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:
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• • Photo: • • Mae West's model for Gus Jordan • • Tim Sullivan • •
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