Josephine Baker BY THOR JENSEN The singer and actress famous for her scandalous banana-skirted dance was the first Black woman to star in a major motion picture, but she didn’t stop making history after that. When World War II broke out, Baker was recruited by the French intelligence services to leverage her fame as a tool to gather information. Using her massive celebrity, Baker got in close with Japanese and Italian businessmen, ambassadors and other high-ranking figures, and everything she found out in conversation with them was given back to the French resistance. When she toured, Baker would also smuggle information about troop movements written in invisible ink on her sheet music. Roald Dahl The writer of dozens of classics of children’s literature including James and the Giant Peach and Matilda, Roald Dahl was a complex and fascinating figure. Before starting his writing career, Dahl served in the Royal Air Force, where he flew in multiple missions. Headaches grounded him and he was returned to England and then appointed to a post in Washington, D.C. While there, his superiors discovered his knack for language and started him writing propaganda. It wasn’t long before the intelligence services had Dahl running information about American activities – including the non-interventionist “America First” movement – back to the home office. Christopher Lee One of the most iconic horror actors of all time, Christopher Lee’s career has spanned almost six decades. His first breakthrough came as Count Dracula in the British horror films made by Hammer Productions. During World War II, he joined the Air Force but was told that a failure in his optic nerve would never allow him to become a pilot. Undeterred, Lee turned his skills to intelligence, and he was soonrecruited to the Special Operations Executive, a top-secret group organized to conduct sabotage and espionage actions in occupied Europe. The details of Lee’s missions during this time are still classified, and like a good soldier he’s never spilled as to exactly what he did during that time. Greta Garbo One of the most enduring mysteries in Hollywood is Greta Garbo’s retirement from acting in 1941. The notoriously reclusive star was one of the few actresses to make the transition to “talkies” successfully, but during the mid-30s she began taking less roles and mysteriously disappearing for months on end. During those times, Garbo was workingwith producer Alexander Korba and MI6 on a number of top secret intelligence missions. Her first task was to collect information on Swiss industrialist Axel Wenner-Gren, and she continued to work for the agency throughout the decade, reporting back on potential Nazi sympathizers and agents. Some say her work in Denmark was responsible for the survival of legendary physicist Niels Bohr. Frank Sinatra Ol’ Blue Eyes was a singer with a good deal of pull on both sides of the law. His connections to the Mafia have been well-documented, but the CIA also saw some good in Frank Sinatra. The intelligence agency allegedly made a deal with Sinatra to gloss over his Mob buddies’ illegal activities in exchange for Frank serving as a courier. On cross-country or transatlantic flights, Sinatra would often bring documents or diplomats for delivery on his private jet, which could pass through customs much easier than official transports.