Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mae West: Ernie Adams

Though MAE WEST starred in "She Done Him Wrong" — — and every motion picture thereafter — — dozens of bit part players would forever remain the small fry of the screen trade. In this 1890s Bowery saloon setting, Ernie Adams was seen as a male in the audience appreciating the performance of luscious Lady Lou. Ernie who?
• • Born in San Francisco, California on 18 June 1885, Ernest S. Adams was featured in musical comedies on Broadway such as Jerome Kern's "Toot Toot" [1918], then devoted himself to the cinema from 1919 on. Finding favor with numerous casting agents who liked his squirrelly look, diminutive Ernie Adams would be seen (briefly) in 435 movies between 1919 — 1948. Four were released in 1948, one year after he died.
• • One of the busiest character actors during the 1930s — 1940s, this sad-faced, little fellow was typically seen as the guy you couldn't trust. Whether he was in an action picture, or a drama, western, comedy, or crime caper, Ernie Adams was invariably the weasel, the rat, the fink, the thief, the pickpocket, the barfly. Neutral roles he got included playing a bartender, driver, truck driver, waiter, hotel guest, news seller, and once even a judge. He also played a bettor in "The Glass Key" [1935], starring Mae's good buddy George Raft.
• • Employed right up until the end, Ernie Adams died in Hollywood in November — — on 26 November 1947. He was 62 years old.
• • In November, Let's Remember George Rector [1878 — 1947] • •
• • Restaurant and hotel owner George Rector, who died at the age of 69 in November — — on 26 November 1947 — — had co-starred with Mae a decade before that in the Gay Nineties film "Every Day's a Holiday."
• • The motion picture opens on 31 December 1899 with the buzz that there will be the biggest New Year's Eve party ever at Rector's. The set featured a full scale version of Rector's in Times Square as it looked during its halcyon days.
• • "Every Day's a Holiday" was released on 18 December 1937.
• • Rector was born in 1878 in The Windy City. When he wasn't busy appearing as himself in a Paramount film or running his famous eateries, the Chicago native penned cookbooks and guides to fine dining at home. Food critic Ruth Reichl once wrote, If George Rector, the author of the well-regarded ''Dining in New York'' in 1939, were to stroll through the restaurants of modern Manhattan, he would find very little to surprise him. Even then, the city had a lot to offer an adventurous appetite. The most glaring exception was Japanese food, which Mr. Rector dismissed as ''derivative of the Chinese.''
• • Mae West Movie Trivia • •
• • When producer Emanuel Cohen announced in July 1937 that Mae would star in his next picture, "Sapphire Sal," he indicated production would start in mid-August. The theme, he told Louella Parsons, was "a knife, a fork, a bottle, and a cork in gay old New York." Moreover, Mae West "has always done better at the box office as a costume star than as a modern siren," according to Emanuel Cohen. Seems he forgot about "Night after Night" and "I'm No Angel," eh?
• • On 26 November 1954 • •
• • In a vintage catalogue that kept track of Decca's 78 rpm platters, it was listed that Mae West recorded "Frankie and Johnny" and the B-side "All of Me" [Decca # 29452] on these dates: November 26th and November 29th, 1954.
• • On 26 November 1980 In The Daily News • •
• • The N.Y. Daily News (Brooklyn section), on 26 November 1980, devoted an article to the funeral services at Cypress Hills Cemetery for their beloved hometown lady, Mae West.
• • On 26 November 2010 in the U.K. • •
• • On 26 November 2010 at 7:00 AM, UK television watchers were able to see a biographical program on Mae West.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Trouble? Listen, if trouble means something that makes you catch ya breath, if trouble means somethin’ that makes ya blood run through ya veins like seltzer water, mmmmmmmm, Adam, mah man, give me trouble. ..." [Dialogue for Eve in "The Garden of Eden"
— Arch Obler's radio skit aired in December 1937]
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article on variety artists mentioned Mae West.
• • Guido Deiro, the young Italian at Keith's this week, is the inventor of the particular style of piano-accordion he is playing. It is manufactured in San Francisco, he says, from a plan he drew while still in Rome. He says that the instrument covers five octaves and has twice the tone compass of a piano. He expects to retire from the stage as soon as he makes enough money to finance a plant for the manufacture of his invention — — and incidentally to get married. And to guess whom? To Mae West. Remember the short haired comedienne who appeared at Keith's the week Eva Tanguay was performing at the Southern? If memory serve, Miss West introduced Deiro, who was visiting here that week, as her fiancee, "Count Guido," Guido being his first name. It is refreshing to find that "he ain't no such animal." He was the most popular act at Keith's this week. ...
• • Source: Review: Columbus Ledger; published on 19 March 1914
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2127th 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 • • filming her play "Diamond Lil" in 1932 • •
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