Friday, June 21, 2024

Henry Kissinger is Dead at 100: Reviled as War Monger, Often Portrayed in Movies, Appeared on “Dynasty”


When I was growing up, Henry Kissinger was considered evil. We booed when we saw him on TV. He was a proud warmonger who bombed the heck out of Cambodia and killed lots of people during the Vietnam War.

He was Richard Nixon’s puppetmaster or flunky take your choice.

Post Watergate and Vietnam, Kissinger thrived in Reagan era New York. He lived the highlife, dining at top places like Le Cirque and the 21 Club. (In the 80s, Le Cirque was exclusive they welcomed everyone from Diana Ross to Roy Cohn. Dictators were certainly welcome if they were available.)

I met Kissinger a couple of times, via the great editor Harold Evans. I had to restrain myself, once, at the Four Seasons, another exclusive haunt, from saying anything beyond Hello. After everything he’d done, it was hard to believe he actually existed.

Kissinger was depicted in many movies and appeared in several documentaries, of course. But his one acting credit was on TV’s “Dynasty,” the 80s nighttime soap opera that celebrated greed and wealth and the trampling of the common man. He appeared as himself in a 1983 episode about a charity ball. Gerald Ford, who inherited Kissinger from Nixon, also appeared with his wife, First Lady Betty Ford.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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