Sunday, April 05, 2009

Mae West: James A. Timony

When newspapers penned an obituary for James A. Timony, they attributed MAE WEST's stardom to his devoted stewardship.
• • In 1916, the hard-working Brooklyn-bred attorney Matilda West introduced to her daughter was loyal and clever — — if no oil painting. When they met, Mae was 23 and Jim was 30, a solidly built balding Irish American whose injured leg required assistance from an expensive cane adorned with an elk's tooth.
• • Though they both hailed from Massachusetts, Jim's parents Thomas and Mary Timony each had Irish-English ancestry. A builder and contractor, Thomas K. Timony [1847 — 1912] provided well for his brood. Before marriage, Mary [1854 — 1935] had been a teacher in a public school. Of their seven children, five survived and were raised in a substantial dwelling that still exists in pristine condition on Rutland Road [in the Lefferts Park section of Flatbush]. James, born in 1886, attended the best schools and a respected law school, and set up his pratice in Times Square, advertising heavily for new clients.
• • A devout Roman Catholic, Jim Timony carried rosary beads and began each morning by going to Mass. Mae accompanied him during this daily ritual. For decades they went everywhere together — — on cross-country trains, on the Queen Mary, in Mae's "house car," and in limousines (first his and, eventually, hers).
• • The New York Times obituary, alas, reported his age incorrectly when they announced his death on 5 April 1954 from a heart attack at his Hollywood home. According to his obit, Timony had been in retirement for five years due to poor health. (At the time, Mae was 60 years old and performing with her hunky bodybuilders on the nightclub circuit. Timony was then in discussion with developers for a Mae West theme park.)
• • Calling James A. Timony the manager of Mae West for 25 years, and the person who "guided her to success," The Times also noted that he "received major credit for her development from a relatively obscure singer and dancer into an internationally known prototype of the American siren."
• • The Mae West Blog is saluting James A. Timony — — celebrating his life and successful partnership with the Empress of Sex, an intimate relationship that only ended with his death on 5 April 1954 at age 68.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online:
Add to Google
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • Jim Timony • •
• • Feed — —
Mae West.


  1. Any idea what Timony's date of birth was? Thanks.

  2. • • James A. Timony, Mae's manager and good friend, died in California on 5 April 1954 at age 68.
    • • His exact birthdate will appear in my special section on him in my forthcoming BOOK on Mae West.
    • • His birthdate also appears on his passport.