How Show Biz Mourned JFK

Fifty years ago, Variety put a price tag on what the marathon television news coverage and abrupt shuttering of film, TV and legit productions cost showbiz in the wake of John F. Kennedy’s assassination: $40 million. But bottom-line considerations were superfluous to the shock in Hollywood on Nov. 22, 1963, when the entire industry, like the rest of the nation, virtually ground to a halt. The headline on the Nov. 25, 1963, edition of Daily Variety (the first edition to follow the Friday assassination) said it all: “All Showbiz Mourns Kennedy.” Who could know at the time that the Prez and his family, through movies and TV, would go on to be a branch of show biz unto themselves?

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