Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mae West: From the Horse's Mouth

Though MAE WEST, by choice, did not do much TV work, her fans really enjoyed her star turn on "Mr. Ed" — — broadcast on 22 March 1964. Recently, it was announced that the complete 4th season of the iconic program will be available soon, along with the Mae West episode. The actress would have gotten along very well with Mr. Ed, naturally, since she enjoyed visiting her father when he worked for horse owners as a bridle maker. During hard times, her unemployed father also worked as peddler relying on a rented horse and cart. Mae was dispatched all the way to a Coney Island stable to fetch a hired hack and horse, which she would ride home.
• • Born in Indiana, Allan "Rocky" Lane [22 September 1909 — 27 October 1973] was a studio leading man and the star of many cowboy B-movies in the 1940s and 1950s. Lane appeared in more than 125 films and TV shows in a career lasting from 1929 to 1966. He also did the voice of the talking horse on the television series "Mr. Ed" from 1961 — 1966.
• • After 1966, Lane retired. In 1973, he was residing in Woodland Hills, California at the time of his death due to cancer at age 64.
• • Another gentleman linked to October 27th is the Rumba King, who appeared in two of Mae's motion pictures (albeit briefly).
• • Talented and versatile, Xavier Cugat died in Barcelona during the month of October — — on 27 October 1990 — — after 90 years of hard work, many successes, and five marriages.
• • Born in Spain in 1900 and raised in Cuba, the musically gifted hispanic relocated to Los Angeles, where he toiled as a cartoonist for The Los Angeles Times by day while he struggled to put together a band after hours. After paying his dues with gigs at smaller clubs, in 1928 he got a big break with a booking at the high-flying Coconut Grove nightspot. Even more fortunately, his style of music found fans and propelled him forward. The composer and bandleader appeared in several notable MGM musicals during the 1940s.
• • In "Go West Young Man" [1936] Cugat played the role of the Orchestra Leader in 'Drifting Lady' — — how many remembered that?
• • In "The Heat's On" [1943] he once again portrayed himself, that is, an Orchestra Leader.
• • Like Mae West, Xavier Cugat has a presence on the Walk of Fame. He was awarded one star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Television at 1500 Vine Street, and another star for Recording at 1601 Vine Street in Hollywood, California.
• • Heart failure ended a long career filled with acclaim, wedding anniversaries, and the satisfaction of knowing he was instrumental in bringing Latin music to the attention of the US public.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online:
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