Hollywood Left and Right: How Movie Stars Shaped American Politics

By Steven J. Ross | Go to book overview

2
THE MAN WHO BROUGHT
HOLLYWOOD INTO THE
REPUBLICAN PARTY:
LOUIS B. MAYER

Louis B. Mayer would have cried like a baby at his own funeral. The emotional “mogul of moguls” would have dissolved into tears as Jeanette MacDonald sang “Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life” and Spencer Tracy delivered a moving eulogy to the overflow crowd of 2,200 people who spilled onto the streets in front of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple on the morning of October 31, 1957. The man who ruled over Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios for twenty-seven years would have loved to hear the laudatory tributes of admiring Republican friends such as Vice President Richard M. Nixon and former President Herbert Hoover. Louis would have nodded his head in agreement as the city’s most famous Jewish leader, Rabbi Edgar Magnin, praised him “as an ardent enemy of pseudo-liberals, Reds, and pinks.” On the other hand, he would have been deeply hurt to hear Samuel Goldwyn tell reporters that the “reason so many people showed up at his funeral was because they wanted to make sure he was dead.”1

-51-

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