Friday, September 09, 2011

Mae West: Cast as Chuck Connors

In 1932, Tammany Young was in one motion picture with MAE WEST.
• • Born in New York City in September, Tammany Young [9 September 1886 — 26 April 1936] appeared on Broadway in "The Front Page" [1928] by Ben Hecht and "The New Yorkers" [1930] by Herbert Fields and Cole Porter. He acquired the rep of being a “good luck actor” by Broadway producers. Consequently, he was often cast in bit parts by the likes of the Shubert brothers, Jed Harris, and David Belasco as a way of attracting good luck to their productions. This high regard paid off and Alex Gard drew his likeness for Sardi's restaurant.
• • In Hollywood, Young started out in silent films and then was cast in talkies. Although frequently uncredited, he eventually appeared in over 100 movies with such stars as Mae West, Myrna Loy, Bing Crosby, Shirley Temple, and Judy Garland.
• • Tammany Young as Chuck Connors, “The Mayor of Chinatown” • •
• • In "She Done Him Wrong," Tammany Young portrayed the colorful Chuck Connors, who had been a well-known figure on the Bowery. The huckster and fast-talking tourist magnet died of pneumonia in the House of Relief in Hudson Street on 10 May 1913. [Mae was almost 20 by then, so she probably heard her share of Chuck Connors stories. His autobiography had been ghostwritten by Richard K. Fox.] On Broadway, Mae West had cast Chuck Connors, Jr. in the role of Chuck Connors in "Diamond Lil" for an air of authenticity.
• • One day I'll post my photo of Chuck Connors and see if Tammany Young bore any resemblance to this fast-talking con artist.
• • Tammany Young was known most notably for his role as the stooge (straight man) to W.C. Fields, with whom he appeared in seven screen comedies: Sally of the Sawdust (1925), Six of a Kind (1934), You're Telling Me! (1934), The Old Fashioned Way (1934), It's a Gift (1934), Man on the Flying Trapeze (1935), and Poppy (1936).
• • Tammany Young also was an infamous gate crasher. By claiming to be an ice man, he worked his way into the 1921 Dempsey — Carpentier prize fight in New Jersey, for instance; in 1932 he found his way into the Los Angeles Olympics. These exploits often popped up in the columns of sportswriters who knew him.
• • It was on 26 April 1936 that Tammany Young died in his sleep in Hollywood at the age of 49. At the news of Young's untimely demise in California, W.C. Fields became severely depressed and stopped eating and sleeping. One wonders: did he also stop drinking while in mourning?
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West wrote this in The Hussy: "An interested husband is an interesting husband."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Mae West didn't discover curves. She only uncovered them. Along the line, she discovered Cary Grant and Steve Cochran, too.
• • Writes L.A. Daily's Gregory Moore: "For my dough, the hottest, butchest, tough-guy hunk in Hollywood, circa late 40's-early 50's: Steve Cochran. "He was Mae West's discovery and longtime stud well into her 60's. (According to Mamie Van Doren, they both 'shared' him... and according to Mamie, he had the biggest dick in Hollywood). "You'll see some evidence of that in the final triptych I did of 3 screencaps from a 1952 film called The Lion and the Horse (guess who he played?), in which his jean-covered crotch should have gotten co-star billing! ...
• • Source: Photo Feature: "Beefcake Shots Of The Hottest Butch Number Of The 1950s" written by Gregory Moore and reprinted by Michael Musto for The Village Voice; posted on Thursday, 8 September 2011
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2048th 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 • • "She Done Him Wrong," 1933 • •
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