FBI Files: Celebrities

Hollywood Sign

The following is a list of FBI files on different celebrities.

 Declassified Celebrity FBI Files

Bud AbbottAbbott, Bud – Bud Abbott was a part of the Abbott and Costello comedy team. They made movies and performed on television. This release is references on Abbott only. It contains correspondence between Abbott and Director Hoover, Espionage and Interstate Transportation of Obscene Material matters.
Gracie AllenAllen, Gracie – [ File #1 ] | FILE #2 ] – Gracie Allen, her husband, George Burns, Mary Livingston (wife of Jack Benny) and Jack Benny were investigated in 1939 for bringing jewelry and clothing into the country from Europe and not paying the duty tax on it. The investigation by the New York City authorities resulted in Jack Benny and George Burns paying fines. It is alleged that the real smugglers were Gracie Allen and Mary Livingston.
Steve AllenAllen, Steve – [ File #1FILE #2FILE #3FILE #4 ] – Steve Allen, an entertainer, was the victim of two extortion attempts investigated by the FBI. The first extortion attempt consisted of a letter sent to the CBS network in New York demanding that the writer be given $30,000 or Mr. Allen would be harmed. Prosecution was declined by the United States Attorney. In the second extortion attempt, the writer accused Mr. Allen of being a communist and threatened to shoot him. The name of the person whose signature was on the letter was interviewed, but he could not read or write English; consequently, it was determined that the signature on the letter was forged. Additional letters were received, but no subjects were ever identified in this investigation.
Elizabeth ArdenArden, Elizabeth – [ File #1File #2 ] – An investigative file was opened on Elizabeth Arden, operator of the cosmetic firm “Elizabeth Arden,” upon receipt of a letter in 1941 alleging that she was opening branches of her firm to be used as clearing houses for Nazi activities. Also enclosed is personal correspondence between Ms. Arden and Director Hoover.
Louis ArmstrongArmstrong, Louis – Louis Armstrong, was born in 1900 and was a well known jazz trumpeter. He toured with his own jazz band for years in the United States, Europe, Africa, Australia, and even into the Soviet Union. Jewelry was stolen from a hotel room at the Century Plaza in Los Angeles in November 1970, with the estimated value of $ 30,000. There is a summary of Armstrong’s referenced activities. Louis Armstrong was never the subject of an FBI investigation.
Desi ArnazArnaz, Desi – [ File #1File #2File #3File #4File #5File #6File #7 ] – Desi Arnaz was born March 2, 1917 in Santiago, Cuba. He and his parents left Cuba in approximately 1933. He came to America with his parents, and he and his Mother remained here when his Father returned to Cuba. He was a Hollywood actor, musician and a television star. He along with his wife, Lucille Ball, starred in “I Love Lucy” television show and he and his wife formed “Desilu Productions,” with Desi Arnaz as its President. This production company produced several television programs.
Josephine BakerBaker, Josephine – [ File #1File #2File #3File #4File #5 ] – The famous nightclub entertainer was thought to be involved in communist activities, however, no evidence was ever found that proved otherwise.
Lucille BallBall, Lucille – [ File #1File #2File #3 ] – This file primarily relates to the 1953 House Committee on Un-American Activities hearings which revealed that Miss Ball had registered to vote as a communist in 1936 at the insistence of her grandfather.
The BeatlesThe Beatles – [ File #1File #2File #3File #4File #5File #6File #7File #8File #9] – The Beatles, a “British Pop Musical group,” received an extortion threat as they were appearing in Denver, CO on August 26, 1964. They were told to cancel their appearance in Denver or they would throw grenades at them. John Lennon, a member of the group, was the subject of an immigration appeal. There are various cross references to them in this release.
Irving Berlin Berlin, Irving [ 23 Pages, 1.35MB ] –  Irving Berlin (1888-1989) was a noted American songwriter. This release (previously made, but now made available on the FBI Vault) consists of 23 pages of miscellaneous documents in which Berlin’s name appears; he was not the subject of any FBI investigation. Several of these documents deal with Director Hoover’s support for Berlin to win the American Hebrew Medal of 1943.
Biggie Smalls Biggie Smalls [ 359 Pages, 9.99MB ] –  Christopher George Wallace (1972-1997)—also known as “Notorious B.I.G.”—was a rap musician who was murdered on March 9, 1997. The FBI opened a civil rights/color of law investigation into the murder; the case was closed in 2005. This release consists of FBI files between 1997 and 2005.
Sonny BonoBono, Sonny – In 1966, Salvatore “Sonny” Bono, a rock-n-roll singer, received a kidnaping threat. The person sending the several letters was believed to be from either Chicago or Milwaukee, and appeared to suffer from some type of mental illness. The original letters and envelopes were sent to the FBI Laboratory for examination.
George BurnsBurns, George – [ 73 Pages, 7.02 MB ] – George Burns (January 20, 1896 – March 9, 1996), born Nathan Birnbaum, was an American comedian, actor, and writer. He was one of the few entertainers whose career successfully spanned vaudeville, film, radio, and television. His arched eyebrow and cigar smoke punctuation became familiar trademarks for over three quarters of a century. At the age of 79, Burns’ career was resurrected as an amiable, beloved and unusually active old comedian in the 1975 film The Sunshine Boys, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He continued to work until shortly before his death, in 1996, at the age of 100.
James BrownBrown, James Joseph – [ 34 Pages, 29.88 MB ] – James Joseph Brown, Jr. (May 3, 1933 – December 25, 2006) was an American recording artist and musician. One of the founding fathers of funk music and a major figure of 20th-century popular music and dance, he is often referred to as “The Godfather of Soul”. In a career that spanned six decades, Brown profoundly influenced the development of many different musical genres.

