Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Mae West: T. Hee

Thornton "T." Hee drew MAE WEST for the animated film feature "Coo Coo Nut Grove" [1936] as well as for other projects.
• • Using his pen name T. Hee, he was first hired by Warner Bros. as a caricaturist and went on to become one of the notable Walt Disney artists. In addition to his sketches of Mae, Mr. Hee skillfully rendered Greta Garbo, Katharine Hepburn, and other major movie stars with wit and charm.
• • Born in Oklahoma as Alex Campbell, Thornton "T." Hee [26 March 1911 — 30 October 1988] was an American animator, director, story writer, and teacher. He taught character design and caricature. He is always credited as T. Hee.
• • Last month the T. Hee Gallery was opened in Red Lodge Montana [at 13 N. Broadway] where the legendary talent was buried in 1988. The T. Hee Gallery features hundreds of caricatures that he did while at Disney, including his artwork for "Fantasia" and portraits of the screen idols.
• • This is, alas, the best example we have of one of T. Hee's cells featuring Mae West.
• • Mae in Massachusetts in August • •
• • A new play called "W.C.Fields and Mae West" will open later this month in New England. We'll have more details for you shortly.
• • On 2 August 1944 • •
• • It was August 2nd and the applause rang out from the Shubert Theatre [225 West 44th Street], signaling the gala Broadway debut of "Catherine Was Great," when Mae West portrayed the Empress of Russia. Produced by Mike Todd, the show starred Mae as the Empress of Love who handled her men as skillfully as she handled affairs of state.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Good sex is like good bridge. If you don't have a good partner, you'd better have a good hand."
• • Mae West said: “Why don’t you come up sometime, see me? I’ll tell your fortune.”
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Biographer Marc Eliot writes: Filming began on November 21, 1932 after the full seven-day rehearsal period that [Mae] West had insisted upon. Set in a Bowery bar at the turn of the twentieth century, the sanitized but still raunchy story centers on Lady Lou, the proprietor of the Dance Hall (a standard euphemism for a house of prostitution), co-run by West’s husband (Noah Beery Sr.), which sells beer to the boys while also dealing in a little white sexual slavery on the side. Captain Cummings, aka “The Hawk” (Grant), is an undercover cop running a nearby missionary and is bent on “saving” her. One of the most famous (and often misquoted) lines in all of film history is uttered in She Done Him Wrong with a moistness hard to misinterpret, when Lil meets Cummings for the first time and says, “Why don’t you come up sometime, see me, I’ll tell your fortune.” ...
• • Source: An excerpt from "Cary Grant: A Biography" by Marc Eliot, published by Harmony Books in 2004
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2010th 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 • • 1936 • •
• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
Mae West.

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