In Respect for Acting Hagen credited director Harold Clurman with a turn-around in her perspective on acting:
In 1947 I worked in a play under the direction of Harold Clurman. Through interviews with her and contemporary criticism the report is that Hagen's Blanche refocused the audience's sympathies with Blanche rather than with Stanley (where the Brando/Kazan production had leaned). After Berghof's death in 1990 Uta Hagen became the school's chairperson.
Hagen was on the Hollywood blacklist in part because of her association with Paul Robeson and this curtailed film opportunities focusing her to perform in New York theaters. She was elected to the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 1981.