Thursday, April 24, 2014

Mae West: Brooklyn's Bigamist

On Thursday, 25 April 1935, MAE WEST was not wiggling.  She was squirming.  In her heart, the Brooklyn bombshell knew perfectly well that she married Frank Wallace in 1911 but she had never formalized their separation legally.  Mae booked a job in another city and quietly walked out on her astonished bridegroom. 
• • Bigamy • •
• • Bigamy is the condition of having two husbands (or two wives) at the same time.
• • The screen star was a bigamist when she took a second man, Guido Deiro, for her lawful spouse in 1913. However, since the Italian accordionist had another songbird lined up for a walk down the aisle, their marriage was terminated legally.
• • On Wednesday, 14 July 1920, Mae West filed for a divorce from Guido Deiro [1886 — 1950], charging him with abandonment. Having moved back with her parents in Queens, Mae filed her petition at the local courthouse in Jamaica.
• • When their divorce became final on Tuesday, 9 November 1920, 34-year-old Guido quickly wed his third wife, singer Ruby Lang, 28 years old.
• • When confronted with her 1911 vows, Mae chose to deny it — — refuting the "rumors" for two years. Was anyone fooled?  Let's see.
• • Mae West Impatient as 'Marriages' List Grows • • 
• • HOLLYWOOD, April 24 (By United Press) — — Mae West, curvesome lady of the screen, today called for a showdown to settle the somewhat confusing question of her spinsterhood. "I've got a sense of humor," she said. "Nobody can say I haven't. But this thing is going too far."
• • Patience Is Worn Thin • •
• • Mae's patience became a little worn when she was interrupted while saying "no" to reports of her marriage to one Frank Wallace and asked to explain, if she could, a report that a Mae West married one R. A. Bud Burmester in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1924.
• • "It's a lousy publicity gag, that's what it is," said Miss West, "and I'm not getting anything out of it.  If this thing goes any further, I'll call for a real showdown."
• • Mae was not pleased by the persistent questions. "First there's a guy named Wallace, and then another guy named Wallace and now, what's his name — — Burmester? That makes nine this year." Miss West continued to deny reports that she married a Frank Wallace in Milwaukee in 1911 and she characterized the reported marriage to Burmester in Fort Worth in 1924 as "absurd."
• • "I was in a New York show then," she affirmed. 
• • Pressed for further explanation of her variously reported marriages, the actress sighed. "Who knows?" said Mae. "Maybe I was the original Dionne quintuplets."
• • Source: United Press interview rpt in San Bernardino Sun; published on Thursday, 25 April 1935.  
• • Tomorrow's post will feature yet another marriage license with Mae's name on it.
• • On Thursday, 24 April 2008 • •
• • Goldmine Magazine featured Mae West on Thursday, 24 April 2008.
• • Goldmine Magazine said: Mae West did it all, even 45s.  Mae West was sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll before there was sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.  After Mae West, the rest of us just tried to keep up.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Frank Wallace, a bald, middle-aged hoofer, admitted today that he was the original husband of one Mae West. He married her in Milwaukee back in 1911 (or was it 1909?)!
• • "Mae wasn't a blonde in those days," he said. "The Mae I married in Milwaukee was a classy little brunette."
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "I just have to see a guy and I know at once if I'm going to like him. It may not be immediately — — but once you get to know a man there's always a nice side of him somewhere."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A newspaper column in Singapore mentioned Mae West.
• • Singapore editor wrote: Have you ever done any humorous writing?
• • Horace replied: Not much but I know a really good Mae West story.
• • Singapore editor wrote: No, Horace. Mae West is much too dangerous material for an inexperienced writer like you to deal with. So you better leave her to me.  ...
• • Source: Humor column in The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser; published on Saturday, 25 April 1936 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2899th blog post. Unlike many blogs, which draw upon reprinted content from a newspaper or a magazine and/ or summaries, links, or photos, the mainstay of this blog is its fresh material focused on the life and career of Mae West, herself an American original.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
________

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• • Photo:
• • Mae West marriage in April 1911

