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Leo Penn

Leo Penn

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Also Known As: Clifford Penn Died:
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Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Blacklisted during the 40s and 50s, Leo Penn went on to a successful second career as a television director. Penn was a promising actor whose early appearances included an uncredited turn in William Wyler's classic "The Best Years of Our Lives." However, when called before Sen. Joseph McCarthy's House Un-American Activities Committee, Penn refused to name acquaintances who were potentially involved in subversive activities, and as a result could not find acting work in motion pictures. To survive, he turned to acting on stage and directing television, helming episodes of "I Spy," "Star Trek," and "The Fugitive." Penn's run behind the camera continued in the '70s with such seminal television programs as "Bonanza," "Kojak," "Starsky & Hutch," and many others. He eventually returned to film acting in 1959's "The Story on Page One" and later appeared in numerous television series, including Gertrude Berg's sitcom "Mrs. G. Goes to College." But Penn's most notable body of work remains as a director. He helmed the 1966 film "A Man Called Adam" featuring Sammy Davis, Jr., received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series for "The Mississippi" in 1983, and directed the 1988 film...

Blacklisted during the 40s and 50s, Leo Penn went on to a successful second career as a television director. Penn was a promising actor whose early appearances included an uncredited turn in William Wyler's classic "The Best Years of Our Lives." However, when called before Sen. Joseph McCarthy's House Un-American Activities Committee, Penn refused to name acquaintances who were potentially involved in subversive activities, and as a result could not find acting work in motion pictures. To survive, he turned to acting on stage and directing television, helming episodes of "I Spy," "Star Trek," and "The Fugitive." Penn's run behind the camera continued in the '70s with such seminal television programs as "Bonanza," "Kojak," "Starsky & Hutch," and many others. He eventually returned to film acting in 1959's "The Story on Page One" and later appeared in numerous television series, including Gertrude Berg's sitcom "Mrs. G. Goes to College." But Penn's most notable body of work remains as a director. He helmed the 1966 film "A Man Called Adam" featuring Sammy Davis, Jr., received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series for "The Mississippi" in 1983, and directed the 1988 film "Judgment in Berlin." Leo Penn died of lung cancer in Santa Monica, California on September 5, 1998 at the age of 77. He left behind countless hours of television work and his son Sean Penn, who is an actor, film director, and political activist.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

3.
  Only the Good Die Young (1990) Director
5.
  Judgment in Berlin (1988) Director
6.
9.
  A Man Called Adam (1966) Director

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Wild Life, The (1984)
3.
 Sixth and Main (1977) Doc
4.
 Birdman of Alcatraz (1962) Eddie Kassellis
5.
 The Story on Page One (1959) Morrie Goetz
6.
 Not Wanted (1949) Steve Ryan
7.
 The Undercover Man (1949) Sidney Gordon
8.
 Fall Guy (1947) Tom Cochrane
9.
 The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) ATC Corporal
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