To most Americans, ALISTAIR COOKE was the baronial M.C. of Masterpiece Theatrea genial gent so famous that he was gently parodied as Alistair Cookie on Sesame Street and Alistair Beagle in Peanuts. But his role as a TV host was a sideline for the British journalist who knew everyone and remembered everything. As a young Cambridge grad in the U.S., he became instant pals with Charlie Chaplin and H.L. Mencken. He got his first glimpse of Franklin Roosevelt as the paraplegic President was hauled from his car, and he happened to be near Robert Kennedy the night of his assassination. All...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!