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Mostel Zeroes in on Blacklist

'50s Red Scare Target

By Lillian C. Jen

Actor Zero Mostel, blacklisted during the 1950's for being pro-communist, told 300 students in Lehman Hall last night, "They couldn't even call me a red--I was deeply hurt."

Mostel, whose Dudley House dinner appearance was sponsored by the Ford Foundation, said he was accused of entertaining at communist parties and signing a petition to allow blacks into major league baseball. "Now I'm signing one to allow whites in," he said.

Mostel attacked the reasoning behind the blacklist, asking "What could actors be guilty of? Of passing secrets to Russian actors?"

Nevertheless, the actors were hit hardest, he said, since "writers can write under other names, but an actor can't change faces--although some have suggested that I change mine."

Mostel also said his motivation for doing the current New York revival of "Fiddler on the Roof" was "primarily greed."


He also likes to play roles other than the fiddler, he said, including serious parts. Asked if he would do scenes from movies such as "Last Tango in Paris," he said that he would.

"As a matter of fact," he said, "I would do them right now."

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