Monday, August 08, 2011

Mae West: Dayton Lummis

MAE WEST worked with several stage performers who transitioned into TV series focused on The Old West. Handsome Dayton Lummis, however, was garbed as a Russian when he appeared on The Great White Way with the Empress of Sex.
• • Born in Union City, New Jersey in the month of August — — on 8 August 1903 — — Dayton Lummis was an American actor of film and television who specialized in the genre of anthology and western series, often playing authority figures. He was seen on every major TV western from "The Lone Ranger" [1953] to "Gunsmoke" [1975], his final chance to sport a gunbelt and spurs on the small screen. But when he wore a younger man's clothes, he went to the West Coast and studied theatre at the Martha Oatman School, Los Angeles. His first professional engagement, at age 24, was with the Russell Stock Company, of Redlands, California.
• • Dayton Lummis remained a regional actor until his Broadway bow in 1944 opposite Mae West in "Catherine Was Great," where he was cast in the role of Chechkofski.
• • He died in Santa Monica on 23 March 1988. He was 84 years old.
• • Mae West & Eugene O'Neill: Off-beat Links • •
• • Eugene O'Neill's roommate Barney Gallant opened a speakeasy on Washington Square South. O'Neill went there often (because he could drink for free). Mae West also went to this night spot with her friend Texas Guinan, one of Barney's closest pals.
• • On Sunday afternoon, 14 August 2011 • •
• • "Mae West in Bohemia — — Gin, Sin, Censorship, and Eugene O'Neill"
• • Mae West's birthday is August 17th. Join us at 3:00 pm on Sunday afternoon, 14 August 2011. The title of this illustrated historical theme walk is "Mae West in Bohemia — — Gin, Sin, Censorship, and Eugene O'Neill." Rare vintage illustrations will show you how the buildings and blocks looked as these two theatre people saw them.
At the final stop on West Third Street, you will see how caricaturist Al Hirschfeld sketched O'Neill and his stage plays from the 1920s on.
• • Where: This illustrated walking tour begins at 62 West Ninth Street, NYC (near Sixth Avenue). Join us and take a walk on the wild side this coming Sunday on August 14th.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Don't keep a man guessing too long — — he's sure to find the answer somewhere else.
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Mae West is mentioned in Adolph Zukor's autobiography.
• • Adolph Zukor recalls: "When you speak of eras, I'd say Mae West was in command during the depression years. Mae surprised us, and maybe herself. But Mae knew her talents in relation to the audiences which is always what counts better than we did." .... Meanwhile we went ahead making pictures, and here I must pay tribute to another durable trouper, Mae West, for the powerful lift she gave us out of the depression mire. Neither the sweet ingenue nor the glamor girl fit the depression years. Mae did. She was the strong confident woman, always in command. And that was the real Mae. Except for her strength of character she would not have become the sensation she was perhaps would never have appeared on the screen at all. Mae had scored many hits on the stage as the embodiment of lusty sex, But picture makers had shied away, not knowing exactly how to use her. Certainly no one believed that the Mae West of the stage could be transferred almost intact to the screen. In 1930 we had, however, signed her for an important role in George Raft's Night After Night. ...
• • Source: Book excerpt: "THE PUBLIC IS NEVER WRONG: The Autobiography of Adolph Zukor" [NY: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1953]
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2016th 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 • • as Catherine the Great, 1944 • •
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