Corey, Jeff

Corey, Jeff

Birthday: Aug 10, 1914
Website: http://www.jeffcorey.com/
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Jeff Corey was an American stage and screen actor and director who became a well-respected acting teacher after being blacklisted in the 1950s.

Corey was born Arthur Zwerling in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Mary (née Peskin) and Nathan Zwerling. After a Shakespearean stint in New York in the late 1930s, Corey made the move to Hollywood in 1940, where he became a highly respected character actor. One of his most notable movie roles was in a 1951 feature film, Superman and the Mole Men, which was later edited to a two-part episode of the television series The Adventures of Superman, retitled "The Unknown People". His portrayal of a xenophobic vigilante coincidentally reflected what was about to happen to him.

His career was halted in the early 1950s, when he was summoned before the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Corey refused to give names of alleged "Communists" and "subversives" in the entertainment industry and went so far as to ridicule the panel by offering critiques of the testimony of the previous witnesses. This behavior led to his being blacklisted for 12 years. "Most of us were retired Reds. We had left it, at least I had, years before," Corey told Patrick McGilligan, the co-author of "Tender Comrades: A Backstory of the Hollywood Blacklist" who also teaches film at Marquette University. "The only issue was, did you want to just give them their token names so you could continue your career, or not? I had no impulse to defend a political point of view that no longer interested me particularly . . . They just wanted two new names so they could hand out more subpoenas."

Corey died on August 16, 2002, from complications from a fall. He was 88 years old.
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