FBI File: Hollywood and J. Edgar Hoover: Investigations of Actors and Directors
J. Edgar Hoover, the first director of the FBI, held a longstanding interest in the Hollywood film industry as well as deep distrust of the political left. In 1942 he ordered the bureau's Los Angeles office to report on Communist activities of various motion picture personalities, including actors, directors, producers, and writers. After WWII the investigation evolved into a sophisticated operation. Between 1944 and 1954 agents conducted extensive surveillance of suspected Communists, and assembled information used by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in an effort to purge Hollywood of Communist influence.