Sunday, February 06, 2011

Mae West: Big Tess

Starring MAE WEST, the motion picture "Klondike Annie" was released during the month of February — — on 21 February 1936. Castmate Lucile Gleason was also born this month.
• • Born in Pasadena, California on 6 February 1888, the Irish-American character actress often acted with her husband James Gleason. For instance, he wrote the script for "The Shannons of Broadway" [1929]. Originally created for the stage, this project co-starred James Gleason with his wife Lucille Webster. (In 1905, Lu wed James when she was 17.) The married couple are cast as Mickey and Emma Shannon, a vaudeville duo who are failures until a healthy real estate transaction revives their career. This musical comedy enjoyed success as a silent and a talkie.
• • Five-foot-six Lucile Gleason took the part of Big Tess in "Klondike Annie."
• • Interestingly, Lucile Gleason was the first treasurer of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). She along with Alden Gay were the two women among the 21 founding members of SAG.
• • Lucile and James Gleason had one son, Russell. Born on his mom's birthday
on 6 February 1908 in Portland, Oregon, Russell kept busy as a child actor. Most unfortunately, the 37-year-old fell from a hotel window in New York City and died the day after Christmas on 26 December 1945.
• • Seventeen months after her only child died, Lucile Gleason had a heart attack. She died in Brentwood, California on 18 May 1947. Lucile was 59 years old. Her grieving husband survived her.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online:
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • 1936 • •
• • Feed — —
Mae West.

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