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Elia Kazan the American immigrant and director Elia Kazan his Turkish name Kazanjoglous was born in Constantinople now Istanbul Turkey to Greek parents At the age of four he moved with his family to the United States and settled in New York City Elia Kazan attended formal education at Williams College in Massachusetts he later studied at prestigious Yale Universitys Drama school Kazan was known of Gadget later on his life due to the fact as he says it I am short compact and eccentric--like a gadget Kazan acted in a few films however his real talent was shown in his ability to direct He began his career as an actor and stage manager for New Yorks Group Theatre Company a strong leftist organization which was just recently established His involvement in the group led him to join the American Communist Party in 1934 He was only involved with the Communist Party for a short time however he was quickly recognized as a potential communist by the House of Un-American Activities Committee a group that was investigating the motion picture industry because of growing concern of communists working in the industry A blacklist of names was being circulated and those on the list could be in serious trouble and be denied to work in the film industry again The committee called people to rat out others many refused however Elia Kazan gave the committee the names of eight communists of the same party he was and his reasoning was he did not want to be on the blacklist Any member found to be on the blacklist had their credits removed from any film they had participated in Names he gave out also included friends who had worked with him in The Group Theater Recently debates were circulating over the Lifetime Achievement Academy award to which Kazan was to be awarded However many thought he did not deserve to be recognized with this honor because of
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