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Theatre icon Manny Fried dead at 97

Theatre icon and union leader Manny Fried
Theatre icon and union leader Manny Fried

By Joyce Kryszak

Buffalo, NY – Buffalo theatre legend and former union organizer Manny Fried died early Friday morning. He was 97. Fried was known best in the theatre community as a playwright.

His plays, "The Dodo Bird" and "Drop Hammer" received wide acclaim. But Fried's life and work were dedicated to his staunch commitment to the working class. His 1992 memoir, The Un-American told of the constant political struggles he endured in the 1940's and 1950's.

Fried was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee. But he refused to name names. His unrelenting pro-union stance earned him the infamous title, "the most dangerous man in Western New York." Fried bore the title with pride.

He continued to be political active and prolific as an actor and playwright until his health began declining in recent years. Fried would have been 98 on March 1.