Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Mae West: In the Morrow

Many actresses have fattened their resume and fibbed about appearing with MAE WEST. Though it's lamentable to speak ill of the dead, let's keep the record honest.
• • Flashing back to an older post about the late actor Jeff Morrow, here's this nugget: With a birthname of "Irving" and a pronounced forehead, the native New Yorker who became actor Jeff Morrow [13 January 1907 — 26 December 1993] was bound to play the heavy. Mae West cast him as the convict Chick Clark when she revived "Diamond Lil" on Broadway. When the show opened on 5 February 1949, Jeff Morrow made his theatrical debut.
• • However, Jeff Morrow was seen on The Gay White Way during the autumn of 1946 — — all too briefly. He played "A Stranger" in a forgettable flop called "Mr. Peebles and Mr. Hooker," a comedy that lasted for only four performances from October 10th — 12, 1946 at the Music Box Theatre.
• • Jeff Morrow apparently had a nice-looking wife Anna Karen who was born in New Jersey on 20 September 1914, and who passed away on 1 July 2009 at age 94. The former model's obituary notes that "In 1946 she met the actor Jeff Morrow, a successful Broadway star" [sic]. How many agree that this would be quite an overstatement (and four nights on Broadway probably does not pay the rent)?
• • It gets worse: Anna Karen Morrow's "female co-stars read like a Who's Who of the theatre: Katharine Cornell, Katharine Hepburn, Luise Rainer, and Mae West," according to some fanciful rumor the aging thespian may have hinted at.
• • If there is a scrap of proof that Mrs. Morrow "co-starred" (or was cast) in any Mae West production whatsoever, we have been unable to unearth this testament. If you have evidence about this long forgotten [ahem!] "co-star" of Mae West's, then please post it here.
• • Married to Jeff Morrow for 46 years, Anna K. Morrow is survived by their daughter, Lissa Morrow Christian, of New York.
• • Making up stories, stretching the truth. Some individuals are humbled perhaps by their prosaic origins in the scruffy settlement of nobodyhood and long for those searchlights shining on the marquee. If your career didn't measure up, should you fib — — must you lie about details people can check, or risk seeming pathetic? Thoughts to ponder.

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