Beverly Hills, CA (PRWEB) July 21, 2007
A new book by celebrity biographer Brad Lewis finally tells the story of famous gangster Mickey Cohen, the west coast leader for Jewish mob boss Meyer Lansky. "Hollywood's Celebrity Gangster, The Incredible Life and Times of Mickey Cohen" (ISBN: 1-929631-65-0).
"When it came to women, Cohen and the Rat Pack passed them around like dispensable commodities. Cohen, JFK, and Sinatra dated some of the same women. On occasion, Cohen told Sinatra to stop sending the shared women to Washington--some brought to the White House under cover of night," said author Brad Lewis.
"Frank (Sinatra) got him (JFK) all the broads he could ever have used… I guess they preferred to go to bed with John Kennedy instead of Mickey Cohen, you know--Frank Sinatra instead of Mickey Cohen," said Cohen.
Lewis' book also reveals:
- Cohen introduced Sinatra to scandal sheet publisher James Tarantino. Hollywood Nite Life was set up to blackmail celebrities. Sinatra gave him $15,000; Cohen extracted $5,000 from him on three separate occasions.
- Sinatra asked Cohen for help with his social life, in particular his soured relationship with Ava Gardner. The two industry powerhouses met at night in Cohen's luxurious Brentwood home.
- Cohen's relationship with Sinatra solidified further when times became difficult for the singer in the late forties and early fifties, a period that included serious vocal problems and a decline in popularity. Cohen provided a resurrection testimonial dinner at the Beverly Hills Hotel; he had the clout to bring out the big names.
- When Cohen arranged for comedians Martin and Lewis to appear at Slapsy Maxie's, Sinatra said, "The dago's lousy, but the little Jew is great."
- Sinatra and Cohen helped promote comedian Don Rickles. At the Slate club, Rickles said, "Make yourself at home Frank…hit somebody."
- When Harry Cohn wanted Sammy Davis, Jr. to stop dating Kim Novak, he asked Cohen and Sinatra for help.
- Cohen beat up waiter Arthur Black at Sinatra's Villa Capri Restaurant.
- Sinatra and Cohen arranged for JFK to meet Marilyn Monroe.
- Cohen kicked and chased Red Skelton's manager out of Sinatra and Peter Lawford's Puccini restaurant in Beverly Hills. Cohen told actor George Raft who tried to intercede, "You shut up, Raft, or you know what you're gonna get."
- When Cohen was released from prison, Sinatra supplied a quick $25,000, and a promise of more.
- At ringside during bouts in L.A. Sinatra would kiss his pal "Michael" on the cheek and impressed Cohen's dates.
- Cohen said in later years, Frank Sinatra was "A stand-up guy, and if you call his hole card, he's going to answer."
"A colorful biography of the Mick… Hollywood's Celebrity Gangster" is a fascinating portrait… Lewis' book shines a light on an often overlooked chapter of the history of crime..." --Steve Harvey, "Only In LA", Los Angeles Times.
"I found Celebrity Gangster intense, dramatic, a real page turner."
--Irwin Winkler, Producer of
Rocky, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Night and the City and
The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight.
"Never in my years of reading for pleasure, has such an infamous mobster as the late Mickey Cohen been written about with such insight, truthfulness and good humor as Brad Lewis has accomplished in this page-turning bio. For anyone into Jewish or even gentile folklore, this is a must read." --Arthur Marx, author of Life With Groucho, The Nine Lives of Mickey Rooney, Goldwyn: A Biography of the Man Behind the Myth, Red Skelton.
Book signings and talks:
July 22nd - Barnes and Noble, Marina Del Rey, CA, noon.
August 26 - Seattle Mystery Bookshop, 2-4 PM
September 8th - Book Soup, West Hollywood, CA, 5 PM.
Available for interviews: (310) 275-9968 or firstname.lastname@example.org
"Hollywood's Celebrity Gangster" is available for purchase at all online and retail bookstores; including Borders, Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com, and Walmart.com. For more information visit http://www.BradleyLewis.com
Title: Hollywood's Celebrity Gangster The Incredible Life and Times of Mickey Cohen
by Brad Lewis
425 pages, 30 halftones
Trade paper $22.00
Publication date: May 28, 2007
U.K. Distribution by Greenhill Books, London.
U.S. and Canadian distribution by Perseus Consortium.
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