Donlevy, Slaughter Trail, 1951.      Actress Virginia Grey revealed all to Mike Fitzgerald… “We made that picture twice. It was around the time Howard Hughes bought RKO. Donlevy was cast after Hughes said DaSilva was a Commie and was kicked off the picture! We reshot virtually the whole film (this made the picture a financial pleasure) because Hughes ‘didn’t want no Commies in my movies’ [laugh].” No laughing matter for Da Silva, among the 324 victims of the ignoble Hollywood blacklist. He wnever named names and never made another film until cleared of all charges ten years later. Part of the legendary Cradle Will Rock production in 1938 and being the original Jud Fry in Oklahoma!, 1943, Da Silva was able to continue acting on Broadway. Finally, David and Lisa, 1961, and his guest spot on The Defenders, 1963, started his film and TV comeback… to the point of playing Benjamin Franklin, no less, in 1776, 1969, and Nikita Khrushchev, no less, versus William Devane’s JFK in The Missiles of October, 1974. During his period of no work, Grey – for example – had 42 screen gigs.

 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  2