Sunday, May 08, 2011

Mae West: Mama Matilda

This is the real MAE WEST a woman of passion, highly geared emotions, tense feelings, who has been forced over a period of years to feed those emotions to a box-office, wrote Ruth Biery in 1934. A greedy, wanting-to-be-shocked box-office. Urged gently at first, tempted cleverly, promoted subtly, Mae West has put all the force of her cyclonic nature into bringing the thrills of love and life to others.
• • Journalist Ruth Biery had her tete-a-tete with Mae in Hollywood
not unlike the way she had hunkered down with Greta Garbo in the 1920s as a sympathetic listener who wrote mainly for movie magazines. "I have really loved only once," Mae has told me, as she has told others. But never before have I heard her say, "They always found a way to break me up with a man before it became too serious. I was not allowed to love, really love. My mother and then Timony "
• • Journalist Ruth Biery either was mild enough or persuasive enough to extract Mae's confidences. Or perhaps Mae was ready to confess: "You see, first it was my mother. If she thought I was falling in love, she'd stop it right like that. If I was liking a man too much or she thought a 'crush' was getting serious, she'd find a way. She knew me so well, she could always find a way. She wouldn't let me learn to love really. She wouldn't let me and now Timony protects me."
• • When little Mae was growing up, neighbors referred to her as "the German girl."
• • The daughter of Christiana and Jacob Delker, Matilda was born in December 1870 perhaps in Wurttemberg, Germany, speculates biographer Jill Watts, noting that Jacob Delker had been working there in a sugar refinery. In January 1889, 18-year-old Matilda Delker wed John West. However, she and her daughter Mae were really the love of each other's lives until Matilda died on 26 January 1930 at age 59. How terrifying it was for Mae during the winter of 1929, knowing that her mother's illness was worsening. After Matilda died, Mae felt, "There wasn't anyone to play to."
• • Happy Mother's Day!
• • On 8 May 1961 • •
• • It was on 8 May 1961 that Mae signed a contract to perform the play "Sextette" at the Edgewater Beach Playhouse. Her salary was pegged at $5500 per week and she would also share in 33 1/3 (gross) of the box office.
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Describing The Hemingway in London, British journalist Richard Godwin writes: In the lavatories, gentlemen have the bewildering pleasure of urinating between a pair of plastic lips, their model uncertain (Mae West? Mick Jagger?). The soap is posh: Molton Brown. Rough paper does for hand towels. ...
• • Source: Article: "Meaty, companionable, a little frustrating —The Hemingway is equal to its muse" written by Richard Godwin, for the London Evening Standard [UK]; posted on 5 May 2011
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004.
You are reading the 1924th 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.
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • 1927 • •
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