Friday, November 28, 2008

Mae West: By George

The venerable restaurant and hotel owner George Rector [18781947] co-starred with MAE WEST in her motion picture "Every Day's a Holiday."
• • The motion picture opens on 31 December 1899 with the buzz that there will be the biggest New Year's Eve party ever at Rector's. The set featured a full scale version of Rector's in Times Square as it looked during its halcyon days.
• • "Every Day's a Holiday" was released on 18 December 1937.
• • When he wasn't busy appearing as himself in a Paramount film or running his famous eateries, George Rector penned cookbooks and guides to fine dining at home. Food critic Ruth Reichl once wrote, If George Rector, the author of the well-regarded ''Dining in New York'' in 1939, were to stroll through the restaurants of modern Manhattan, he would find very little to surprise him. Even then, the city had a lot to offer an adventurous appetite. The most glaring exception was Japanese food, which Mr. Rector dismissed as ''derivative of the Chinese.''
• • On 7 October 1937, The Hartford Courant ran a brief article with this headline: "George Rector May Open Hollywood Restaurant." Ah, that enticing wiggle of the word "may."
• • At age 69, George Rector died in the month of November on 26 November 1947. That year, in an early December issue, Time Magazine published this brief obituary: George Rector, last of the restaurateur Rectors of Manhattan's lobster-&-champagne era; of a heart ailment; in Manhattan. Apple-cheeked, white-haired George carried on when father Charles died in 1914, but bowed out when Prohibition closed his last café in 1923; thereafter he nourished the Rector legend and himself by diligent publicity work, lecturing and writing, wound up as food consultant for a Chicago meat packer.
• • Rector's was located on Broadway and West 43rd Street.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online:

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • • 1937
• •

Mae West.

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