Emanuel "Manny" Fried
Since 1913, Emanuel "Manny" Fried has led an extraordinary
and inspiring life that encompassed a career as a radical union organizer and
a political activist as well as a theatre performer and internationally
Born and raised on Buffalo's East Side, Manny began
factory work in his late teens. Traveling back and forth between Buffalo
and New York City throughout the 1920s and 30s, he launched an impressive
acting career under the stage name "Edward Mann" working with
many of the most respected names of the American Theatre including Lee
Strasburg, Elia Kazan, Clifford Odets, and John Garfield.
Deeply influenced by the militant labor movement of
the 1930s, he left his life as an actor behind to become the Western New York
Regional Organizer for the radical union United Electric (UE) in 1941.
An outspoken labor leader, Manny led multiple drives to organize whole
sections of the working people of Buffalo and even ran for Congress with the
American Labor Party in 1948.
The Most Dangerous Man in Western New York!
With the rise of McCarthyism in the 1940s and 1950s,
Manny was increasingly under attack for his openly left-wing political beliefs
and his militant stand for the rights of labor. In 1955, the local
Jesuit priest Father Clancy called for a boycott of Manny's wife's restaurant,
the Park Lane, asserting that Manny was "the most dangerous man in
Western New York!"
Twice called before the House on Un-American
Activities Committee (HUAC) -- first in 1956 and then again in 1960 -- he
defiantly refused to answer questions proclaiming the Committee to be
In 1956, Manny was maneuvered out of his position in
UE. Blacklisted, he was unable to find work in the United States for the
next sixteen years. As late as 1966, the FBI publicly branded Manny
Fried as "a symbol of the left that must be broken."
The Return to The Theatre.
Throughout the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, Manny resumed
his work in the theatre performing and writing an extensive body of plays many
of which chronicle his personal experiences in the labor movement. His
plays include BIG BEN HOOD, BROTHER GORSKI, and COCOON.
His most successful work, DODO BIRD, is still performed around the
world . . . and recently enjoyed it's fourth rendition here in Buffalo.
As an actor, Manny has appeared on practically every
stage in town winning the Award for Outstanding Actor in the Buffalo United
Artists' VISITING MR. GREEN and achieving much notoriety in Studio
Arena's productions of TWELVE ANGRY MEN, GOLFING WITH ALAN SHEPPARD,
and -- most recently -- TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE.
And That Catches Us Up To Today.
Now 95-years-young, Manny still teaches creative
writing at the State University College at Buffalo where he is proudly a
member of the union United University Professions (UUP), Local 2190.
In a recent interview, he summed up his philosophy of
life in six beautifully blunt and fiery words: "Don't let the SOBs get
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