Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mae West: The Ward Heeler

"Sex is an emotion in motion," MAE WEST told The Los Angeles Times on 31 August 1969. That's a pretty provocative way to end a hot month, eh?
• • The Bowery's "Big" Tim Sullivan • •
• • "Big" Tim Sullivan [23 July 1862 — 31 August 1913] was a fixer extraordinaire and a born ward-heeler. This New York politician who controlled Manhattan's Bowery and Lower East Side districts as a prominent figure within Tammany Hall was the model for Mae's character Gus Jordan in "Diamond Lil."
• • Similarly, in "She Done Him Wrong" [1933] the bejeweled chanteuse and brash entertainer Lady Lou (Mae West) works in the 1890s Bowery saloon of her boss and benefactor Gus Jordan (Noah Beery, Sr.), who has given her many diamonds.
• • Both Mae West's character Gus Jordan and Tim Sullivan were active in a number of illegal activities including prostitution, white slavery, gambling, and extortion.
• • At the end of August — — on 31 August 1913 — — "Big" Tim's body was found on the tracks in the Eastchester area of the Bronx, New York. He was 51 years old.
• • Sullivan's wake was held at his clubhouse — — located at 203 Bowery.
• • More than 25,000 people turned out for his funeral at St. Patrick's Old Cathedral, New York on Mott Street.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West wrote this line for "Diamond Lil" [1928]: "Diamonds is my career."
• • Mae West wrote this: "I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • It seems that a Mae West moment wiggled its way into Michael Musto's column.
• • Mighty Mike writes: It's the real Mae West! And it's amazing! This was on some 1976 Dick Cavett TV special or other, on which the petite powerhouse proved she could still knock the socks off anyone wearing socks. Corseted and powdered to death, the woman was not going to let go of her sexpot image even as twilight approached, and she convinced you she shouldn't ever have to, by sheer will and curvy determination. ...
• • Source: Column: "La Dolce Musto/ Mae West Vamps It At 83 Years Young" written by Michael Musto for The Village Voice; posted on 30 August 2011
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2039th 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: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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• • Photo: • • Mae West's model for Gus Jordan • • Tim Sullivan • •
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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mae West: Warren, Bert, Britney

Warren Buffett sometimes quotes MAE WEST's one-liner, "Too much of a good thing is wonderful."
• • Warren Buffet — — quipped one pundit — — is sensible enough to know she wasn't necessarily talking about him.
• • Born in Omaha, Nebraska at the end of August — — on 30 August 1930 — — Mae West fan Warren Buffett is an investor, a businessman, and a philanthropist.
• • Happy Birthday to the frisky financier who is 81 years old today.
• • Mae in August • •
• • In 1920, Mae had enjoyed seeing her idol Bert Savoy [1888 — 1923] in the musical comedy "The Greenwich Village Follies of 1920," which opened at the Greenwich Village Theatre
in August — — on 30 August 1920.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West wrote this: "A man can be short and dumpy and getting bald — — but if he has fire, women will like him."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • With tongue-in-cheek, New York culture maven Mickey Woods writes about the VMA hoopla and tries to pull your leg: (Though, at this point, Britney Spears has near- or full-kissed just about everybody at these things, so it maybe wasn't that surprising. We'll have to check the videotape, but we have a vague recollection that she tongued Mae West at the 1936 VMAs.) But the red carpet was notably restrained this year . . . .
• • Source: Article: "See All the Red-Carpet Looks From the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards" written by Mickey Woods for New York Magazine; posted on 29 August 2011
• • By the Numbers • • • • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2038th 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: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
________
Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml Add to Google • • Photo: • • Mae West's idol • • Bert Savoy in 1920 • • • • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest Mae West.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Mae West: In Georgetown