Johnny Carson Carson, Johnny – [ 563 Pages, 259MB ] – John William “Johnny” Carson (October 23, 1925 – January 23, 2005) was an American television host, comedian, writer, producer, actor, and musician, best known for his thirty years as host of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962–1992). Carson received six Emmy Awards, the Governor’s Award, and a 1985 Peabody Award. He was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1987. Johnny Carson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992 and received a Kennedy Center Honor in 1993. Although his show was already successful by the end of the 1960s, during the 1970s Carson became an American icon and remained so even after his retirement in 1992. He adopted a casual, conversational approach with extensive interaction with guests, an approach pioneered by Arthur Godfrey and previous Tonight Show hosts Steve Allen and Jack Paar. Former late-night host and friend, David Letterman, cited Carson’s influence.

Note: There were possibly files related to Carson which were destroyed. These records were obtained on CD-ROM, and were combined into one .pdf. It is large, but holds book marks inside the .pdf to differentiate the different files which were obtained.

Johnny CashCash, Johnny – [ 334 Pages, 12.78 MB ] – John R. “Johnny” Cash (February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was a singer-songwriter, actor, and author, widely considered one of the most influential American musicians of the 20th century. Although primarily remembered as a country icon, his genre-spanning songs and sound embraced rock and roll, rockabilly, blues, folk, and gospel. This crossover appeal won Cash the rare honor of multiple induction in the Country Music, Rock and Roll, and Gospel Music Halls of Fame.
Charlie ChaplinChaplin, Charlie [ Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8 |Part 9Part 10 ] – Charles Spencer “Charlie” Chaplin (1889-1971) was a comic actor, movie director, and one of the founders of United Artists Pictures, a major Hollywood film studio. This release consists of two types of files, one involving a White Slave Traffic Act (or interstate prostitution) investigation and a domestic security file concerning Chaplin’s ties to communist organizations in the U.S. The dates range from 1922 to 1978.
Tom Clancy Clancy, Tom [ 46 Pages, 22.50MB ]
 Clancy, Tom (Release #2) [ 15 Pages, 10.9MB ]Thomas Leo “Tom” Clancy, Jr. (April 12, 1947 – October 1, 2013) was an American novelist and historian best known for his technically detailed espionage and military science storylines set during and in the aftermath of the Cold War, and for video games that bear his name for licensing and promotional purposes. Seventeen of his novels were bestsellers, and more than 100 million copies of his books are in print. His name was also a brand for similar movie scripts written by ghost writers and non-fiction books on military subjects. He was a part-owner of the Baltimore Orioles and Vice Chairman of their Community Activities and Public Affairs committees.This file is a result of his background check by the Bureau, as Clancy was considered as a consultant for the White House Space Council.
Dick ClarkClark, Richard Wagstaff “Dick” – [ 38 Pages, 4 MB ] – Richard “Dick” W. Clark (1929-2012) was an entertainer and businessman best known for his long tenure as host of American Bandstand. These materials consist of investigations made in 1962 and 1985 into threats of violence against Clark and others.
John Denver Denver, John [ 33 Pages, 1.85MB ] –  Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr. (December 31, 1943 – October 12, 1997), known professionally as John Denver, was an American singer, songwriter, actor, activist, and humanitarian. He was one of the most popular acoustic artists of the 1970s. After traveling and living in numerous locations while growing up in his military family, Denver began his music career in folk music groups in the late 1960s. His greatest commercial success was as a solo singer, starting in the 1970s. Throughout his life, Denver recorded and released approximately 300 songs, about 200 of which he composed.
Walt Disney Disney, Walter “Walt” [ 316 Pages, 18.44MB ] –  Walter Elias “Walt” Disney (December 5, 1901 – December 15, 1966) was an American business magnate, animator, cartoonist, producer, director, screenwriter, philanthropist and voice actor. A major figure within the American animation industry and throughout the world, he is regarded as an international icon, well known for his influence and contributions to the field of entertainment during the 20th century. As a Hollywood business mogul, he, along with his brother Roy O. Disney, co-founded Walt Disney Productions, which later became one of the best-known motion picture production companies in the world. The corporation is now known as The Walt Disney Company and had an annual revenue of approximately US$45 billion in the 2013 financial year.
