Monday, November 14, 2011

Mae West: Belle's Brooks

MAE WEST worked with Johnny Mack Brown in one motion picture for Paramount. She became acquainted with the six-foot-one actor when he played the role of Brooks Claybourne, a good time Charlie, in "Belle of the Nineties" [1934].
• • Born on 1 September 1904 in Dothan, Alabama, John Mack Brown launched his first career as a gridiron star in Tuscaloosa. A few years later, movie goers would know him as a familiar face featured in almost 170 projects on the silver screen. In the late 1920s he would appear in the last Norma Shearer silent film, "A Lady of Chance" (1928). After that, he would work with Mae West, Greta Garbo, Marion Davies, and Mary Pickford.
• • His muscular good looks would only carry Brown so far in films, however, and by 1930 he had yet to find his place. At MGM Clark Gable was taking the roles that Brown was up for, so he went into a western for director King Vidor, "Billy the Kid" (1930). While Vidor did not want him for the part to begin with, the picture was successful; however, Brown's career at MGM would soon end. By 1933 he would still be making westerns, but they would be for low-rung studios like Mascot.
• • Often cast as the sheriff, a U.S. marshal, a cowboy, or a gunslinger, his last films were "Apache Uprising" and "The Bounty Killer" both released in 1965. Despite having true stardom, he did enjoy a normal home life. In 1926 he married Cornelia Foster and they raised four children. They remained husband and wife until his death.
• • Johnny Mack Brown died in Los Angeles in the month of November — — on 14 November 1974 — — of a cardiac condition. The silver screen cowboy is interred at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale.
• • In November, Let's Remember Elsa Schiaparelli [1890? — 1973] • •
• • Born in Rome, Elsa Schiaparelli [10 September 1890? — 13 November 1973] was an influential fashion designer of Italian and Egyptian heritage. Along with Coco Chanel, she dominated fashion between the two World Wars.
• • In addition to apparel, Elsa Schiaparelli designed a number of perfumes. The first and best known — — Shocking — — was created in 1936. Shocking is famous less for the fragrance itself than for its packaging: inside a shocking pink box, the bottle was shaped like a woman's torso — — and based on the curvaceous body of one of Schiaparelli's clients, film star Mae West. For Mae West, Schiaparelli designed costumes for the film "Every Day's a Holiday" [released on 18 December 1937]. She was 83 when she died in November 1973.
• • I was asked to draw ‘Shocking’ by Schiaparelli, a perfume from 1937, explains the artist Joana Faria. The bottle is so gorgeous. It was designed by Leonor Fini [1907 — 1996] and inspired by Mae West.
• • Illustration by the very talented Joana Faria. Please do not copy it without her permission. Be nice.
• • On 14 November 2005 • •
• • In the New Statesman's issue for 14 November 2005, Caroline Murphy's byline appeared. The first paragraph of "Curves in motion" discussed Mae's legendary sex appeal. Caroline Murphy wrote: Mae West's legendary bust led the Royal Air Force to adopt her name for its life jackets. But her sex appeal didn't stop at her chest. She could drive male audiences wild simply by wiggling. In 1913, as a young vaudevillian dancing for an audience of Yale boys, her shimmying hips prompted a riot. Not for the last time, West was blamed for the reaction she provoked. ...
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said this about Liberace in 1954: "The guy's got a lot of charm. I could go for someone that charming. I see good in every man. That's why I'm not married."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A column about people on the pop music scene mentioned Mae West.
• • Kathaleen Roberts writes: Longtime vocalist China Forbes (“the Diva next door”) is recovering from throat surgery. Best known as a “Rock Star: Supernova” contestant, Large sounds as big as her name. “China of course has been the voice of the band since its inception,” Thomas Lauderdale acknowledged. “We were really trepidatious about going without her.” But Large’s powerhouse vocals and outrageous persona won the band over. New York Times best-selling author Chelsea Cain compared her to “some twisted love child of Mae West and Keith Richards.” ...
• • Source: Article: "Martini takes camp out of lounge" written by Kathaleen Roberts for the Albuquerque Journal; posted on Sunday, 13 November 2011
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2114th 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 • • 1934 • •
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