Come up and see MAE WEST in New England on 29 August 2011.
• • New England's Delvena Theatre Company will present "W. C. Fields and Mae West" on Monday at 2 pm on 29 August 2011 at the Trestle Way Community Building, 23 Trestle Way, Georgetown, Massachusetts. This show is a live performance that examines the lives and relationships between the two comedic actors. This educational and entertaining production will feature Lynne Moulton, Joseph Zamparelli Jr., and Fran Baron in multiple roles. Zamparelli will direct.
• • Actor Joseph Zamparelli, Jr., is also the producing/artistic director of BostonAlive. Based in Lynn, Massachusetts, The Delvena Theatre Company was founded in 1992 and has performed at various venues, frequently at the Boston Center for the Arts.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West wrote this: "I wrote the story myself. It's about a girl who lost her reputation and never missed it.”
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Kathy Caldwell, president of the American Society of Civil Engineers, recently served as one of President Barack Obama’s 20 Champions of Change. Interviewed by Business Editor Anthony Clark, the 56-year-old ticked off her "Dream partners for lunch" as Mae West, Amelia Earhart, and First Lady Michelle Obama. ...
• • Source: Article: "Civil engineer Kathy Caldwell helps President Obama improve the country’s infrastructure" written by Anthony Clark for Gainesville.com; posted on 28 August 2011
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2037th 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: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • 1940 • •
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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Mae West: In Long Island City

MAE WEST has a role in a special live event that takes place very soon in Queens.
• • Sing, goddess, the wrath of Achilles — — but please let gusty Hurricane Irene blow away in time for Monday. On the evening of 29 August 2011 there will be a one-night-only outdoor performance, “Odysseus at Hell Gate,” created by Brooklyn residents Alex Kahn and Sophia Michahelles — — and Mae West will be a player in this unique site-specific work commissioned for Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, NY.
• • From Astoria, journalist Melena Ryzik describes this experience for her readers: For “Odysseus at Hell Gate,” Mr. Alex Kahn and Ms. Sophia Michahelles, a couple from Red Hook, N.Y., who are artistic directors of a nonprofit group called Processional Arts Workshop, researched the history of the sometimes forgotten spaces that dot the East River, like Hart Island, a potter’s field; North Brother Island, home to the hospital that quarantined Typhoid Mary; and Hell Gate, a traditionally treacherous maritime passage and the site of the 1904 burning of the excursion ship the General Slocum. They found many parallels in these stories to those in “the Odyssey.”
• • Melena Ryzik continues: Roosevelt Island, which is visible from the sculpture park, was once known as Welfare Island; it housed a women’s prison, “and the two most famous inmates who spent some time there were Mae West and Billie Holiday, so we thought they would be fantastic sirens,” Ms. Michahelles said with a smile. There are no siren songs per se, but a score that Mr. Kahn composed includes a Billie Holiday recording of “Comes Love (Nothing Can Be Done),” interspersed with Mae West beckoning, “Come up and see me sometime.” ...
• • Source: Article: "Odysseus Is Parading Into Queens" written by Melena Ryzik for The N.Y. Times; posted on 26 August 2011
• • Mae West on the Bookshelf • •
• • Published in 1997 by Routledge Three Plays by Mae West: Sex, the Drag, the Pleasure Man edited by Lillian Schlissel. Her essays and the source material she has selected are nothing short of excellent. A book you must own.
• • Reviewer Pamela Robertson Wojcik said: Feminists for the most part were not interested in Mae West in the 1970s (when West had a major comeback), but became attracted to her image in the late 1980s and 1990s due to changes that occurred in feminist thought and culture — — changes epitomized and, maybe, made possible by Madonna's emergence — — that made West's over-the-top, sexually aware style seem transgressive rather than regressive. ...
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West wrote this: "Don’t marry a man to reform him — — that’s what reform schools are for.”
• • Mae West wrote this: "Opportunity knocks for every man — — but you have to give a woman a ring.”
• • Mae West wrote this: "You're never too old to become younger."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Blogger Jennifer Stewart wrote: Mae West became famous for pushing the envelope on matters of how women should behave, morally and sexually. Her first play was called "Sex". She was arrested on a morals charge, but that didn’t daunt her. As far as she was concerned, any publicity was good publicity, and she went on to great Broadway success. When movie producer Paramount Pictures discovered her films were so popular that she saved them from bankruptcy.
• • Anybody who stands out against conservative morals of the day gets targeted, and West was no exception. Conservative critics constantly tried to get her censored and in 1937, when she was at the height of her movie and radio career, they succeeded. . .
• • Source: Article: "Mae West, Hollywood Icon, Undaunted by Catholic Decency Groups Moral Superiority & NBC Censors" written by Jennifer Stewart for Stepping Out of History; posted on 16 January 2011
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2036th 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: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • on Welfare Island, May 1922 • •
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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mae West: Arthur H. Gutman

