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Son of CIA Director William Colby Wonders if Family Was Just Dad's Cover in New Documentary

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CIA Director William Colby in 1975. (First Run Features)

Did you ever wonder what is what like growing up the son of James Bond?

Meet Carl Colby, son of the late C.I.A. director William Colby, who has attempted to piece together his father’s life from his career beginnings as an OSS officer in Nazi-occupied Europe to becoming the 10th Director of Central Intelligence from 1973 to 1976 in the powerful documentary “The Man Nobody Knew.”

“Two weeks after I was born we left for Sweden, then we left for Italy, and I came back to the United States really for the first time as a twelve year old. I spoke better Italian and French than I did English back when I was young. So it was an odd, foreign country to me, but it was supposed to be my home,” Colby told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column of his own childhood. “Only gradually did I understand really that not everybody works for the government.”

The Man Nobody Knew” offers a look at the elder Colby's mysterious life, complete with interviews from former wife Barbara Colby, former senator Bob Kerrey and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. The movie touches on several dramatic milestones, from joining forces with the Vatican to defeat the Communist Party in Italy in the 1950s to the unraveling of the Vietnam War and the assassination of the country’s president Ngo Dinh Diem in 1963.

It also shows how much times have changed.

“When my father was director of the C.I.A., he left his home phone number in the directory, in a directory that anyone can call up and talk to him,” Colby continued. “Unfortunately, a couple of people did call. One person said to my younger sister, ‘We’re gonna kill your father.’ And then one day someone called and my mother answered, and they said “All the arrangements have been made,’ and she said ‘Arrangements for what?’ and they stated “Your husband’s burial.’ She said, ‘What are you talking about?”’and they just said ‘All the arrangements have been made,' and then just hung up. So you’ve a sense that he had enemies, but to be honest with you, he was so cool under fire. I never feared for my life because he never projected that.”

And although Colby’s death in 1996 from a boating accident was ruled caused by a heart attack, (Colby was found underwater), his son thinks it may not have been accidental. 

“In a lot of ways I think he was done. He lost his mission after he resigned or was fired by President Ford [in 1976]. He reverted to being, maybe what he once was in his late 20s, a kind of liberal lawyer. He bought new clothes, bought a sports bar and sort of just started a whole new life,” Colby explained. “They said he had a heart attack or a stroke, but it’s also the best way to hide anything to just throw somebody into the water because after a few hours there’s no sign of anything. But I think he had had enough of this world. He never wanted to grow old.”

In putting together his documentary, Carl Colby also wanted to answer one simple question.

“Are we important? A child asking a parent if we were important, if were a family, or if we just a cover for him,” Colby said. “Was there real affection? Or was it just a smoke screen? He divorced my mother so we know how he really felt about her. I spent a lot of time thinking about that question – and I think the answer is 'no.' We weren’t ever a real family.”

“The Man Nobody Knew” is currently playing in New York and opens in Los Angeles on October 14.

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