Robin H. Gibb Eazy-E [ 178 Pages, 15.9MB ] –  Eric Lynn Wright (September 7, 1963 – March 26, 1995), better known by his stage name Eazy-E, was an American rapper who performed solo and in the hip hop group N.W.A. Wright is affectionately called “The Godfather Of Gangsta Rap”. He was born to Richard and Kathie Wright in Compton, California. After dropping out of high school in the tenth grade, he supported himself primarily by selling drugs before investing in Ruthless Records and becoming a rapper. When Ruthless artist Ice Cube wrote “Boyz-n-the-Hood”, Dre, Cube, and Eazy formed N.W.A. After DJ Yella, MC Ren, and Arabian Prince joined the group, N.W.A released N.W.A. and the Posse. In 1988, they released their most controversial album, Straight Outta Compton. The group released two more albums and then disbanded after Eazy released Dr. Dre from his contract.
Errol FlynnFlynn, Errol – In the 1940’s Flynn was the subject of a White Slave Traffic Act investigation and victim of two extortion cases.
Robin H. Gibb Gibb, Robin H. [ 818 Pages, 0.7MB ] –  Robin H. Gibb (1949-2012) was a well-known singer/songwriter with the Bee Gees music group. Between 1980 and 1981, the FBI assisted a foreign police service in investigating a potentially threatening telegram sent to the London law firm representing Gibb’s then wife in divorce proceedings; the telegram was signed “Robin Gibb.” The investigation did not go beyond the initial stages as the law firm did not wish to pursue the matter.
Paul Harvey Harvey, Paul [ 1,188 Pages, 71.57MB ] –  Paul Harvey Aurandt Paul Harvey Aurandt (1918-2009), popularly known as Paul Harvey, was a long-time radio broadcaster for ABC. Harvey corresponded with the Bureau on a range of issues between 1956 and 1986. He was also the subject of two investigations, a 1951 Atomic Energy Act investigation sparked when he entered a restricted area at a U.S. facility in pursuit of a story and a 1983 background investigation.
Whitney HoustonHouston, Whitney [ 128 Pages, 4.3MB ] – Whitney Elizabeth Houston (1963-2012) was a well-known American recording artist and actress. This release consists of several FBI investigations into threats made against Houston between 1988 and 1999.
Rock Hudson Hudson, Rock [ 34 Pages, 0.7MB ] –  Rock Hudson (born Roy Harold Scherer, Jr.; November 17, 1925 – October 2, 1985) was an American actor. Although he was widely known as a leading man in the 1950s and 1960s, often starring in romantic comedies opposite Doris Day, Hudson is also recognized for dramatic roles in films such as Giant and Magnificent Obsession. In later years, he found success in television, starring in the popular mystery series McMillan & Wife and the soap opera Dynasty.
I Was a Communist Spy Radio I Was a Communist Spy Radio [ 73 Pages, 7.27MB ] – I Was a Communist for the FBI consisted of 78 episodes syndicated by the Frederick W. Ziv Company to more than 600 stations, including KNX in Los Angeles, California, with original episodes running from March 30, 1952 to September 20, 1953. The program was made without the cooperation of the FBI. Real-life undercover agent Matt Cvetic was portrayed by Dana Andrews. The show had a budget of $12,000 a week, a very high cost to produce a radio show at the time.
Michael JacksonJackson, Michael – Between 1993 and 1994 and separately between 2004 and 2005, Mr. Jackson was investigated by California law enforcement agencies for possible child molestation. He was acquitted of all such charges. The FBI provided technical and investigative assistance to these agencies during the cases. The Bureau also investigated threats made against Mr. Jackson and others by an individual who was later imprisoned for these crimes.
Russell Tyrone Jones Jones, Russell Tyrone [ 83 Pages, 3.64MB ] –  Russell Tyrone Jones (1968-2004), aka “Ol’ Dirty Bastard”, was a member of the hip-hop music group known as the Wu-tang Clan. The FBI looked into the group’s activities under criminal enterprise statutes but no charges were filed based on these investigations. The file ranges from 1999 to 2004.
Casey Kasem Kasem, Casey [ 130 Pages, 21.7MB ] –  Casey Kasem, 1932 to 2014, born as Kemal Amen Kasem, was an actor, producer, and well known disk jockey and music celebrity. These files concern FBI investigations of violent threats made against Kasem between 1981 and 1993.
Gene Kelly Kelly, Gene – Eugene Curran “Gene” Kelly (August 23, 1912 – February 2, 1996) was an American dancer, actor, singer, film director, producer, and choreographer. Kelly was known for his energetic and athletic dancing style, his good looks and the likeable characters that he played on screen.  This release of the main FBI file on Kelly spans the years 1947 through 1975; the active part of the investigation spanned the years 1947 to 1951. The investigation concerned Kelly’s ties to various left-wing groups.
JFK Jr.Kennedy Jr., John F. – Although John F. Kennedy Jr., was not the subject of an FBI case, investigations were conducted when the FBI learned of alleged plots to kidnap the former President’s son in 1985 and 1995. Files also contain a reference to laboratory examinations in 1994 to determine the true writer of a threatening letter received by a United States Senator. The letter was written by an unknown person and signed, “John F. Kennedy, Jr.”
John LennonLennon, John – [ File #1File #2File #3 ] – Investigation conducted when the FBI learned that John Lennon contributed $75,000 to a group planning to disrupt the Republican National Convention in 1972.
