Monday, July 13, 2009

Mae West: Mel Bellicose

Another person who worked with MAE WEST was a colorful attorney who was born and died during the month of July.
• • Born in Sonora, California, Melvin Belli [29 July 1907 — 9 July 1996] represented Mae before the bench along with clients such as Jack Ruby, mobster Mickey Cohen, Errol Flynn, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Muhammad Ali, and a long list of the notable, the naughty, the nefarious, and the notorious.
• • Dramatically attired in scarlet-lined Saville Row suits and $750 cowboy boots, Mel the Bellicose whizzed around the hilly Bay Area in his customized marigold-yellow Rolls-Royce.
• • If the screen queen came up to see him in person, then she would have put in an appearance at Frisco's historic structures situated at 722 and 728 Montgomery Street. Known as the Belli buildings, these charming earthquake survivors had been the San Francisco offices of the renowned lawyer who had been known as "The King of Torts." Constructed in 1851 and 1853, these had originally housed the Langerman's tobacco warehouse and the original meeting house of the Masonic Lodge
• • The much-married expert on personal-injury law was in the news today because his former estate in San Francisco has gone on the market for $39.5 million. That’s about six times its sale price in 1992.
• • Melvin Belli's courtroom successes afforded him an opulent lifestyle. From 1978 — 1992, he resided in a 1922 brick Tudor Revival of about 11,000 square feet with six bedrooms, five baths, and two powder rooms. Set on an unusually wide 80-foot lot in the Pacific Heights neighborhood, the four-story home includes a heated outdoor pool, spa and four-car garage and bay views, on 0.3 acres.
• • Not shy with a comeback, Belli once told a reporter: There is never a deed so foul that something couldn't be said for the guy; that's why there are lawyers.
• • In 1996, fourteen weeks after his sixth wedding, Belli died at age 88.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online:
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