Friday, October 10, 2008

Mae West: Ann Jillian

When she was 32, Ann Jillian portrayed MAE WEST in a woeful made-for-TV movie [1982] that actually got her an Emmy nod — — if not an actual award. Though it is partially the fault of the excruciating dialogue and partially the fault of the director, watching Ann Jillian mince around as Mae sends my cringe reflex into over-drive.
• • Remember the part where she is in the courtroom defending her play by sassing the judge, and wearing a foolish hat? If anyone bothers to recall, Mae West was right in style during the 1920s with bobbed hair and a tight-fitting cloche — — not some precariously balanced party hat. And Mae's line about trying to conceal her contempt [swiped from her movie "I'm No Angel"] betrays the seriousness she brought to her own defense. Deplorable. And let's not even discuss that boorishness with Roddy as "Rene Valentine." Get the barf bag, Edna.
• • Born on 29 January 1950 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Ann Jillian is now a breast cancer survivor for more than 23 years. She will be sharing her personal battle with the disease with luncheon guests at the first Northeast Hospital Foundation’s “In the Pink of Health” luncheon — — on Friday 17 October 2008.
• • WHERE: Houston Airport Marriott Hotel, 18700 John F. Kennedy Blvd., Houston, Texas
• • INFO: 281-540-7700
• • Come up and see Mae every day online:

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • • none
• •

Mae West.


  1. Anonymous8:31 PM

    I loved Ann Jilllian when she played "Mae West"! While Ann Jilllan was more beautiful than Mae perhaps more talented, she still capured the real Mae West in every way. The story as told in the film was a loving protrait of Mae and I'm betting Mae West in Heaven was truly happy with the flm and especially with the multi-talented Ann Jillian. I learned that Ann did all her own singing as Mae and when I saw Ann Jililan sing in Atlantic City at Trumps Casino - wow, she's truly a great singer/dancer with a set of pipes! Thanks for letting me know about her coming to Houston. I'll be there!

  2. Anonymous11:15 AM

    Ann Jillian as Mae West was nothing short of GREAT! Her EMMY was well deserved. Roddy Mc, was also great in his composite role of the gays that Mae West befriended. Ann Jillian is also a champion of gay rights and like Mae West, both had a heart of gold. I'm proud to say that I own a copy of this film - and having watched the film several times, I can honestly say that your assessment of both it's director, Ann Jillian, & Roddy, is totally wrong. I hope you will take another look at this film and be right with the world and your loyal readers by correcting yourself. I enjoy your blog - thank you.
    M/M Bert Johnson, Cinn. OH.