Friday, July 22, 2016

Mae West: Sidling Up

MAE WEST had visits from a member of the Nassour family. This remembrance continues from yesterday, when Part 1 was posted.
• • "After knowing Ms. West for seven years through a family connection, I had the pleasure of working with her to promote a recording project of some of her famous movie lines," wrote Ellis Nassour in 1985.  Insisting he had "rare access," he self published this lengthy remembrance.  This is Part 2. The misspelt words have been corrected.  Some of the more questionable recollections and inaccuracies have been marked by "sic."
• • Memorable Visits with "Aunt Mae" • •
• • Ellis Nassour recalled:   It was the entire sixth floor of a doorman building, in a pleasant residential neighborhood, called Ravenswood. 
• • Ellis Nassour noted:  The last time I visited, she stood regally in the hallway in the satin gown she wore in Myra Breckinridge.  Under the special lighting conditions that were de rigueur — — and just a little reminiscent of the moment in Sunset Boulevard when Joe meets Norma for the first time * — — it was obvious the dress, like the furnishings, was a bit faded.  [* Billy Wilder desperately wanted Mae West for the lead in Sunset Boulevard.]
• • Ellis Nassour noticed:  Ms. West was all about her screen image as she flipped the tresses of her long blonde wig and swiveled the hips of her no longer svelte body.  It was a living movie and I could vividly see her in an earlier film sidling up to Cary Grant, whom she always claimed she discovered [she really didn't, but she did advance his career by demanding he play opposite her, and with star billing] and saying, "Why don't you come up and see me sometime?" [sic]
• • Mae's very proper butler and personal assistant Paul Grayson • •
• • Ellis Nassour added:  Gone were the days when sister Beverly, her absolute alter ego, or her very proper butler and personal assistant Paul Grayson would boom as you arrived, "And now here's Miss Mae."  Seriously.
• • Ellis Nassour continued:   In later visits, you were received by a man many found cold and intimidating, but whom I thought was a prince of the earth.  He was Paul Novak, a former wrestler and muscleman in Ms. West's club and stage shows.  For the last 27 years of her life, he was her absolutely devoted confidant and factotum.  Paul  received you at the elevator and brought you to the small, darkened living room with its special overhead lighting and the famed nude alabaster statue of Mae West by Gladys Lewis Bush on the grand piano.  He would serve you water and then talk to you while you waited.  Mae West still loved to make an entrance.    . . .
• • This has been Part 2. Part 3 will continue on Monday.  [Ellis Nassour © 1985; all rights reserved; used with permission].
• • On Monday, 22 July 1935 • •
• • On Monday, 22 July 1935, The Argus (Australia) wrote:   The inimitable Mae West will be the starring figure in "Belle of the Nineties," to be shown at the Strand Theatre to-morrow and Wednesday nights.  . . .  The costumes are among the most beautiful ever seen on the screen. Miss West sings four "hit" songs in this production. 
• • On Wednesday, 22 July 1942 • •
• • The dateline was Los Angeles, the headline was "Come Up and Sue Me Sometime." This was a news item suitable for the lachrymose intolerant.
• • The Argus wrote: Mae West, the film star, has asked for a divorce from her one-time vaudeville partner, Frank Wallace, charging him with cruelty.
• • The Argus explained: Wallace, reversing the usual procedure, is requesting alimony at the rate of $1,000 a month on the grounds that he is destitute. He contends that Mae West has a fortune of more than $1,000,000.
• • The Argus closed with: Mae West declares that she separated from Wallace the month after they were married in 1911.
• • Source:  Page 3 of The Argus (Melbourne, Australia); published on Wednesday, 22 July 1942.
• • Save the Date: Wednesday, 17 August 2016 • •
• • Mae West: New Yorker, Vaudevillian, Upstart, and Jailbird — — a Birthday Celebration!
• • Link: Mae West event on Aug. 17, 2016

• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • But quite a lot of Mae West is going quite a long way on the New York stage these days.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "Gentlemen, pet your women. They love it like a tabby cat. Occasionally suggest that they buy a new dress, even if they have enough to clothe an 1890 chorus."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Earl Wilson mentioned Mae West.
• • Earl Wilson wrote:   Mae West won't bring her summer stock play, “Come On Up and Ring Twice,” to Broadway because she doesn't collect any royalties on it.  . . .
• • Source: Item in Earl Wilson syndicated column; published on Monday,  23 July 1956
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 12th anniversary • •
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past twelve years. The other day we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 3,400 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started twelve years ago in July 2004.
You are reading the 3492nd 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 home in 1955

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

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Mae West: Memorable Visitor

MAE WEST had several visits from journalist Ellis Nassour, who wrote the book "Honky Tonk Angel: The Intimate Story of Patsy Cline."
• • Born 1941 in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Ellis Nassour graduated from "Ole Miss" in 1964. Nassour had always been in love with entertainment from his summers at his cousins’ film studio, Nassour Studios, later known as Metromedia Square, which once housed Fox Television Center on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.
• • "After knowing Miss West for seven years through a family connection, I had the pleasure of working with her to promote a recording project of some of her famous movie lines," wrote Ellis Nassour in 1985.  Insisting he had "rare access," he self-published this lengthy remembrance.  This is Part 1. The misspelt words have been corrected. Some of the more questionable recollections and inaccuracies have been marked by "sic."
• • Memorable Visits with "Aunt Mae" • •
• • Ellis Nassour wrote:   The life and career of Mae West, sometime in the early to mid-50s, became an existential thing.  The last time I saw Miss West, as I always called her, was the spring of 1978, at which time she was beginning to fall into a state of increasing bewilderment [sic], which today we would term dementia or Alzheimer's.  During our visit, she told me I reminded her of her nephew [her brother John's son].  That evening, as I departed, I affectionately called her "Aunt Mae."
• • Ellis Nassour continued:   That day we spoke of the legends she knew: Al Jolson, Greta Garbo, W.C. Fields. What makes a legend, I wanted to know. "To be a legend," Ms. West stated, "you got to be different — — have a special look, or walk, or aura. In my case, I had it all. And knew how to use it. These aren't gestures you learn in high school, dear. They come natural. And my basic style, I never changed. Half the women in the world  — — and quite a few men  — — have imitated me. They only imitate you if you're unique.  I am."
• • Ellis Nassour exclaimed: To visit Mae West was an unforgettable and quite theatrical experience, especially if you were aware of her films, her controversy, her legend, her myth. She certainly didn't disappoint.
• • Ellis Nassour added:  Among her vast real estate holdings, which she began to purchase when she was the highest paid Hollywood female star, was a ranch in the Hills and Santa Monica beachfront property, including a Moderne-designed home, which she often frequented even though she rarely went into the sun. She could have afforded an estate that would rival a Raj palace, but home was an apartment, which remained unchanged — — like Ms. West — — for as long as I can remember. It was the entire sixth floor of a doorman building, in a pleasant residential neighborhood, called Ravenswood.   . . .
• • This has been Part 1. Part 2 will continue tomorrow.  [Ellis Nassour © 1985; all rights reserved; used with permission].
• • On Friday, 21 July 1933 in Los Angeles • •
• • On Friday, 21 July 1933 a wire service photo from Wide World with an attached paper caption explained that "Mae West Blonde Stage and Screen Star Made a Sensation at the Huge Public Barbecue Given by Sheriff Eugene Biscailuz." 
• • Mae is wearing a sweet small hat in the photo, seemingly inspired by the perky paper caps worn in the 1930s by soda jerks.
• • Eugene W. Biscailuz [12 March 1883 — 16 May 1969] was the 27th Sheriff of Los Angeles County, California. It was Biscailuz who organized the California Highway Patrol.
• • On Monday, 21 July 2008 in Utah • •
• • A scene from Mae West's play "The Drag" was performed in Salt Lake City, in the heart of Mormon country, at 7:00 pm on Monday, 21 July 2008.
• • Who gets to decide what works are suitable to be offered to the public? That was the question on the minds of the interesting people who run Utah's Plan-B Theatre Company.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West, chosen as Woman of the Year during the first Scripter event, arrived reclining on a platform.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:   "I've been on more laps than a napkin."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A British paper discussed Mae West.
• • Paul Novak • •
• • Christopher Hawtree wrote:  Among the many men who used to call by Mae West's house in Santa Monica, California, after working out on nearby Muscle Beach was a wrestler called Mr. Baltimore, who has died aged 76. Otherwise known as Chester Krauser, he had been in the chorus line of West's mid-50s nightclub act. West was 62 and had currently been involved with two other hunks from her stage act. But as West recalled, the 32-year-old Mr Baltimore 'had an air of serious liveliness about him one day that I supposed conveyed his happiness at having me all alone.'   . . .
• • Source: Article in The Guardian (U.K.]; published on Wednesday, 21 July 1999 
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 12th anniversary • •
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past twelve years. The other day we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 3,400 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started twelve years ago in July 2004.
You are reading the 3491st 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/
________

Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml   

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • in 1933

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

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Mae West: Ed Nassour

The Nassour Brothers aimed to bring MAE WEST back to the screen, according to an article in Showmen's Trade Review in the year 1949.
• • Edward Nassour says: "Tailor Made" Is a Must • •
• • Declaring that independent production has to be "tailor made" if it hoped to compete with major product. Studio Owner-Producer Ed Nassour declared in New York last weekend that he and his brother William would produce and release approximately four a year.
• • "You have to practically insure them with ideas," he said of independent production which is a new venture to him. His first four are: "Africa Screams," "Daybreak," "Mrs. Mike" and an un-titled feature which will bring Mae West back to the screen. Associated with him and his brother are actor Donald Crisp as editorial chief and Bernard Luber as executive assistant.
• • Source: Item in Showmen's Trade Review; published on Saturday, 26 March 1949.
• • Note:  Born in Colorado, Edward Nassour [7 April 1911 — 15 December 1962] was a film producer, businessman, and special effects animator.
• • On Saturday, 20 July 1935 • •
• • On 20 July 1935, The Evening Capital let its readers know about an unusual evening when they printed this headline: "Mae West Dines With Gov. Nice."  Harry W. Nice [1877 — 1941] was Governor of Maryland for four years, from 1935 to 1939.
• • On Monday, 20 July 1942 • •
• • Subscribers of the Reading Eagle opened their morning edition dated for Monday, 20 July 1942 and saw this juicy bit on page 14: "Mae West Requests Divorce from Wallace on 'Cruelty'."
• • On Sunday, 20 July 1952 • •
• • Connecticut reporter Joe De Bona interviewed Mae West and asked her, "If all the men in the world suddenly died, would you want to go on living?"
• • Her reply was printed in the Connecticut Sunday Herald on 20 July 1952. Mae responded, "No, there would be no sense in it."
• • On Monday, 20 July 1964 • •
• • The Hollywood Reporter published an article on Mae West,  "Very Warm for Mae." It ran in their issue dated for Monday, 20 July 1964.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Baltimore: Al Rosen, former manager of Loew's State in New York, is in town with, and presenting Mae West in "Diamond Lil" at Ford's Theatre.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Frank Wallace came to court with 'unclean' hands."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Daily Banner mentioned Mae West.
• • From Mae West, who has a planned television special in the works for Robert Wise Productions, in an interview with Dave Kaufman of the Hollywood trade paper “Variety”: “College kids see my pictures on TV, and I’m getting lots of fan mail because of it. They have formed a fan club, and now it’s worldwide. In the last five years, I made two rock-and-roll albums. I was a blues singer, and there is a similarity between blues and rock. One of my albums sold 100,000 copies.”  . . .
• • Source: Item in The Daily Banner (Indiana); published on Thursday,  18 July 1968  
• • Image: Mae West, in 1968, poses with the Hollywood film directors George Cukor and Robert Wise
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 12th anniversary • •
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past twelve years. The other day we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 3,400 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started twelve years ago in July 2004.
You are reading the 3490th 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/
________

Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml   

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • in 1968

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