In the summer of 1922, MAE WEST was starring in "The Ginger Box Revue" and it was a musical designed to showcase her special talents.
• • Since Larry Ceballos had collaborated before with the Austrian composer Arthur H. Gutman [1891 — 1945], the shifty Paul Dupont managed to drag both of these worthy gentlemen onboard for his ill-starred maiden voyage.
• • The libretto credit for "The Ginger Box Review" [1922] went to Paul Dupont, and the music credit went to Arthur H. Gutman. Promotional material printed by Jerome H. Remick & Co. indicated the first number was to be Mae's introductory song "Come Over" followed by "Canoodle-Ooodle-Oo," then "Eugene O'Neill, You've Put a Curse on Broadway" — — also meant for Mae. Four more songs were prepared for either a soloist or the ensemble; these were: "California Poppy," "Sister Teams," "Big Chief Hooch," and "Cottage for Two."
• • Born in Vienna in the month of August — — on 27 August 1891 — — Gutman worked his way to the West Coast and was hired in Tinseltown for the MGM Studios, serving as musical director and composer for a few dozen films during the 1930s and 1940s, often with a German theme. How popular were those during the WW2 era?
• • Gutman was only 54 when he died in Los Angeles on 3 September 1945 and was laid to rest in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
• • Mae West on the Bookshelf • •
• • Published in June 1997 (in hardcover) by Farrar, Straus & Giroux is the wonderful biography Becoming Mae West by Emily Wortis Leider. Masterfully written by this California poet.
• • Library Journal's reviewer said: Exhaustive research, fine writing, and a keen appreciation of Mae West's own bawdy wit inform this energetic and erudite biography of the flamboyant vaudeville, theater and film star. Brooklyn-born West (1893
1980) made her own way in show business at a very early age, taking charge of her career, taking whomever she wanted into her bed (she never spent the night in someone else's if she could avoid it) and, through sheer willpower, working her way up to become a film star and sex symbol in her 40s. ...
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West wrote this: "There are no good girls gone wrong — — just bad girls found out."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Veteran designer Vicky Tiel, now 67, knows how to make women look good and she studied the style of iconic actresses like Mae West.
• • Vicky Tiel told a N.Y. Post reporter: Use white to create the goddess look. “The leading lady wears white,” Tiel says. “It’s a power dress to catch the eye. Raquel Welch knew that secret. And Mae West knew the power of white. If you’re going to a party, and you wear a white drape dress, not only will the guy like you, but you’ll be the star of the room." . . .
• • Source: Article: "Iconic Iconic style arbiter Vicky Tiel tells you what to put on before you take it all off" written by Mandy Stadtmiller for The N.Y. Post; posted on 21 August 2011
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2035th 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: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • Mae's opening number in 1922 • •
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Friday, August 26, 2011