Louie, Louie Louie, Louie (The Song) [ 119 Pages, 6.41MB ] – In 1963, a rock group named the Kingsmen recorded the song “Louie, Louie.” The popularity of the song and difficulty in discerning the lyrics led some people to suspect the song was obscene. The FBI was asked to investigate whether or not those involved with the song violated laws against the interstate transportation of obscene material. The limited investigation lasted from February to May 1964 and discovered no evidence of obscenity.
Steve McQueen McQueen, Steve [ 119 Pages, 6.41MB ] – Terence Steven “Steve” McQueen (March 24, 1930 – November 7, 1980) was an American actor. He was called “The King of Cool.” His “anti-hero” persona, developed at the height of the Vietnam counterculture, made him a top box-office draw of the 1960s and 1970s.[4] McQueen received an Academy Award nomination for his role in The Sand Pebbles. His other popular films include The Thomas Crown Affair, Bullitt, The Getaway, and Papillon, as well as the all-star ensemble films The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, and The Towering Inferno. In 1974, he became the highest-paid movie star in the world, although he did not act in films again for four years. McQueen was combative with directors and producers, but his popularity placed him in high demand and enabled him to command large salaries.
Jimi Hendrix Hendrix, Jimi [ 34 Pages, 4.16MB ] – James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix (born Johnny Allen Hendrix; November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970) was an American musician, singer, and songwriter. Despite a relatively brief mainstream career spanning four years, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music, and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as “arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music.”
Marilyn MonroeMonroe, Marilyn – [ File #1File #2 ] – This file contains accounts of publicity about Miss Monroe’s alleged affairs and speculation about the circumstances surrounding her death.
Bettie Page Page, Bettie [ 34 Pages, 4.16MB ] – Bettie Mae Page (1923-2008) was famous for her pin-up portraits and nude modeling. Although the FBI did not investigate Page, her name appeared in several FBI interstate transportation of obscene materials investigations, a San Francisco Field Office crime survey, and—in passing—a counterintelligence investigation. These materials are dated between 1947 and 1957.
Don Pardo Pardo, Dominick “Don” [ 28 Pages, 14.84MB ] – Dominick George “Don” Pardo (February 22, 1918 – August 18, 2014) was an American radio and television announcer whose career spanned more than seven decades. A member of the Television Hall of Fame, Pardo was noted for his 70-year tenure with NBC, working as the announcer for early incarnations of such notable shows as The Price Is Right, Jackpot, Jeopardy!, Three on a Match, Winning Streak and NBC Nightly News. His longest, and best-known, announcing job was for NBC’s Saturday Night Live, a job he held for 39 seasons, from the show’s debut in 1975 until his death in 2014.
ElvisPresley, Elvis – [ File #1File #2File #3File #4File #5File #6File #7File #8File #9File #10File #11File #12 ] – Although Elvis Presley was not personally the subject of an FBI investigation, the FBI maintains records filed under his name comprising over 600 pages. These records consist of copies of letters from members of the public commenting on his performances, newspaper clippings, and documents reporting that Mr. Presley was the target of extortion attempts.
Paul Robeson Robeson, Paul – [ File #1 84.04MB | File #2 102.10MB | File #3 60.84MB ] – [ 2,840 Total Pages ] –  Paul Leroy Robeson (April 9, 1898 – January 23, 1976) was an African-American singer and actor who became involved with the Civil Rights Movement. At university, he was an outstanding American football player, then had an international career in singing, as well as acting in theater and cinema. He became politically involved in response to the Spanish Civil War, Fascism, and social injustices. His advocacy of anti-imperialism, affiliation with Communism, and his criticism of the US government caused him to be blacklisted during McCarthyism. Ill health forced him into retirement from his career. He remained an advocate of the unpopular political stances he took until his death.
Will RogersRogers, Will – [ File #1 ] – William Penn Adair “Will” Rogers (November 4, 1879 – August 15, 1935) was an American cowboy, vaudeville performer, humorist, newspaper columnist, social commentator, and stage and motion picture actor. He became one of the most famous American media stars during the 1920s and 1930s.
Rod SerlingSerling, Rod – [40 Pages, 17.4MB] – Rodman Edward “Rod” Serling (December 25, 1924 – June 28, 1975) was an American screenwriter, playwright, television producer, and narrator known for his live television dramas of the 1950s and his science-fiction anthology TV series, The Twilight Zone. Serling was active in politics, both on and off the screen, and helped form television industry standards. He was known as the “angry young man” of Hollywood, clashing with television executives and sponsors over a wide range of issues including censorship, racism, and war.

