Regarding the Hollywood blacklist ("The Blacklist Legacy," by Judith Michaelson, Oct. 18): Sometime in the early '50s my then-husband Buddy Ebsen, struggling to support a wife and three little girls, wrote a pilot for a series called "Mr. Fixit."
The pilot was shot, a buyer for a series materialized, a handshake occurred; the following Monday it was arranged to begin shooting, and a call to costume came in.
However, on Sunday night his agent called to say the deal was off--no explanation, just no show. After weeks of searching it was discovered that in the darkened screening room of an ad agency in Chicago (this was in the days when such agencies still hired and fired writers, directors, actors) someone had said as the pilot was being shown: "Buddy Ebsen, Buddy Ebsen, wasn't he one of the 'unfriendly Ten'?"
Further investigation divulged the fact that if he was on the gray list it was because he had been one of the speakers at a rally at the Lyceum Theatre in New York in 1946, sponsored by the Theater Wing of the American Veterans Committee.