At the age of 99, Edward Lewis, the producer of Spartacus and Declared Missing, helped break the Hollywood blacklist by employing Dalton Trumbo, who was dragged for his political views.
Lewis’ daughter Susan said she died at her home in Los Angeles on July 27, and wife Mildred Lewis left in April at the age of 98, the Hollywood Reporter wrote Tuesday.
Edward Lewis and his wife, Mildred, were married for 73 years. As co-producers, they have worked on numerous films, musicals and novels. He was also nominated for the Oscar nominee for Best Movie in 1983 for Costa-Gavras’ Lost in the Movie.
Lewis has also worked as a producer or executive producer on nine films directed by John Frankenheimer, including Seven May (1964), Second Chance (1966) and The Big Competition (1966). He also used the blacklisted actor John Randolph in his production of Second Chance.
Spartacus, made in 1960 and also blacklisted at the time of the political witch-hunt, was based on a 1951 novel by Howard Fast. Lewis commissioned Trumbo to write the script, who for years could only work under a pseudonym. Lewis told Universal Studio only after Trumbo wrote the script that the studio had already spent $ 8 million on the film. Trumbo later recalled Lewis “taking a big risk in helping someone who lost his name.” Spartacus star Kirk Douglas, who was also the film’s executive producer, also stood up for Trumbo.
The producer has worked on two other Trumbo films, The Last Sunset (1961) and The Last Cowboy (1962).
At the same time, Lewis said she didn’t think blacklisting was a big deal, it was natural for her, “it was part of her system of values,” the Hollywood paper quoted her as saying.
Declared Missing by the Costa-Gavras, he won the Golden Palm Award in Cannes in 1983, but did not receive the Oscar because it was awarded to Gandhi that year.
Lewis’ other notable films include Adrian Messenger List thriller John Huston and starring Douglas, Birdwatching mini-series Richard Chamberlain, Louis Malle casting drills with Donald Sutherland, and his final production of The River starring Sissy Spacek and G He played.
Edward Lewis was born in Camden, New Jersey in 1919. At the age of 16 he entered Brucknell University where he competed as a boxer and a wrestler. He began his dental studies, but then entered and served as captain in World War II.
After the war, he moved to Los Angeles, married Mildred in 1946, with whom they had two daughters, and by 1949 had worked with Buster Keaton on Balzac’s (Mercadet, King of Money).
The producer couple has been active in civil litigation and has been the host of numerous fundraisers.
They were large travellers and collectors, and part of their collections were lent to exhibitions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).