The story of Nat King Cole and his racist neighbours

Nat King Cole, the first black American TV star and a friend of President John Kennedy, conquered hearts and minds across the world with a string of hits in the Forties and Fifties.

But behind the singer’s ever-present smile lay sadness at a racist campaign of terror that he and his family suffered at the hands of his wealthy white neighbours on Hollywood’s doorstep.

The full extent of the hostility endured by the musician in the exclusive Los Angeles neighbourhood of Hancock Park has now been revealed in a new documentary.

The jazz pianist and singer had already achieved star status with his King Cole Trio when he decided to move in 1948 to the well-to-do suburb, which boasts Howard Hughes, Katharine Hepburn and Mae West among its former residents.

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