Monday, April 13, 2009

Mae West: Diamond Life

MAE WEST, whose Broadway blockbuster was "Diamond Lil," was fascinated by characters and the actress-loving gift dispenser Diamond Jim Brady was one of them. Since the very generous gent died in mid-April, it's time for a toast.
• • James Buchanan Brady, also known as Diamond Jim Brady [12 August 1856 – 13 April 1917], was an American businessman, a financier, and a philanthropist.
• • Known for his penchant for jewels, especially diamonds, he collected precious gems and favored his idol Lillian Russell with dazzling doo-dads such as a bicycle encrusted with mother-of-pearl inlaid and other imaginative tributes.
• • For another actress, Diamond Jim commissioned a hand-carved gilded swan bed [shown here].
• • After Brady died on 13 April 1917, Mae West managed to buy the swan bed from his estate. It was used onstage as part of the bedroom suite of "Diamond Lil" [1928] and Mae also finessed the vintage prop into the filmed version "She Done Him Wrong" [1933].
• • Where lies the gilded swan bed today? Who knows?
• • Come up and see Mae every day online:
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • 1933 • •
• • Feed — —
Mae West.

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