Manny Fried: A Guiding Presence


Manny Fried: A Guiding Presence


When Manny Fried was blacklisted during the McCarthy era in the 1950s, he says the union rank and file he represented as an organizer stood by him. He said he never lost hope in the American people because of that support. He was being investigated for his association with the Communist Party.

His refusal to answer questions from the House Un-American Activities Committee earned the respect of Albert Einstein, who sent him a note on April 16, 1954 saying, “You did the right thing and fulfilled your duty as a citizen.”

After finding it impossible to find work in the US, Fried took a job with a Canadian company as a life insurance salesmen. He established his voice as a playwright, author, actor and teacher. He began teaching creative writing at Buffalo State College in 1972.

Later in life he sued the FBI for emotional and financial damage, claiming he and his family were harassed and intimidated by twenty-five agents under the direction of J. Edgar Hoover. Fried’s book, “The Un-American,” retells the nightmare he and his family were made to endure.

When Manny Fried passed away in 2011 at the age of 97, Buffalo News columnist Colin Dabkowski wrote, “He remained a guiding presence in Buffalo’s theater, literary and social activist communities and was widely regarded as the most important figure on Buffalo’s theater scene.”

Manny Fried told his story to Rich Newberg, who produced three reports in 1993 and 1994.



Date Created



Rich Newberg Reports Collection


Buffalo & Erie County Public Library (publisher of digital)
WIVB (Television Station : Buffalo, N.Y.)


Copyright held by WIVB-TV. Access to this digital version provided by the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library. Videos or images in this collection are not to be used for any commercial purposes without the expressed written permission of WIVB-TV and the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library. Users of this website are free to utilize material from this collection for non-commercial and educational purposes.


Moving Image




Position: 70 (127 views)