Thursday, March 22, 2012
Joe Kennedy Vets Peter Lawford
Soon after Peter asked Patricia Kennedy to marry him, he had to face her father, the formidable Joe Kennedy, who demanded a meeting with him in New York. Old Joe was "bristling," Peter recalled, and began by telling Peter, "If there's anything I'd hate more for a son-in-law than an actor, it's a British actor!" The patriarch then recited Peter's bank account balance. "I'd been thoroughly checked out," Peter said. What he didn't know was that Joe had called J. Edgar Hoover and been sent a copy of Peter's FBI file. One of the tidbits in the file was that Peter frequented prostitutes employed by "a well-known call-house madam." Rather than destroying Peter's chance to marry Pat, the information was considered positive by Joe, who had heard the rumors about Peter being gay. He gave his consent to the marriage.