Clifford Odets (1906 - 1963) dropped out of high school at the age of 17 to become an actor. As one of the original members of the New York City-based left-wing ensemble, the Group Theatre, Odets found his true calling as a playwright who explored the pressing social issues of the day. He used a taxi drivers' strike as the inspiration for his (and the Group Theatre's) first breakout success, Waiting For Lefty. This first play was followed by Awake and Sing!, Till The Day I Die, Paradise Lost, Golden Boy, Rocket To The Moon, Night Music, Clash By Night, The Big Knife and The Country Girl. He also wrote many screenplays including the film adaptation of the novel Sweet Smell of Success.