Mae West: Keith Allison

MAE WEST starred in "Sextette" [1978] surrounded by a bevy of young men who had minor roles. Rocker Keith Allison was patched into a scene as the waiter in Alexei's suite, perhaps one of his attempts to broaden his fan base by appearing on the silver screen, and also one of the producer's ploys to attract a younger audience with music marquee names such as Ringo Starr, Keith Moon, Alice Cooper, Van McCoy.
• • Born in Coleman, Texas in the month of August — — on 26 August 1942 — — Keith Allison was the songwriter and bass guitarist for Paul Revere and the Raiders from 1968 — 1975. Between 1972 — 2003 Allison was featured in fourteen film or TV projects such as "American Bandstand's 20th Anniversary" [1973 TV movie] with Paul Revere and the Raiders. He was last seen as Capt. James J. White in "Gods and Generals" [2003].
• • Happy Birthday to former mop-top Keith Allison. The rock-and-roller is 69 years old today.
• • Mae West on the Bookshelf • •
• • Mae West is featured in a new nonfiction book: "Dreamers of a New Day: Women Who Invented the Twentieth Century" written by Sheila Rowbotham, published in the UK by Verso. The Bristol, England native explores a half-century of women’s thinking and activity between 1880 and 1930. We wish the British author much success.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West wrote this: "“Personally, I like two types of men — — domestic and foreign.”
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A passionate East Coast foodie is inspired by Mae West.
• • Amy Barry writes: Jocelyn Ruggiero, better known as Foodie Fatale, . . . developed the role of La Divina Cucina for an assignment in a performance class. "We had to use four objects-I grabbed a can of San Marzano tomatoes, the book 'A Lover's Discourse' by Roland Barthes, a boa and a Mae West CD, and I went to class and made my first segment in five minutes-a recipe for tomato and clam sauce over pasta. "It was completely spontaneous and true to who I am-a little Mae West, tomatoes, and Roland Barthes," Ruggiero notes. Ruggiero has appeared as La Divina Cucina in various venues in New York City. ...
• • Source: Article: "Foodie Fatale’s passionate encounters with everything edible" written by Amy J. Barry, Special to the Day, for The Day; posted on 24 August 2011
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2034th 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: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • 1978 • •
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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Mae West: Lester Dorr

MAE WEST starred in "Go West Young Man" [1936] and Lester Dorr was seen as one of the reporters who are interviewing screen queen Mavis Arden. One odd coincidence is his lifespan was 1893 — 1980, just like Mae's.
• • Born in Boston on 8 May 1893, Harry Lester Dorr was one of the original members of the Screen Actors Guild in 1933.
• • An endlessly busy bit parts player, Lester Dorr launched his Hollywood voyage in 1930. Over time, he was seen in 451 roles on the silver screen and on established TV series. His last two film appearances were as a doorman in "At Long Last Love" [1975] and as Cy, the elevator operator in "Hotel" [1967]. Dorr was regularly seen in sit-coms such as "Green Acres" (as Mr. Collins) and also on dramatic series: "Dr. Kildare," "Burke's Law," "Perry Mason," etc.
• • Lester Dorr died in Los Angeles in the month of August — — on 25 August 1980. He was age 87.
• • On 25 August 1912 • •
• • Mae West was seen on the stage of the New Brighton Theatre in Brooklyn's Coney Island area on this date. The New Brighton always showed top tier vaudeville acts.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West wrote this for her character Mavis Arden: "Don't be modest. Modesty never gets you anything. I know."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A film series at the Castro Theatre will feature Cary Grant but, alas, not his two stellar roles with Mae West.
• • Writing about Cary Grant, Tavo Amador offers this opinion: Either by accident or design, however, hints of his sexual ambiguity are evident in many movies. His leading ladies sensed this and wanted to prove that all he needed was the right woman. In She Done Him Wrong and I'm No Angel (1933), Mae West, with her drag queen persona, seduced him, making him a star. Women loved watching the heroine get her man. ...
• • Source: Article: "Hollywood's chased romantic hero — — Cary Grant film series plays the Castro" written by Tavo Amador for Bay Area Reporter; posted on 25 August 2011
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2033rd 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: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • with co-star Warren William, 1936 • •
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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mae West: R.I.P. Phil Moody

