Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Mae West: June 1932

MAE WEST was surrounded by a diverse number of nationalities when she filmed "Sextette" [1978].
• • Born on 8 February 1911, Harold Fong was seen briefly as the Chinese Kitchen Chef. A bit part player often cast as a menial or in an ethnic role, Fong was featured in 74 projects either on the small screen (in one TV series or another) as well as on the big screen such as: a naval aide, a Japanese, a clerk, or a captain of a patrol boat — — all of which he played in 1944 in Hollywood when he was 33 years old. His two final appearances were in "Up in Smoke" and "Sextette," both released in 1978, after which he retired.
• • In the month of June — — on 1 June 1982 — — Harold Fong died in Los Angeles. He was 71. Wishing we knew more, it's still the right thing to give him his due here and memorialize his passing.
• • In June 1919 • •
• • More than ninety years ago, in June 1919, Mae West was onstage in a tuneful Broadway hit doing an odd thing — — playing a lusty manhunter who cannot land a boyfriend during the World War I Era.
• • It was on Saturday 4 October 1918 that "Sometime," the "musical comedy of commerce" designed to showcase the talents of laughmeister Ed Wynn, had opened at the Shubert Theatre (establishing a nice healthy wartime run that continued for eight months at the Shubert brothers' flagship: 225 West 44th Street).
• • At 25 years old, Mae West was still much more accustomed to appearing in vaudeville than in the legit. In "Sometime," it was Mae's character Mayme Dean who appeared onstage first. At that point in her career, Mae had often been cast as an Irish maid — — although Mayme Dean is a frisky flapper who cannot land a man.
• • This musical closed in June 1919, after running for 283 performances.
• • Picture Mae West sometime in 1918/9, an energetic brunette sizzling onstage. A reviewer who covered her performance — — and her sultry shimmy — — at the Shubert Theatre described Mae West as a "tasty tornado."
• • A few years after this show, Mae started writing her own material — — however, she never again portrayed a chambermaid nor a lovelorn lady.
• • In June 1936 • •
• • It was the June 1936 issue of Real Screen Fun, with the editor's choice of a most peculiar cover painting: a bikini clad gal on her knees with a puppet's body around her neck. Huh? Mae West had a more dignified photo of herself inside this odd and short-lived publication.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae arrived in Pasadena, California on The Chief in June 1932, but she was unimpressed by the motion picture landscape she surveyed from the train station. "I'm a big girl from a big town," Mae told Los Angeles reporters, "coming to a little town." You tell 'em, honey!
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • "Mae West" and "Charlie Chaplin" will be on hand along with a representative from Mayor Freedman's office and other airport and airline officials for March 15 ceremonies launching new nonstop flights between Tampa and Los Angles by Piedmont Airlines, a subsidiary of USAir Group. ...
• • Source: Press Announcement: "Mae West and Charlie Chaplin to help launch new Tampa-Los Angeles nonstop flight March 15. (USAir Group)"; published on 10 March 1989
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 1948th 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:
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • 1932 • •
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