Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mae West: Life Magazine

The news racks on 18 April 1969 held the hot-off-the-presses issue of Life Magazine with MAE WEST on the cover.
• • The intriguing composition revealed the 75-year-old actress in her mirrored bed, garbed in white satin, and in the foreground was the exotic black long-tailed Tricky, Mae's pet woolly monkey, who had joined her Hollywood household in Apartment 611 just two years before.
• • Mae was photographed for Life by the 63-year-old lensman Philippe Halsman, who was born in Latvia on 2 May 1906. Aided by his friend Albert Einstein, Halsman emigrated to the United States. A portrait he took of the scientist became a US postage stamp in 1966.
• • Philippe Halsman began working with Salvador Dali and also with Life Magazine (from 1942 onwards).
• • April 1935 • •
• • But back in 1935, April's newspapers were peppered with spicy headlines about the actress's private life that probably caused a headache (if not also a certain degree of heartburn). The cover of the New York Herald trumpeted: Actor who Claims He Is Star's Ex-husband Bares Story of Romance [23 April 1935]. Not to be outdone, the Los Angeles Examiner blasted out some immensely unflattering photos along with this cover feature: Dancer's Story of Marriage Irks Film Star [25 April 1935]. Mae would definitely have preferred being paired with a monkey rather than a balding, skinny, unprepossessing ex-vaudevillian looking down at his threadbare socks in April 1935.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online:
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • 1969 • •
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Mae West.

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