Sunday, June 27, 2010

Mae West: Naked by George

Thirty years ago, in 1980, a Hollywood photographer was sharing his naughty memories about MAE WEST as part of the promotional push linked to his California exhibition. The magazine has just reprinted the piece along with an offer to buy some signed portraits and prints originally posed for during the 1930s.
• • Back in 1980, Sharon Apfelbaum wrote: Dapper and energetic at 76, this septuagenarian artist is still going strong. While he photographs new celebrities in his grand old style, a major exhibit of his portraits, covering celluloid's last 50 years, opens December 18 [1980] at the Palm Springs Desert Museum. Entitled "The Hurrell Style," the show features photographs of such luminaries as Mae West, John Barrymore, Jean Harlow, and many others. ...
• • Mae West 'accidentally' dropped her clothes • •
• • Sharon Apfelbaum continued with this revealing recollection about Mae West: George Hurrell's glorification of beautiful women made him one of photography's highest-paid professionals. ... Hurrell's lens created a gallery of greats, all accompanied by cheeky anecdotes. "I remember when Mae West 'accidentally' dropped her clothes and stood there naked as a jaybird," he recalls, concealing a chuckle. "The studio door was locked, but still, there she was. And her boyfriend at the time, whatever his name was, got so upset he left. I had to unlock the door for him. Marilyn Monroe pulled the same routine, but it wasn't as natural with her.
• • "Of all my subjects, Joan Crawford's face was the closest to perfection," Hurrell told Sharon Apfelbaum. "She was also the most serious and relished a full day's shooting from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Crawford was tireless, but I had to take a day off after one of those sessions. Jean Harlow was the opposite of Crawford — never sweated over a shooting, was always gay and frivolous. Roz Russell was serious too, very ambitious and stagey. She wanted all her shots re-touched, with all the wrinkles in her face really ironed out. Rita Hayworth would do anything, and Marlene Dietrich had to watch herself in a full-length mirror at all times. Hepburn was the brainiest though, all spunk and spirit." . . .
• • To continue reading or to learn more about the Hurrell photo offer, see below.
— — Excerpt: — —
• • Article: George Hurrell — — His photographs recall Hollywood’s truly glamorous days
• • By Sharon Apfelbaum
• • Publication: Palm Springs Life / December 1980 / George Hurrell
• • Source: Reprinted from the December 1980 edition of Palm Springs Life Magazine.

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• • Come up and see Mae every day online:
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • by George Hurrell, 1933 • •
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