D'Arcy-Kane agency
Artists Representatives

Alicia Kane
Geoff D'Arcy
Frida Lovitz

HOLLYWOOD RED The Autobiography of Lester Cole

Lester Cole

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(… )
I was driving home from the market one morning, in 1978, the radio turned to a talk show. A writer and his actress wife were talking about and promoting their new book, something about the annual migration of swans that stopped to rest and feed in a pond on their estate in Long Island. Suddenly, I was startled; I recognized the stuttering voice of an old "friendly witness," Budd Schulberg, who – his father, a millionaire in the twenties and early thirties – had been head man at Paramount. Budd was among the earlier elite Party members to turn informer, who "sang like a canary," as the cons would say at Danbury.

  Listeners to the radio program were invited to call in and ask questions. I sped home, got on the phone, waited anxiously, and just three minutes before the show was to end I was put on. A caller only gave his first name, and I was introduced as "Lester, who was interested in your interest in birds." The name Lester apparently rang no bell then, and he asked pleasantly what it was I wanted to know.

  I was prepared; I'd thought of nothing else since I raced home to telephone twenty minutes before. "Why did you write about swans and not canaries?" I asked.

  "Canaries?" He was puzzled.

  "Canaries, yes. A bird you really know." I was suddenly so angry I was shouting. "You know all about canaries because you are a canary! Aren't you the canary who sang before the un-American Committee? Aren't you that canary? Or are you another bird, a pigeon – the stool kind."

  There was an audible gasp at the other end. Schulberg was once again stuttering as he had done in his youth. He finally managed to say, "L-l -ester? Lester Cole! L-l-ester, I've been wanting to see you all these years. I want to explain. I really c-can. I –"

  "Just sing, canary, sing, you bastard!" I'd lost control in my fury. I could have done much better had I remained calm.

I was cut off at that point. But sometimes little things like that can make your day.
(... )

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