- Odets, Clifford
died Aug. 14, 1963, Hollywood, Calif.U.S. playwright.He acted with repertory companies in 1923–28 and joined the Group Theatre in 1931. His first play, the social-protest drama Waiting for Lefty (1935), helped establish his and the company's reputation. He followed it with Awake and Sing! (1935) and Golden Boy (1937). In the late 1930s he moved to Hollywood, where he wrote screenplays and directed the movies None but the Lonely Heart (1944) and The Story on Page One (1959). His later plays include The Big Knife (1949), The Country Girl (1950), and The Flowering Peach (1954).Clifford Odets.Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
* * *▪ American dramatistborn July 18, 1906, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.died August 14, 1963, Hollywood, Californialeading dramatist of the theatre of social protest in the United States during the 1930s. His important affiliation with the celebrated Group Theatre contributed to that company's considerable influence on the American stage.From 1923 to 1928 Odets learned his profession as an actor in repertory companies; in 1931 he joined the newly founded Group Theatre as one of its original members. Odets's Waiting for Lefty (1935), his first great success, used both auditorium and stage for action and was an effective plea for labour unionism; Awake and Sing (1935) is a naturalistic family drama; and Golden Boy (1937; filmed 1939) concerns an Italian youth who rejects his artistic potential to become a boxer. Paradise Lost (1935) deals with the tragic life of a middle-class family. In 1936 Odets married the Austrian actress Luise Rainer.Odets moved to Hollywood in the late '30s to write for motion pictures and became a successful director. His later plays include The Big Knife (1949), The Country Girl (1950; U.K. title Winter Journey), and The Flowering Peach (1954).Additional ReadingWilliam W. Demastes, Clifford Odets: A Research and Production Sourcebook (1991); Gabriel Miller (ed.), Critical Essays on Clifford Odets (1991); Harold Cantor, Clifford Odets, Playwright-Poet, 2nd ed. (2000); Christopher J. Herr, Clifford Odets and American Political Theatre (2003).
* * *