(1907-84) a US writer of plays. Her best-known works were The Children's Hour (1934), The Little Foxes (1939), Watch on the Rhine (1941) and Toys in the Attic (1960). Her book about her own life, An Unfinished Woman (1969), won a National Book Award. Hellman lived with the writer Dashiell Hammett for more than 30 years. She had strong socialist opinions, and her career suffered in the 1950s because of McCarthyism.