Joanne Herring Won Charlie Wilson’s War

December 23, 2007

Meet Joanne Herring, a Houston socialite who is being portrayed by Julia Roberts in the new movie “Charlie Wilson’s War”. See her biography and photos here.

In “Charlie Wilson’s War”, Julia Roberts portrays Joanne Herring, the socialite who convinced Sen. Charlie Wilson (played by Tom Hanks) to take action in the Soviet-Afghanistan conflict. The film was released in the US on December 21, 2007.

Joanne Herring Biography

As a biography, Joanne Herring was born as Joanne Johnson on July 3, 1929 in Houston, Texas so her age is 78. She attended the University of Texas at Austin, but she quit after her sophomore year to marry Robert King, a real estate developer. They had two boys together, Robin and Beau.

Herring became known in Houston social circles after King threw her a lavish 30th birthday party. The theme was “Roman orgy” and it included costumes and a mock slave auction. The event was covered by Life magazine. She followed that up with a 15-year stint as the host of “The Joanne King Show”.

After her divorce from King, Joanne married oilman Robert Herring after only five dates. After Robert’s death, Joanne married business man Lloyd Davis.

Herring got involved in the Soviet-Afghanistan conflict in the 1980s when she became concerned that Americans were dismissing a conflict in Afghanistan as mere tribal warfare. She had spoken with the president of Pakistan who told here that the Soviets were well-armed and well-trained, and that they planned to use Afghanistan as a “steppingstone to domination in the Middle East” and then the world.

So, Herring formed a small film crew and went to Afghanistan to document the Soviets. She interviewed the tribal warriors and her son Robin King filmed Soviet helicopter attacks, one of which almost made Herring a casualty. Filmmaker Charles Fawcett put the movie together, and the team showed it to every influential politician who would sit still. Charlie Wilson was on that list. Wilson then helped channel billions of dollars in American aid to Afghanistan. The two still call each other every once in a while.

Of her involvement, Herring says,

“Many times I wondered what a nice girl from Texas was doing in a place like that. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would have ended up in the underbelly of the world fighting the demons of communism.”

See quotes, more photos of Joanne Herring and the preview of “Charlie Wilson’s War” .

Some quotes from Joanne Herring:

  • “It’s just fine to be liberal. I love it when somebody argues with me.”
  • “People think it’s Joanne the social queen. That’s not me at all. I get bored to death when people talk about nothing.”
  • “I was driving in traffic and someone gave me the finger. (She drives a red Jaguar convertible.) I smiled and blew him a kiss.”
  • “It’s very hard to be a woman. It isn’t enough to be supposedly intelligent, you have to be glamorous and elegant, too. And if you’re not, men are very disappointed. If I only had to put on a tie and run a rag over my shoes, that would be just wonderful.”

“Charlie Wilson’s War” Trailer – Joanne Herring

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5 Responses to “Joanne Herring Won Charlie Wilson’s War”

  1. 1
    joe mama Says:

    It’s hard to believe that this movie is glorifying Terrorism, Covert Wars, Illegal Drug Use, Corrupt Politicians and the Breaking of International Laws all at once….but it just might be.

    By reading Rotten one will read “Charlie’s partner in this uphill endeavor is CIA Agent Gust Avrakotos (Hoffman), a blue-collar operative in a company of Ivy League blue bloods. Together, the three of them–Charlie, Joanne and Gust–travel the world to form unlikely alliances among the Pakistanis, Israelis, Egyptians, arms dealers, law makers and a belly dancer.”

    But you don’t read about Tom Hanks and Julia’s characters recruiting a Saudi Arabian man to lead their joint venture, by the name of Osama Bin Laden.

    If America has forgotten so quickly, go back and read about a leader of the Afghani Resistance against the Russians. Yep, Charlie Wilson helped train, educate and fund Osama Bin Laden…and look what Osama Bin Laden has done since Charlie Wilson found him.

    You would think that Hollywood and anyone with a brain would rather educate people. Glorifying Charlie Wilson, Osama Bin Laden and Joanne Herring is wrong. Many people don’t know that Joanne Herring is part of the Johnson Family that owns Kellogg, Brown and Root and DynCorp Private Contracting Groups. Who would have thought huh?

    My advice, read about these scum in books or on-line. By the way, the book Charlie Wilson’s War is rather dry and isn‘t worth the paper its written on if you asked me, but you get an idea of what went on during that time period.

    My Advice, don’t watch movies that glorify Terrorism and the people who get rich off Wars against Terrorism. Those who seek to impose their own ideology and want nothing else but to be powerful should rott in hell.

    Merry Christmas and Peace on Earth.

  2. 2
    Adele Tiblier Says:

    You are right. He did unknowingly train the future Talibahn. But as mentioned in the movie, the government put a stop on the support to go back in and assist in rebuilding what the Soviets had destroyed. Allowing the US the opportunity to cleanup and keep promises. This is why the rest of the world is not has enamored by the US as we are about ourselves.

  3. 3
    Ursala Says:

    After watching the movie i had mixed feelings.On one hand it is shown that charlie was driven by the conditions of refugees he witnessed in Peshawar and how later he tried to continue with the development of Afghanistan,a propposal which was rejected by the rest of the congress.But wat is not shown is the American interest in backing the mujahideen in fighting this war to bring down their biggest rival and the super power of that time,the soviets thereby putting US on the centre stage of power.
    In my opinion it is a good movie but much more of reality needs to be incorporated rather than just,as said earlier,glorifying it!

  4. 4
    David In New Orleans Says:

    Wow! You guys are just plain pathetic, especially you “joe mama”. These were great Americans who did great things. They saved countless lives by defeating the Soviets. How dare you blame their noble actions for what happened on 9/11. I suppose you have a crystal ball up your A??! That is like saying we should have left hitler alone because the soviet army came in and slaughtered people in eastern Europe. Use some common sense!

  5. 5
    Rahman Says:

    To Mr David in French quarters…
    The ‘great Americans’ had dollar signs in their eyes, smell of power in their nostrils, and nothing but their own interest in their minds. Driven by short term personal goals, they lacked the longer term vision of the consequences of their actions, and that is why (at least partly) the world is in a mess today.

    They saved countless lives? what about the hundreds of millions who have died AFTER the war, and the spread of terrorism all over the world resulting from the loose cannon balls trained by CIA?
    You don’t need a crystal ball to tell what happens after a war… read some history in the spare time you get from brain-washing yourself dead with the help of the great American media.