A versatile musician who worked with MAE WEST in Vegas during the 1950s has died, sad to say.
• • Recognize the name Phil Moody? The durable British-born pianist was Mae West's music director. In a recent interview, Phil Moody revealed this intriguing opinion — — that Mae West and Gene Austin were in love even when Austin was married to Moody's sister-in-law, Pony Sherrell. In fact, Gene Austin lived with his sister-in-law and brother-in-law Grace and Phil Moody in Palm Springs from 1971 until his death at Desert Regional Medical Center on 24 January 1972. He wrote his last song at their house.
• • Born in Southampton, England, Philip grew up in a musical world and is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music. Prior to coming to America, Moody was involved with the British motion picture and television industries; additionally, he was commissioned to write, arrange, and conduct for many of England’s top entertainers.
• • In this country, Phil Moody enjoyed a fruitful career as a Hollywood composer and arranger as well as a music director in Las Vegas and the MGM Grand in Reno. In the 1960s and 1970s, he directed and co-wrote material for artists as diverse as Jimmy Durante, Betty Grable, opera diva Helen Traubel, and the extraordinary film legend Mae West — — who performed a “muscle man” act with special material co-written by Moody.
• • A longtime veteran of the night club music scene in Palm Springs, California, Phil Moody died at a local hospice on Monday, 22 August 2011. His age was given as 89. A graveside service for this musician is tentatively scheduled for Friday, 26 August 2011 at Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City. Word is that a private celebration of his life will be held in autumn.
• • Phil Moody, you will be missed by all your fans.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West wrote this. "I'm a woman of very few words — — but lots of action."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Here, in the third extract from her new book The World According to Joan, Joan Collins explains why age should never be a barrier to looking good and feeling great ...
• • Joan Collins wrote: Catherine the Great was reputed to have taken younger lovers to bed. Mae West, who lived to 90 [sic], had a live-in lover 45 years younger than she was. When asked how she kept herself looking so young, Mae replied: ‘I go to bed early, I meditate, I eat all the right foods, I don’t smoke or drink alcohol and I believe in myself with a passion. You can only beat nature when you show the bitch who’s boss!’ ...
• • Source: Article: "Botox? No, it's sex that'll keep you looking young, Joan Collins reveals" published in the Daily Mail (UK); posted on 23 August 2011
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2032nd 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: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • c. 1953 • •
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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mae West: Roaring

The third week of August ends the roaring reign of Leo the lion [July 23rd — August 22nd], the astrological sign MAE WEST was born under. Borrowing details from her own bio for the dialogue with the fortuneteller in "I'm No Angel" who says, "You were born under Leo," Mae's character Tira, a novice lion tamer, replies, "Yeah, the king of beasts, huh?"
• • Perhaps the horoscope that Rajah hands Tira lists some of this information: Sun in Leo 25°22'; Moon in Scorpio 11°27'; Mercury in Leo 11°04'; Venus in Virgo 24°06'; Mars in Virgo 1°03' (and other details whose importance will be understood by some, but pooh-poohed by others). In this 1933 motion picture comedy, Tira often consults this forecast, seeking guidance on her career and romances.
• • On 23 August 1922 • •
• • It was 23 August 1922 when The Clipper announced that Mae West had returned to vaudeville and would be opening (again) at Proctor's Fifth Avenue Theatre starting that Monday. This was the same venue that had booked "Mae West and Sister" in its charming auditorium steps from Madison Square Park.
• • Kathleen Freeman • •
• • A laugh-getter who appeared with Mae in "Myra Breckinridge" [released in the USA on 24 June 1970] also had ties to variety. Chicago native Kathleen Freeman made her vaudeville debut at age 2, becoming a part of her parents' act.
• • Born on 17 February 1919, the heavy-set comedienne portrayed Bobby Dean Loner in the screen version of Gore Vidal's bestseller. The UCLA graduate's first goal had been to shine as a professional pianist but, after thoroughly enjoying her work with several stock productions, she changed gears. Kathleen Freeman once said: "I think comedy is more powerful than drama in the long run. Comedy is more difficult. It's very easy to make people cry."
• • She made her first motion picture appearance in 1948 at 29 years old. The reliable character actress was used as a comic foil by Jerry Lewis in several of his films. Her stocky figure, expressive face, energetic laugh, and supple voice-craft served her well, keeping her in demand and busy juggling parts on the silver screen, TV, and also on Broadway.
• • Kathleen Freeman, 82 years old, was cast in a Broadway production when she died in New York City during the month of August — — on 23 August 2001 — — of lung cancer. Engaged on stage until the very end, the octogenarian had given her final Tony nomination performance for her role as the piano player in Broadway's musical hit "The Full Monty" on August 18th, and five days later she was gone.
• • John Garcia, Executive Director/ Producer of "The Column" Awards, created an award in her honor. This prize is given to individuals who overcome personal, physical, or other major problems in their lives and continue to work in theater, whether behind or in front of the curtain. Kathleen Freeman embodied the true spirit of the Broadway gypsy: "The show must go on." Applause!
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West wrote this exchange for "I'm No Angel" [1933], a big hit for Paramount Pictures.
• • • Tira: Come on, can't you hurry up and get that thing fixed? I gotta get back. I'm expecting Mr. Clayton at the apartment.
• • • Bill Barton's Chauffeur: I'm doing the best I can, ma'am.
• • • Tira: Yeah, your best is no good. Try doing your worst.
• • • Bill Barton's Chauffeur: Yes, ma'am.
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Kings County historian Vernon Parker wrote: As the curtains closed over the screen on 22 August 1962, the Brooklyn Paramount Theatre at Flatbush and DeKalb avenues was history. ... Gracing its ornate stage during its reign as the mecca of Brooklyn entertainment were such celebrities as Mae West, Frank Sinatra, Liberace, Rudy Vallee, Ginger Rogers, Bing Crosby, Eddie Cantor, George Jessel, and most of the big band era orchestras. ...
• • Source: Article: "On This Day in History: August 22 — — Paramount’s Last Picture Show" written by Vernon Parker for The Brooklyn Eagle; posted on 22 August 2011
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2031st 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: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • 1933 • •
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Monday, August 22, 2011

Mae West: Gonk's Dorothy

Born in August 1893, MAE WEST left a long trail of memorable sayings behind— — and she was as quotable as her clever contemporaries Groucho Marx, W.C. Fields, and Dorothy Parker, another well-known wit who was born in August 1893.
• • Dorothy Parker • •
• • Born in New Jersey and raised in NYC, Dorothy Parker [22 August 1893 — 7 June 1967] was a writer and poet who was best known for her wisecracks, caustic wit, and a sharp eye for 20th century urban foibles.
• • Unlike Mae's growing up years (tethered to her supportive, adoring mother and helpful father), Dorothy's youth became sad and troubled at 4 years old when her mother died. From this conflicted unhappy past, however, Dorothy Parker rose to acclaim, both for her literary output in such venues as The New Yorker and as a founding member of the Algonquin Round Table, a group she would later disdain. She enjoyed several years as a high profile drama critic, a playwright, and a bon vivant. Following the breakup of the gonk's circle, Parker traveled to Hollywood to pursue screenwriting. Her successes there, including two Academy Award nominations, would eventually be curtailed, since her involvement in left-wing politics would lead to a place on the infamous Hollywood blacklist.
• • On 22 August 1932 • •
• • On this date production began for the motion picture "Night After Night," which offered Mae West her first chance to amaze viewers on the silver screen.
• • Mae West on the Newsstand • •
• • It was the December 1957 issue of Esquire Magazine that featured Mae West, Dorothy Parker, Charlie Parker, and Dylan Thomas as cover lines. Published in New York City, Esquire offered a lot in this 282-page Christmas edition including two poems by Dylan Thomas [Fern Hill and Lament]; Eric Sevaried's article, Who Will Win In 1960, (JFK
Nixon); Ballad of the Bird, The Legend of Charles Christopher Parker, by Arnold Shaw, photography, The Best Fiction of 1957 by Dorothy Parker; and a lengthy vibrant article on Mae West, "She Made It Funny" — — Mae, the spiritual mother of all sex symbols.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Personality is the glitter that sends your little gleam across the footlights and the orchestra pit into that big black space where the audience is."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Former model and showgirl Gloria Pall, who lives in a quaint pink stucco house in North Hollywood, portrayed Mae West recently at a local gathering.
• • Al Martinez writes: Gloria Pall is a strong 84, and calls herself "old Hollywood" because she was in films, television shows and commercials in the 1950s when she was slim, pretty and scantily clad on the covers of girlie magazines like Frolic, Pix, Gala, and Fun. She was called "Voluptua" for obvious reasons.
• • Al Martinez continues: A little heavier these days, she still has the naturally blond, shoulder-length curls that once made her attractive to men like Howard Hughes and Elvis Presley, and a manner of dressing that says look-at-me. On the day we talked, she was wearing tight white pants, a knitted lavender top, lavender socks and white shoes sprinkled with glitter.
• • Al Martinez recalls: The night before, wearing a black sequined gown and feathered hat, she had performed as a flamboyant Mae West before a gathering of publicists to commemorate the 118th anniversary of West's birth. She demonstrated the act with the provocative shift of a hip, the come-hither glance and the sexy, honey-coated "Come up and see me sometime." Did I say she's written and self-published 14 books? It is no surprise that they are mostly about her. ...
• • Source: Article: "She's old Hollywood, but she's 'for real'" written by Al Martinez for Los Angeles Daily News; posted on 21 August 2011
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2030th 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: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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• • Photo: • • Mae West's contemporary • • 1927 • •
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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Mae West: A Bust from Bayside

Many men came up to see MAE WEST — — but how many sculpted a statuette featuring a pouf that would out-do Snooki's? A Bayside, Queens native who grew up near Bell Boulevard did that, and his clever figurine rang the bell with the star of "Belle of the Nineties." Pull up a chair.
• • NYC native, historian, journalist, and Mae-memorabilia collector Carl Anthony writes: Something of an amateur kid sculptor who made clay figures of people I liked and then sent them as gifts, I made one of Mae West, posing her as an advertising logo character stuck in my mind after passing my mother’s food cupboard. It sure looked to me that Chicken of the Sea tuna fish had modeled its blond mermaid on their label after her. So, I sculpted a statue of her as the original Chicken of the Sea mermaid, and sent along a copy of the label. Having read that she was litigious in protecting her Persona, I hoped it wouldn’t tick her off.
• • Carl Anthony continues: To my knowledge, she never sent her lawyer or “friends in Chicago” to scare Chicken of the Sea, but I did receive a thank-you note from her secretary [Paul Novak] as well as a short, brief note of the sort that can make a kid’s head pop from Stanley Musgrove, her agent. He said if I was ever in Los Angeles, Miss West wanted me to “come up and see her sometime,” so she could show me that she’d put the statue on her piano besides a nude marble statue of her by a distinguished sculptress. ...
• • Read more about his fascinating encounter and the rare Westiana lamps and estate items he acquired at CarlAnthonyOnline.com — — excerpted from Mr. Anthony's enchanting first-person article "How I Came Up to See Mae West One Time, Got her Floor Lamps and Something Else" posted on 17 August 2011
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • During a 1970 interview to promote that "Myra" movie, Mae West said: "The decor is white and gold. I love anything gold. I'd like to have an apartment in Fort Knox! The furniture's French. It's Louis XIV. Even Louis would've liked it here. Especially in the boudoir!"
• • Mae West said: "To err is human — — but it feels divine."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • One of Mae West's costume designers at Paramount Pictures was Edith Head.
• • Arizona Broadway World writes: Say the name Edith Head and, if you know anything about movies, you're mentioning the name of an icon. You may not know her face, but her impact on the screen is as momentous as that of the stars for whom she created costumes: Mae West, Audrey Hepburn, Bette Davis, and even Robert Redford and Paul Newman, among them. ...
• • Source: Article: "Actors Theater Opens Season with a 'Conversation with Edith Head' written by staff for arizona.broadwayworld.com; posted on 10 August 2011
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2029th 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: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • 1933 • •
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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Mae West: Delker Not Doelger

