• • According to Hollywood portraitist Michael Childers, MAE WEST knew the exact light in which she wanted to be photographed.
• • Michael Childers remembered meeting both Greta Garbo and Mae West at a party and asking Miss West if he could shoot her while she was filming "Myra Breckinridge."
• • Mae West agreed, said the lensman, as long as it wasn't on the set near Raquel Welch. When Childers entered her trailer, he noticed that Mae had pink spotlights lined up exactly where she wanted them.
• • "Now you can photograph me," the well-prepared actress announced.
• • The Friends of the Rancho Mirage Public Library in July will hold an opening reception for an exhibit featuring celebrity portraits by internationally known photographer Michael Childers.
• • His photographic collection includes Mae West, Clint Eastwood, John Travolta, Bernadette Peters, Bette Midler, and Cher.
• • An enormous influence on Michael Childers's career was his long-term lover John Schlesinger, an Oscar-winning director. For nearly 40 years, they were a gay couple in Hollywood from 1966 until the 77-year-old's death [in July 2003]. Naturally, they were invited everywhere together and this gave the newcomer easy access to Hollywood's best and brightest. He estimated he shot 60,000 Tinseltown photographs of cinema's most indelible icons — — including the most memorable Mae West.
• • On 8 July 2008 a free reception begins 5:30 p.m. at the Rancho Mirage Public Library, 71-100 Highway 111.
• • The exhibit runs through 31 October 2008. Info: 341-7323.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • by Michael Childers • •