Sunday, March 06, 2011

Mae West: William DeWolf Hopper

Hedda Hopper asked MAE WEST how she came to know so much about men. "Baby," Mae West replied, "I went to night school!"
• • Hedda Hopper once said: "At one time I thought he wanted to be an actor. He had certain qualifications — — including no money and a total lack of responsibility." Presumably, she was not referring to her Broadway star husband nor to her son Billy, who played a judge in "Myra Breckinridge," which starred Mae West.
• • Born in New York City, William DeWolf Hopper, Jr. [26 January 1915 — 6 March 1970] became an actor. William was the only child of singer and stage actor DeWolf Hopper [1858 — 1935] and actress turned gossip columnist Hedda Hopper [1885 — 1966). In 1924, his 39-year-old mother divorced his 66-year-old father; eventually, she and Billy moved to Hollywood. Hopper appeared in numerous films, mostly uncredited or under the name DeWolf Hopper. The handsome performer is best-remembered, however, for playing Paul Drake on television's "Perry Mason" [1957 — 1966], and then he briefly retired after the series was canceled in 1966. In his final movie appearance he was cast as a judge, Frederic D. Cannon, in Gore Vidal's "Myra Breckinridge" [1970] starring Mae West, Raquel Welch, John Huston, Farrah Fawcett, Rex Reed, and others.
• • Hopper was hospitalized on 14 February 1970, after a stroke at his home in Yucca Valley, and was transferred to a hospital in Palm Springs when pneumonia developed. The pneumonia proved fatal. Hopper was fifty-five at the time of his death in the month of March — — on 6 March 1970. "Myra Breckinridge" was released on 24 June 1970.
• • Come up sometime . . . • •
• • Australian artist Marie Jonsson-Harrison explains: My painting “Come up and see me sometime” was inspired by one of Mae West's sayings (which I heard growing up). This artwork can also be found on the E-card page of my website (free of course), so why don’t you send it to someone you fancy! Visit Mae and Marie here:
• • Come up and see Mae every day online:
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • by artist Marie Jonsson-Harrison • •
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