SEXUAL DEVIANTS, NAZI SPIES, DANGEROUS LONERS, COMMUNISTS, DRUG ADDICTS, TRAITORS, AND MOBSTERS.
THIS IS HOLLYWOOD. DECLASSIFIED.
It's tough being rich and famous -- stalked, photographed, hounded, and dissected. But obsessive celebrity watching has a lurid history that began long before tabloid shutterbugs took their first shot. Here for the first time are the recently declassified celebrity files of the FBI, the CIA, and the military, giving the private dirt on the most "suspect, dangerous and immoral" public figures in the world -- from George Burns to Andy Warhol.
EXPOSED! The panty parties and massive porn stash of comedian Lou Costello.
EXPOSED! Ernest Hemingway enlisted as a spy on behalf of the American Embassy.
EXPOSED! The sexual drives of our youth aroused beyond normalcy by Elvis Presley.
EXPOSED! Hollywood honey Marilyn Monroe had shocking ties to Soviet Russia.
EXPOSED! Mysterious death of Princess Di a threat to national security.
What were the motivating factors behind the spying, the suspicions, and the accusations? What did those motivations actually reveal about the military, the CIA, the FBI, and the mood of the country? The answers make for a startling, insightful, astonishing, outrageous, sometimes shocking, and always controversial peek into the most secret of lives.
This collection offers a roundup of the titillating, mundane, hilarious and unusual information gathered by government agencies-including the FBI, CIA and military-on more than 20 celebrities. Collected through Freedom of Information Act requests, this provides a quick-reading peek into the files of Errol Flynn, John Wayne, Billie Holiday and Princess Diana, among others. Each chapter provides a brief bio, explains why the government investigated and then lays open the file, highlighting details both juicy and inane and answering some frequently asked celebrity quesitons: Was John Lennon funding Irish terrorism? Was Frank Sinatra really in league with the mob? Why was Jimi Hendrix discharged from the Army? And what in the hell were the Kingsmen singing about, anyway? Frequently, the motivation behind an agency's interest is the most intriguing part of the file; Rock Hudson, for example, was tailed by the FBI because he was slated to portray one of their own in a film. Several dozen short entries round up the book, covering Lucille Ball, Jack London and the Sex Pistols, to name a few. This title is satisfying both as a repository of quick and dirty celebrity trivia and as a revealing cross-section of Washington's long, tense relationship with Hollywood.
Copyright (c) Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
-- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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February 20, 2007
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Excerpt from Celebrity Secrets by Nick Redfern
Abbott and Costello
"Costello 'had it running out of his ears.' "
Next to Laurel and Hardy, the most well loved comedic duo of the Golden Age of Hollywood was, for many people, Abbott and Costello. A brief FBI document of January 10, 1948, titled "Lou Costello, Information Concerning," provides background on Costello and reveals how the two met and developed their career:
Lou Costello was born March 6, 1908, and was christened Louis Francis Costillo. While in his teens, he quit high school and began to work in a haberdashery, which job he soon quit to become an actor. His first attempts were unsuccessful and he then decided to become a prizefighter. Fourteen fights later he ended up on the West Coast where he became a Hollywood stunt man. He met Bud Abbott in 1929 at the Empire Theater in Brooklyn, when his regular straight man was taken ill. Bud agreed to substitute and they have been together ever since. They have played most of the burlesque and many of the vaudeville circuits together. Their first break came in 1938 when they were given a 10-minute spot on Kate Smith's program. Their real success came when they began making movies in Hollywood. Since then they have made numerous pictures and their success is well known.
Indeed, their success was well known: having signed to Universal in 1939, Abbott and Costello went on to make a wealth of hit movies, including Buck Privates, In the Navy, and Hold That Ghost. At the height of their phenomenal career, however, Abbott and Costello had more than just faithful fans following their exploits and antics. None other than the all-powerful Federal Bureau of Investigation was secretly doing likewise. Indeed, declassified FBI memoranda on the pair are almost as entertaining as their cinematic output, albeit for very different reasons. Stories of covert wartime espionage, "lewd" girl-on-girl action, deep-running Mob ties, impressively huge porno collections, prostitution, and more all made their way to the desk of bureau head honcho J. Edgar Hoover after the duo caught the attention of government intelligence agents.
The first real inkling of FBI interest in Abbott and Costello surfaced in 1943, when, on February 23 of that year, Arthur H. Crowl, the special agent in charge of the bureau's office at Springfield, Illinois, forwarded a highly unusual report to his boss Hoover and to the FBI Technical Laboratory titled: "BUD ABBOTT and LOU COSTELLO, Radio Program on February 4 And February 18, 1943. ESPIONAGE."
According to Crowl, he had been recently contacted by a woman from Illinois who was described in the documentation "as writer of radio script and an author," and who had come to the distinctly strange conclusion that Abbott and Costello were carefully and secretly inserting "key words" and phrases into their radio shows that, when correctly interpreted, could potentially be utilized for espionage purposes by unfriendly nations. Given that this was at the height of the Second World War, this could really only mean the Axis powers of Germany, Italy, and Japan. Declassified FBI files demonstrate that the woman had gone to truly extraordinary lengths to carefully record for the bureau's Springfield office no less than eighty-five words and phrases that she believed were directly relevant to her distinctly odd theory. As Special Agent Crowl noted, those same words and phrases included: