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            Hugo Butler


            Hugo Butler, the screenwriter, was born on May 4, 1914 in Calgary, Alberta, the son of a silent movie actor and screenwriter. Butler worked as a journalist and playwright before moving to Hollywood in 1937, where he established himself as a screenwriter. In 1940, he married actress and screenwriter Jean Rouverol. The next year, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Edison, the Man (1940) along with future Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer boss Dore Schary. (Schary, a well-known liberal, was one of the few top movie industry executives who objected to the imposition of the blacklist at the 1947 Waldorf Conference, which he attended as R.K.O.'s executive vice president in charge of production). His career was temporarily interrupted by military service in World War II, then permanently disrupted when he was blacklisted as a subversive after the war.

            Butler and his wife moved to Mexico with Hollywood 10 member (and fellow blacklistee) Dalton Trumbo, with whom Butler pseudonymously collaborated on the screenplay for He Ran All the Way (1951), a film noir that was John Garfield' s last film. (Garfield died of a heart attack soon after being grilled by the House Un-American Activities Committee.)

            In Mexico, Butler wrote for the directors Luis Buñuel and Carlos Velo. Butler and his wife did not return to the United States on a permanent basis until the 1960s.

            Hugo Butler suffered from arteriosclerotic brain disease. He died from a heart attack on January 7, 1968 in Hollywood, California at the age of 53. The last film for which he was credited, Robert Aldrich's potboiler The Legend of Lylah Clare (1968) was released rather that year.

            In 1997, the Board of Directors of the Writers Guild of America voted to posthumously give him official credit for scripts he had written.

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