When Harvey Weinstein entered Manhattan’s first precinct on Friday to surrender on three felony charges for sex-related crimes, he was seen clutching three books beneath his right arm — including a biography of another Hollywood legend turned pariah, Elia Kazan.
It’s a curious choice of accessory — did he really expect to have a lot of downtime while he was being fingerprinted and then brought before a judge for arraignment?
But at least two of the books could be identified as hardcover editions of entertainment biographies: Richard Schickel’s 2006 book “Eliz Kazan” and Todd S. Purdum’s “Something Wonderful,” a newly released biography of Broadway composer-lyricist team Rodgers and Hammerstein. (The third book, a paperback in a plain black cover, could not be readily identified.)
Kazan, a celebrated Broadway director who then won two Oscars for 1947’s “Gentleman’s Agreement” and 1954’s “On the Waterfront,” became a pariah in left-leaning Hollywood over his 1952 testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee rooting out Communist Party members in positions of prominence.
Called before the committee at the height of the Red Scare, Kazan named eight Hollywood figures who, like him, had once been members of the Communist Party.
His testimony — and refusal to apologize for it later on — tarnished his reputation with many in Hollywood. Dozens of stars declined to stand or applaud when he accepted an honorary Oscar in 1999, according to the L.A. Times. Kazan died in 2003 at age 94.
The 2006 biography, by the late Time Magazine film critic Richard Schickel, won great acclaim on its initial release.
Weinstein was also carrying the new biography of celebrated Broadway composer-lyricist duo Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, whose hits included “Oklahoma!” “Carousel” and “The Sound of Music.”
Weinstein himself is a Tony-winning producer of Broadway shows like “Finding Neverland” and “All the Way.”
On Friday, the disgraced mogul was charged on three felony counts of rape and criminal sex act stemming from a months-long investigation by the NYPD into accusations by two women. He pleaded not guilty and was released on $1 million bail.