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Jean Butler was an actress and writer who grew up in California. She earned a contract at Paramount when she was still a student at Palo Alto High School, after a scout saw her in a Pasadena Playhouse production of one of her mother's plays. (Jean's mother, Aurania Rouverol, a playwright, introduced the world to Andy Hardy). Jean married Hugo Butler, a fellow writer. When they were blacklisted in 1950, they fled California for Mexico, where they lived in exile. Her work depicts that difficult period but also highlights the camaraderie among their exiled friends, including Dalton Trumbo and Ring Lardner, Jr., who were forced to leave California for Mexico due to their political beliefs.
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