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- August 31, 1992
- Vol. 38
- No. 9
Bashing Citizen Roy
In the Hamptons, Fans of Cohn Speak Ill of Cohn
Like a ghost crashing a bash in its own honor, Cohn's memory hovered over the screening and soiree hosted by HBO. Four hundred of the lawyer's old friends and foes (many of whom remembered his role as a zealous aide to Sen. Joseph McCarthy and ruthless power-broker for the rich and famous) mingled under an enormous tent at chic Sapore di Mare, where the man who played Cohn in the movie, James Woods, was holding court. "I was always afraid of that man," Diane Von Furstenberg said of Cohn. "He was a worm." Added feminist writer Betty Friedan: "The film will teach a whole generation about one of the most evil men who ever lived."
Blacklisted during the 1950s, when Cohn and others were trying to purge Hollywood of alleged Communists and presumed fellow travelers, Lee Grant allowed that she look on the movie role of his mother as an act of emotional "revenge." Watching Woods as Cohn on the offense, she said, "is like watching a snake eat a rabbit." Hors d'oeuvres, anyone?
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