Trumbo with wife Cleo at House Un-American Activities Committee hearings, 1947
James Dalton Trumbo (December 9, 1905 – September 10, 1976) was an American screenwriter and novelist. As one of the Hollywood Ten, he refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in 1947 during the committee's investigation of Communist influences in the motion picture industry. Trumbo won two Academy Awards while blacklisted; one was originally given to a front writer, and one was awarded to Robert Rich, Trumbo's pseudonym.
Blacklisting effectively ended in 1960 when it lost credibility. Trumbo was publicly given credit for two blockbuster films: Otto Preminger made public that Trumbo wrote the screenplay for the smash hit, Exodus, and Kirk Douglas publicly announced that Trumbo was the screenwriter of Spartacus. Further, President-elect John F. Kennedy crossed picket lines to see the movie.
His son Christopher Trumbo wrote a play based on his letters during the period of the blacklist, entitled Red, White and Blacklisted (2003), produced in New York in 2003. He adapted it as a film, adding material from documentary footage, Trumbo (2007).
On December 19, 2011, The Writers Guild of America announced that Trumbo will get full credit for his work on the screenplay of the 1953 romantic comedy Roman Holiday, sixty years after the fact.