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Mae West: Her Sticky Story

MAE WEST, who famously quipped she had been in more laps than a napkin, was denying one man the privilege of cuddling up to his nuptial natterings. Frank Wallace was giving as many interviews as the screen star. At this point, film fans were still believing Mae's version.
• • "Mae West Sticks to Story" • •
• • HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (A.P.) — Let them say what they want, and dig up all the musty old papers they please, but Mae West has her story and she's sticking to it. There are no missing husbands in her life, she says, because "No guy ever led me to the altar." And that, said the buxom Mae decisively, goes for the startling discovery of a marriage license issued to a Mae West and a Frank Wallace in Milwaukee on Tuesday, 11 April 1911.
• • "Me a Milwaukee bride?" said Mae. "No!  It must have been two other people. Fact is, I never had been in Milwaukee until about four years ago. But I'll tell you this: Since last January, by actual count, eight guys have called me up and insisted they were married to me some place or other. But I never was married to them — — or Frank Wallace or anyone else. And I ought to know if I ever married or not, oughtn't I?"  
• • The "She Done Him Wrong" Gal Talks • •
• • There has been a general uprising of Frank Wallaces throughout the country. Already several have turned up. Their ages range from 71 years to 31.  One Frank Wallace said he had known Mae professionally on the vaudeville circuit.  Mae at first denied ever hearing of Wallace, but later remembered he had worked in the same show. Then along came another Frank Wallace in New York City — —— very much alive but discreetly restrained from talking by his agent.
• • In New York, Jack Linder, producer of Mae West's "Diamond Lil" on Broadway in 1928, said that Frank Wallace had been given a job in the show at Miss West's insistence. ...
• • Source: Syndicated article rpt on page 3 in The Paris News (Paris, Texas); published on Tuesday, 23 April 1935.
• • On Saturday, 23 April 1927 • •
• • In her hometown newspapers, Mae West's short prison sentence was being played for comedy not tragedy. The N.Y. Daily News reported on Saturday, 23 April 1927 that the inmate was writing a new play in jail and had job offers waiting. "A night club wants her to mop up the floor in prison costume for a few weeks at a fat salary," ran the article.
• • On Tuesday, 23 April 1935 in The Hollywood Reporter • •
• • A review of "Goin' to Town" appeared in The Hollywood Reporter in their issue dated for Tuesday, 23 April 1935.
• • On Sunday, 23 April 2006 • •
• • Voice of America featured "Mae West: The Wild Woman of Film and Stage" on Sunday, 23 April 2006.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • "Paramount in Players" • •
• • Paramount presents an unrivaled list of "name" players headed by The Big Five — —  Colbert, Cooper, Crosby, Dietrich, and West — — five box-office names unmatched in drawing power by any similar group in any other company.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "Adam sure started something. Men are a very important subject."
• • Mae West said:  "No guy ever led me to the altar."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Lubbock Morning Avalanche mentioned Mae West.
• • "Is He Mae West's Husband?" • •
• • Associated Press wrote:  Mae West, "hoofer," married Frank Wallace, "hoofer," in Milwaukee in 1911. Mae West, screen actress, said it must have been another Mae West because she herself is a spinster.
• • Associated Press added:  Anyhow, here is Frank Wallace, left, In this singing trio which appeared on Broadway several years ago in Mae West's "Diamond Lil." With him are Jo-Jo and Pat Whalen (right).  (The Associated Press Photo is not shown here.)
• • Source: Item in The Lubbock Morning Avalanche; published on Thursday, 25 April 1935
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2898th blog post. Unlike many blogs, which draw upon reprinted content from a newspaper or a magazine and/ or summaries, links, or photos, the mainstay of this blog is its fresh material focused on the life and career of Mae West, herself an American original.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
________

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• • Photo:
• • Mae West in 1935

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Mae West: With Trout in York

George Trout was a young man when he was alone with MAE WEST in 1952.
• • Meeting Mae West • •
• • Brandie Kessler wrote:  George Trout was 23 years old when he found himself alone with Mae West in her dressing room.  She was performing with the Kenley Players in York, Pennsylvania and Trout did the music for the shows.  After the first performance, Mae West asked George Trout to stay late and help her rehearse her music cues.
• • Brandie Kessler explained:  Trout asked her for an interview for the radio station, and because he stayed late to help her, she agreed.  After the interview, the two were alone in West's dressing room.   As they talked, West walked behind a screen.
• • Brandie Kessler noted:  Now 85-years-old, Trout said he couldn't believe he had the chance to interview West, or that he got to do something few others have done.  "I was in Mae West's dressing room when she got changed," he said.  . . .
• • Trout will be selling copies of his memoir at York Traditions Bank, 2450 Eastern Boulevard, in Springettsbury Township, PA in July.
• • Source: Article "George Trout pens book about his life, encounters with sports and entertainment icons" written by Brandie Kessler for The York Daily Record; published on Sunday, 19 April 2014.
• • Legendary theatrical producer, John Kenley, who launched The Kenley Players in 1940 in Deer Lake, Pennsylvania, died on Friday, 23 October 2009. He was 103.
• • On Sunday, 22 April 1928 in The N.Y. Times • •
• • On Sunday, 22 April 1928, The New York Times was purring about Mae West. On the theatre page was an announcement that "Diamond Lil" was the most prosperous of all the recent stage productions. Broadway backers paid attention, noticing that Mae had given the Royale Theatre its first hit — — a non-musical, no less.
• • On Saturday, 22 April 1939 • •
• • The papers reported this item on Saturday, 22 April 1939:  An interested spectator of the Fiesta parade yesterday was Mae West, who is in San Antonio, Texas for an engagement at the Majestic Theater.  
• • In honor of her visit in 1939, The Menger Hotel in San Antonio dedicated a "Mae West Suite" to the screen star.  Very enterprising.
• • Sold on Friday, 22 April 1994 • •
• • The silver gelatin print "Mae West and Adoring Musclemen" by Dean Loomis was sold at an auction held at Swann Galleries on Friday, 22 April 1994. Someone at this NYC auction house misdated the original as 1961 when this photo was clearly taken six years earlier.  Tsk.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY Hollywood — Paramount now has actress Mae West and 74 players, 19 directors, and 74 writers under contract, according to its latest roster.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "Frank Wallace?  I never heard of this guy!"
• • Mae West said: “I think the movies are going too far these days. They’re using sex as a crutch; whenever the story starts to drag, they throw in a naked body so you’ll forget how lousy the script is. That’s a mistake. When you have a good story, you don’t have to throw the sex in. I suppose the sex picture finds a certain kind of audience, but I don’t think the studios will make much money from such movies."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Brooklyn Daily Eagle mentioned Mae West.
• • "Lil Between Covers" • •
• • Dell Publishing has just issued a quarter reprint of Mae West's "Diamond Lil," the novel based on her play, to coincide with her return to Broadway in George Brandt's production which opens at the Broadway Theater a week from tomorrow.  Two hundred thousand copies were printed on the first order.
• • This marks the third time that her book has been published, first by Macaulay Company, then by Sheridan House, Inc., and now as a paperback by Dell.
• • Source: Item in The Brooklyn Daily Eagle;  published on Friday, 7  September 1951
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2897th blog post. Unlike many blogs, which draw upon reprinted content from a newspaper or a magazine and/ or summaries, links, or photos, the mainstay of this blog is its fresh material focused on the life and career of Mae West, herself an American original.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
________

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• • Photo:
• • Mae West her novel in 1951

• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
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