ROAD TO HOLLYWOOD tells the story of J. Herbert Klein - movie producer, builder, impresario, and inventor - who started life as an everyman and ended up working with some of the richest, most powerful people in the world. We meet Klein at the start of World War II as a 21-year-old U.S. Air Force private assigned to a new unit established to defeat the enemy with one of America's greatest inventions - movies. At the base, Klein meets his commanding officer - Captain Ronald W. Reagan, film star and future president of the United States - who puts the young recruit in charge of a top-secret project. In ROAD TO HOLLYWOOD, Klein is finally at liberty to reveal details of this operation - and to describe how Hollywood professionals helped bring about the Allies' victory. After the war, Klein takes over his family's business - and begins to build luxury homes for the rich and famous. During the late-1940s, he builds three houses in Bel Air for Howard Hughes - rewned aviator, entrepreneur, and movie producer - that the billionaire turns into love nests for his teenage protegees. In 1955, opportunity kcks when Hughes taps Klein to produce the star-studded DEATH OF A SCOUNDREL, one of the mogul's final forays into moviemaking that still creates a sensation on Turner Classic Movies. Klein offers new insights about Hughes in ROAD TO HOLLYWOOD - one of the few books about this American icon written from an insider's perspective. During the 1960s, Klein seizes ather opportunity when he establishes a business partnership with Jon Hall - leading man of the 1930s and 1940s - that generates patents, techlogical invations, and controversy. Hall believes his new invention - the anamorphic camera lens - can capture the invisible, including alien life forms, on film. Klein seeks proof for Hall's incredible claims - and ROAD TO HOLLYWOOD includes evidence, along with out-of-this-world, never-before-published photos.
J. HERBERT KLEIN was born in Detroit, Michigan, on August 22, 1921. He joined the U.S. Air Force in 1942 and served in the First Motion Picture Unit, where Captain Ronald W. Reagan was his commanding officer. After his release from the service in 1945, Klein took over the family business - building luxury homes for the rich and famous. In 1956, Klein and colleague Charles Martin produced the film noir classic DEATH OF A SCOUNDREL for Howard Hughes. Subsequently, Klein pioneered talk television, producing programs that appeared on local stations in Los Angeles. In 1964, Klein produced the first American Theatre Awards, a talent competition for college students judged by Hollywood legends such as Robert Wise, director of WEST SIDE STORY and THE SOUND OF MUSIC. During the mid-1960s, Klein established a business partnership with Jon Hall, leading man of the 1930s and 1940s, that generated patents and technological innovations. One of the oldest members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Klein is still active in the business as executive producer of International Film Arts.