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He was in the dark and suddenly the spotlight picked him up—he was electric, he was hot, it was almost a sexual thing.
He was singing to Kim Novak, sitting at a stageside table; she had just finished work on Alfred Hitchcock’s the most challenging film of her career.
Cohn wanted to be known as the toughest, meanest mogul in Hollywood.
He brandished a riding crop and slashed it across his desk to terrify employees.
threatened to become a national scandal on the eve of America’s long struggle for civil rights.
It started in 1957 at Chicago’s most famous nightclub, Chez Paree.
But, in 1957, she fell in love with Sammy Davis Jr., who, with his immense popularity, was breaking the race barrier of a firmly segregated entertainment industry.
You had to see him: the gorgeous shirt, the cuff links, the way everything billowed.He kept a framed photograph of his hero, Benito Mussolini, on his massive desk and had his office decorated to look like Il Duce’s.That night would be the first and virtually the last time that Kim Novak and Sammy Davis Jr. At the heart of their star-crossed affair was one of Hollywood’s sacred monsters: the notorious Harry Cohn.It was said that Harry Cohn put more people in the cemetery than all the other moguls combined.
He ran Columbia Pictures as if it were a family business, and in a way it was, because he had wrangled control from his brother Jack, who was back on the East Coast in New York.By the mid-1930s, Cohn had nurtured Columbia from a low-rent, B-movie studio on Hollywood’s “Poverty Row,” a block off Sunset, into a major Hollywood film studio.