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DA SILVA, HOWARD

DA SILVA, HOWARD (4 May 1909-16 Feb. 1986) regarded his native Cleveland as a "second city" long after he had left to achieve stardom as an actor on Broadway and in films. Moving with his family from Cleveland at the age of 1, he was raised in the Bronx, N.Y., and completed his education at Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh. In 1928 he returned to New York to join Eva Le Gallienne's Civic Repertory Theater, where he played the classics for 6 years. Da Silova returned to Cleveland in 1935, becoming director of the Peoples Theatre, a labor theater that presented the local premiere of Odets' Waiting for Lefty and other socially conscious works. He also starred in several productions at the CLEVELAND PLAY HOUSE before returning to New York to join the Federal Theatre Project. He originated the lead in Marc Blitzstein's The Cradle Will Rock, the "runaway opera" that broke away from the FTP and led to Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre. Da Silva also created the role of Jud in Oklahoma! and picked up Academy Award nominations for his film work in Lost Weekend and Two Years Before the Mast. His refusal to cooperate with the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1951, however, led to his being blacklisted. During that period he again returned to Cleveland, where he was invited to direct the 1958 season of the Chagrin Falls Summer Valley Playhouse. Da Silva later appeared on Broadway in such musicals as Fiorello! and 1776 and made a film comeback in David and Lisa. He was co-author of the anti-apartheid play, The Zulu and the Zayda (1965). Dying of lymphoma in Ossining, N.Y., he was survived by his wife Nancy and 5 children.