Robert Blake is known by millions for his TV’s hits Baretta and Robert Blake’s Wife’s Murder Trial. In the late 60’s, Blake was making the transition from beloved child actor to seedy adult actor, and unintentionally crossed Hoover. In an interview, Blake commented that he’d rather play a villain on the TV Series “The FBI” than a hero in a movie, and implied that he’d make the villain likable. This sounded pretty un-American to Hoover, who noted in Blake’s file that the actor was not permitted to appear on “The FBI,” ever. Fortunately, Dabney Coleman is a good- scratch that- GREAT American, and appeared in nine episodes of the series.
Jane Fonda comes from a large family of left wing Hollywood actors, so it’s natural that Hoover would have her under the microscope from day one. But Fonda gave him plenty of ammunition, filling the early days of her acting career with Civil Rights protests and anti-Nixon sentiment. It’s through the latter that Hoover struck, supposedly planting false stories in the news that Fonda had actually threatened then President Richard Nixon. However, any false accusations Hoover concocted paled in comparison to the Fonda’s incredibly bad decision to pose for photographs with North Vietnamese anti-aircraft weapons in July of 1972. She was branded a traitor by many Americans, and the effects of that incident still stain her reputation nearly 40 years later. I can’t imagine J Edgar Hoover smiled often, but that event probably would have made him pretty happy if he hadn’t kicked off two months earlier. Perhaps Hoover and and Fonda can booth laugh about it when they meet in hell someday soon.