Member Blogs > Books Tell You WhyWhy It's Time to Appreciate Lillian Hellman Again

  • Mon, 20 Jun 2016 08:00:00    Permalink
    Lillian-Hellman-1939.jpg

    In 1939, Lillian Hellman was riding in a taxi with the star of one of her plays. The atmosphere in the car was tense. The actress, Tallulah Bankhead, wanted to put on a performance for the benefit of Finland, which had been invaded by the USSR earlier in the year. Hellman refused to allow her play to be performed for the cause, citing her lack of esteem for what she believed was a pro-Nazi republic. Bankhead, frustrated by Hellman’s stubbornness, told the playwright she would never act in one of her plays again. Hellman then responded by striking the actress across the jaw with her purse.

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