January 27, 1920
February 16, 1990
Actor Joshua Shelley performed in New York vaudeville before being drafted to fight in Europe in 1942--a mere warm-up to fighting for his career years later. Once the war ended, he continued performing on the New York stage in a number of high-profile projects such as "Make Mine Manhattan" and "Our Town," as well as working on several radio serials like "Dick Tracy." He set out from New York for Hollywood in 1949 to try and make it as a movie actor. He landed a role in the musical "Yes Sir, That's My Baby" with Donald O'Connor and played reform-school boy Theodore "Crazy" Perrin in the hard-boiled drama "City Across the River," a role that nabbed the young actor plenty of television work in the following years. But when he was named as a Communist subversive by the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1952, his burgeoning career halted, and he returned to the New York stage for the next 15 years or so. In the 1970s, Shelley returned to working as a director and actor in Hollywood, frequently appearing on television shows like "B.J. and the Bear" and "The Odd Couple," as well as having small parts in features like "The Front Page," "Funny Lady," and "All the President's Men." He also starred in "The Front" with Woody Allen, directed by fellow blacklistee Martin Ritt, scripted by blacklistee Walter Bernstein, and starring blacklistees Zero Mostel, John Randolph, Lloyd Gough, and Herschel Bernardi.