Award-winning screenwriter of Western classics who was blacklisted by the House Un-American Activities Committee for refusing to name names.
She moved to Hollywood to work as a secretary at Fox, at the same time pitching her scripts. Her first sold in 1931.
Her $2,500 a week contract with MGM, one of the highest for any screenwriter, male or female, became unraveled after her testimony before HUAC; it took nine years for her to find work again in Hollywood after that.
She was married to the author John Sanford, a member of the American Communist Party.
After being re-hired by Columbia Pictures in the 1960s, she wrote the screen for the 1969 film True Grit, which won John Wayne his only Academy Award.