Friday, April 29, 2011

Mae West: Harry Pilcer

In 1911 MAE WEST first met dancer Harry Pilcer when both were involved with Ned Wayburn's productions at the short-lived showcase in Times Square, the Folies-Bergere. Mae, then 18 years old, was cast in "A La Broadway," which alternated with "Hello, Paris," which featured 26-year-old Harry Pilcer.
• • Born in New York, NY in the month of April — — on 29 April 1885 — — Harry Pilcer made his stage debut at the age of fourteen. In 1912 he began a high-profile partnership with the French diva Gaby Deslys [1881 — 1920]. They met during rehearsals for "Vera Violetta," shortly after he was tapped for the role of Andrew Mason. Mae West was in the cast as well, but gamely attempted to upstage Gaby and was soon shown the door.
• • Harry impressed his lady love by inventing the "Gaby Glide" for her, which they danced in "Vera Violetta" [1911 — 1912]. When the show closed, they continued to work and canoodle together. Rumor has it that, when the French performer died at age 38, Harry was wilting at her side.
• • After 1920, Harry quickly recovered his balance. He would partner for the next ten years with that iconic beauty with the million dollar legs, Mistinguette; tour the circuit of European music halls, Parisian cafes, and Berlin cabarets; appear on Broadway until 1922; make seven motion pictures (from 1915 — 1946) and choregraph musicals for Hollywood directors as well.
• • He spent his later years in the south of France. After World War II, he found work as an M.C. in high-end French gambling dens at LaBaule and Cannes. He had just concluded a show at the Ambassador Casino on the French Riviera on 14 January 1961 when he had a fatal heart attack at age 75.
• • Image: song sheet from "Vera Violetta" [1911] with Gaby and Harry.
• • Ms. Mamerow as Mae in Greater Green Bay • •
• • Barb Mamerow, dressed as Mae West, greeted people on Wednesday, 27 April 2011 during the Attraction Showcase hosted by the Greater Green Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau in Shopko Hall in Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin.
• • PHOTO CREDIT: Evan Siegle/ Press-Gazette
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Jeffrey Kirkpatrick leads off his review with Mae on his right side: To borrow the old and overused Mae West line, when Tom Welling is good, he's good; but when he's bad, he's better. ...
• • Source: Article: "Smallville Review: Leaving It All Behind" written by Jeffrey Kirkpatrick for TV Fanatic; posted on 15 April 2011
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004.
You are reading the 1915th blog post. Unlike many blogs, which draw upon reprinted content from a newspaper or a magazine and/ or summaries, links, or photos, the mainstay of this blog is its fresh material focused on the life and career of Mae West, herself an American original.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online:
Add to Google
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • Barb as a Mae look-alike, 2011 • •
• • Feed — —
Mae West.

No comments:

Post a Comment