Oscar-winning screenwriter of the 1954 drama Broken Lance who was also known for his willingness to hire blacklisted actors during the McCarthy era.
After studying law at the Chicago–Kent College of Law, he made a breakthrough Broadway production ''Anna Lucasta,' one of the first with an all-black cast.
A critic of the Red Scare sweeping Hollywood in the 1950s, he made and starred in the 1954 western Johnny Guitar, a thinly-veiled allegory of the McCarthy trials.
He was born in Chicago to Polish immigrants, and his second wife Marilyn Nash was an actress in several Chaplin films.
He made two film versions of the stage play Anna Lucasta with Sammy Davis, Jr. starring in the black-cast version.