Alistair Cooke (1908-2004)

Schwartz’s flat, Eaton Square, London
18 April 1978

A journalist, broadcaster and writer, Cooke was regarded as the authority on Anglo-American cultural affairs. His weekly broadcast, Letter from America (1946–2004), made him a household name in Britain and internationally.

At the sitting, Schwartz learned that Cooke was friendly with Charlie Chaplin who urged him to become a film director. He applied to the BBC to fill the place of a recently deceased film critic. He wrote a film review and was hired immediately, jumping a queue of over 100 other applicants, at the age of twenty-six.

Photo © National Portrait Gallery, London

Photo © National Portrait Gallery, London