MAE WEST used to say, "To err is human but it feels divine."
• • Robert Simonson, a journalist and blogger of the drinking life, and the originator of the "A Beer At..." column, wrote a recent column for NY.Eater.com, and it was dotted with shaky misstatements about Mae West and her family that need to be righted.
• • Why don't columnists fact check anymore? Could it be that some readers don't notice?
• • Robert Simonson writes: "Teddy's is the oldest bar in Williamsburg [96 Berry St., Brooklyn, NY]. It's been around since 1889. ... Peter Doelger was a millionaire beer baron, and probably a bit of a capitalist bastard; an anarchist once left a bomb on his doorstep. He also disapproved of his daughter Mathilda marrying a boxer named John West, even though that union gave the world Mae West. ..."
• • • • FACT: Yes, wealthy brewer Peter Doelger did have a daughter named Mathilde [American born in 1875], whose lavish nuptials were covered in the society section in The N.Y. Times. However, Peter Doelger [1832 — 1912] was neither the maternal grandfather of Mae nor the father of Bavarian born Matilda Dilker/ Delker [1870 — 1930], who wed John West, an amateur boxer and fulltime saddle and bridle maker at Brooklyn's City Hall in January 1889 when the bride was 18 years old.
• • Robert Simonson continues: One would love to picture Mae lifting one or two here at some point. But Mathilda remarried in the 1890s — — wedding the son of another local brewer (sounds like daddy's doing) — — so it's hard to say. ...
• • • • FACT: Mae's parents remained married to each other from January 1889 until Matilda's death in January 1930.
• • Source: Article: "Finding the 'Other' Williamsburg at 122 Year-Old Teddy's" written by Robert Simonson for NY.Eater.com; posted on Friday, 19 August 2011
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "One and one is two, and two and two is four, and five will get you ten if you know how to work it.”
• • Mae West said: "Virtue has its own reward — — but has no sale at the box office."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Mae West and W.C. Fields traveled the variety artist circuit, though not together.
• • Mark Hopkins writes: Oddly enough, my mind is on W.C. Fields, one of the great comedians of the first half of the 20th century. Fields was a contemporary of Mae West, Al Jolson, George M. Cohen and others who traveled the live performance circuit called vaudeville. Most of those theaters were in the northeast part of the country and Philadelphia was a usual stop on the circuit.
• • Mark Hopkins continues: No performer relished facing the raucous crowds of the theaters of Philadelphia. It was not unusual for people to be pelted with tomatoes, booed off the stage and otherwise mistreated. ...
• • Source: Article: "My Southern perspective: All things considered, Philadelphia’s not so bad" written by Mark Hopkins for Independent Mail/ Scripps News; posted on 14 August 2011

• • By the Numbers • •

• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2028th 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: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • 1915 • •
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Friday, August 19, 2011

Mae West: Without Closeups

MAE WEST starred in "Sextette" [1978], and the cinematography was done by James Crabe.
• • Born in Los Angeles, California in the month of August — — on 19 August 1931 — — James Aubrey Crabe was the cinematographer for more than fifty projects beginning with "The Proper Time" [1960] and ending with a TV movie called "Baby M" [1988]. Crabe died of complications from AIDS at age 57 in Sherman Oaks, California on 2 May 1989.
• • Shooting began on 1 December 1976 and was wrapped up during March 1977. James Crabe captured his leading lady in medium shots. There would be no close-ups in "Sextette" of Mae West.
• • Crabe missed this little goof and so did the film editor. The boom microphone is visible when Mae West and Dom DeLuise are leaving the hotel gymnasium. Did you spot this?
• • In 1994, Christie's auctioned off a most intriguing bit of memorabilia: a bound copy of the stage play "Sextette" [1927] by the actress and dramatist Charlotte Francis.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West wrote this line for Marlo Manners: "Marriage is like a book. The whole story takes place between the covers."
• • Mae West also described the borough she loved: “The Brooklyn I was born in, near the end of the 19th century, was still a city of churches. ... Deer ran wild in Prospect Park ...."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Mae West, in the 1936 movie “Klondike Annie,” said, “Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.” Sometimes at the bridge table you have two ways to make a contract but are not sure which one to try. Then, you should pick the mathematically more likely. ...
• • Source: Article: "How do you play both strings?" written by bridge staff for Sun-Times Media; posted on 11 August 2011
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2027th 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: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • with Ringo Starr in 1978 • •
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