Roy Cohn
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Roy Cohn

Angels in America

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About Him

Overview… a powerful and prestigious attorney who has the vice-president on speed dial. Ray made his name working for Senator Joseph McCarthy, but is best known for his role in the Rosenberg espionage trial, which ended with the execution of purported Communist spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Now, in the mid 1980s, Ray has been diagnosed with the notorious and deadly disease called AIDS. Unable to come out of the closet, Ray chooses to deny the cause of his deteriorating health – he even insists to his doctor that it’s not AIDS, but liver cancer that’s killing him.

Personality… vain, power-hungry, and hot-tempered. Ray sees the world in terms of me vs. them, and he’ll do anything to get the last laugh. Paranoid and often delusional, Ray doesn’t feel any remorse for any of the hard times he’s caused in this world. The only thing he cares about is “clout.” As he puts it, “AIDS, homosexual, gay, lesbian… like all labels, they tell you one thing and one thing only: where does an individual so identified fit in the food chain, in the pecking order. Not ideology, or sexual taste, but something much simpler: clout.”

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