Frank SinatraSinatra, Frank – FBI Headquarters Files – [ File #1File #2File #3File #4File #5File #6File #7File #8File #9File #10File #11File #12 ]

FBI Field Office Files – [ File #1File #2File #3File #4File #5File #6File #7File #8File #9File #10File #11File #12 |File #8File #9File #10File #11File #12 ]

Elizabeth Taylor Taylor, Elizabeth [ 154 Pages, 8.87MB ] –  Elizabeth Rosemond “Liz” Taylor (1932-2011) was a famous Hollywood actress. This release consist of 154 pages of files from the years 1949 to 1987. These files detail multiple extortion attempts against Taylor that the Bureau investigated over the years.

 Temple (Black), Shirley [ 413 Pages, 20.9MB ] – Shirley Temple Black (1928-2014) was a well known actress and political appointee in several administrations. This release consists of a 1969 background investigation made when Ms. Black was under consideration for executive appointment. Also included are two small files regarding threats made against Ms. Black.

This Is Your FBI This is Your FBI [ 45 Pages, 13.95MB ] –  This Is Your FBI was a radio crime drama which aired in the United States on ABC from April 6, 1945 to January 30, 1953 for a total of 409 shows. FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover gave it his endorsement, calling it “the finest dramatic program on the air”. Producer-director Jerry Devine was given access to FBI files by Hoover, and the resulting dramatizations of FBI cases were narrated by Frank Lovejoy (1945), Dean Carleton (1946–1947) and William Woodson (1948–1953). Stacy Harris played the lead role of fictional Special Agent Jim Taylor. Others in the cast were William Conrad, Bea Benaderet and Jay C. Flippen
Tupac Shakur Tupac Shakur [ 102 Pages, 5.6MB ] –  Tupac Amaru Shakur (1971-1996) was an American rap music artist. This release consists of a 1997 investigation into allegations that extortionate death threats had been made against Shakur and another rap artist by a domestic terrorist group.
John WayneWayne, John – [ File #1 ] – Marion Mitchell Morrison (born Marion Robert Morrison; May 26, 1907 – June 11, 1979), known by his stage name John Wayne, was an American film actor, director, and producer. An Academy Award-winner for True Grit (1969), Wayne was among the top box office draws for three decades. An enduring American icon, for several generations of Americans he epitomized rugged masculinity and is famous for his demeanor, including his distinctive calm voice, walk, and height.
George Orson Welles Welles, George Orson [ 194 Pages, 8.94MB ] –  George Orson Welles (1915-1985) was an American actor, director and producer. Mr. Welles was investigated for his potential ties to communist activities in 1940’s Hollywood. This file ranges from 1941-1949, and includes one document from 1976.


Files Needing Sponsorship

Periodically, I will find records that exist, but the price quote to get them sometimes are just too high. However, if anyone would like to ‘sponsor’ obtaining the below, I can definitely do so. Feel free to contact me.

Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger
(Approx 2,500
Pages, $2,000)


No Records Exist

Not all celebrities have files. Below are those I requested, but came back with negative results:

John Wayne

Marcia Wallace


The post FBI Files: Celebrities appeared first on The Black Vault.



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