It's easy to see why sparks would fly when MAE WEST looked at Lorenzo Tucker.
• • Born in Philadelphia in June [27 June 1907], the light-skinned black actor was known in the 1920s as "the colored Valentino." Tucker claimed that the olive-skinned Italian hearthrob was, in reality, darker complected than he was.
• • Tall, broad-shouldered, and dashing, Lorenzo was tapped by Mae to play the role of the pimp Money Johnson in her controversial Broadway play "The Constant Sinner." The Shuberts refused to permit this, therefore, the Greek-American thespian George Givot played the role in blackface.
• • But Mae West wasn't through. She then cast Lorenzo Tucker in a few minor parts in the production. For example, he played a non-speaking Spaniard and walked across the stage in one scene. When a woman asks the Babe Gordon [Mae West] character who is that hunk, Babe responds, "Oh, he's Spanish — — he's my Spanish fly!"
• • This photo was taken when Lorenzo Tucker was 20 years old.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
• • Photo: • • Mae West's co-star Lorenzo Tucker • • c. 1927 • •