Will Geer, Movie Actor, Keeps Silent on Past
WASHINGTON- (AP)- Screen Actor Will Geer said today it
was all "ancient history" and refused to tell the House un-American
activities committee if he was or ever had been a communist.
The grey haired, gum chewing witness, smilingly taking what he called the committee
"hotseat" also stood on his constitutional privilege against answering
questions which might tend to incriminate him.
When committee counsel Frank Tavenner, jr., asked Geer what he was doing in
1942, Geer grinned and said he was "campaigning for Wendell Wilkie"-
the Republican presidential candidate.
But he refused to say if he had signed a communist party "nominating petition"
on July 23, 1942, or if he had participated in other communist activities.
Attorneys for two other actors, J. Edward Bromberg and Marc Lawrence, said
the health of their clients would keep them from coming here to testify at this
Chairman Wood (D-Ga.) extended their subpoenas pending a check on their condition.
Movie Star Sterling Hayden, brawny former marine corps hero, readily told the
committee yesterday he joined the party in 1946 in Hollywood to fulfill an emotional
desire to "do something for a better world" after the war.
He quit six months later, he said, disillusioned over a rigid belief of communists
they alone "knew what is best for everyone."