Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Mae West: Hollywood Heyday

Hollywood did not bang the drum for MAE WEST — — but on 14 April 1973, the Masquers changed that.
• • It was an SRO celebration when the Masquers Club honored the Empress of Sex with a "Mae Day" tribute. Unlike previous honorees, Mae had insisted on performing a shimmy and singing "Frankie and Johnny." The ceremony was attended by
Sidney Skolsky and many other notables.
• • For instance, Mae's "Myra Breckinridge" cast mate Jim Backus attended the Masquers Club's salute as one of her "Gentlemen in Waiting" (along with George Raft, Jack Larue, Steve Allen, Lloyd Nolan, etc.).
• • When the 1973 event was reborn in an audio format as "Mae Day: The Masquers Club Salutes Mae West CD" [1998], Mae-mavens could hear Jim Backus offering an amusing 4-minute tribute [exactly 4 minutes and 16 seconds long, if you want to get technical] to the buxom blonde guest of honor.

• • The archives of the Masquers preserved the full program (16 pages) from 1973 Mae West Testimonial Dinner, autographed by Mae herself.
• • And it was 75 years ago — — on 13 April 1934 when Mae went shopping in Tinseltown — — for a bulletproof car. Having received death threats, Mae hired bodyguards. Mae-mavens will recollect that the movie queen had been the complaining witness in a 1934 jewel heist.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • none • •
• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
Mae West.

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