Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mae West: Frank Moran

Many professional boxers worked with MAE WEST. When Frank Moran portrayed a framed convict in a memorable scene in "She Done Him Wrong" [1933], this was his fourth credit on the silver screen.
• • Born in Cleveland, Ohio on 18 March 1887, in 1916 (when he was 29 years old), Frank Moran fought Jess Willard for the heavyweight championship — — but lost. By the late 1920s, it seems he had hung up his mouth guard and padded gloves for good.
• • For three decades, from 1928 — 1957, he was seen in 145 motion pictures. You can almost hear Mae saying, "You ain't no oil painting!" when you consider a casting agent's impression of the six-foot-one athlete. Some of the knuckle-dragging parts he played included: bruiser, fighter, truck driver, prisoner, jail guard, process server, sergeant, mug, tough guy, bouncer, gangster, plug-ugly # 3, ape man, bettor, craps player, moving crew, repo man, cabbie, bartender, waiter, stagehand, sailor, a cop with a "gravel voice," etc.
• • Frank Moran died of a heart attack in Hollywood in the month of December — — on 14 December 1967. He was 80 years old.
• • In December, Let's Remember Gregory Ratoff [1897 — 1960] • •
• • Gregory Ratoff [20 April 1897 — 14 December 1960] was a Russian-born actor and director.
• • In "I'm No Angel," Gregory Ratoff played the prosecutor; Tira hires Benny Pinkowitz to sue Jack Clayton (Cary Grant) for breach of promise.
• • It was 21 October in 1943 when the film "The Heat's On" was in previews. Sharp-eyed Harry Cohn [1891 — 1958] of Columbia Pictures was in the audience. Though Gregory Ratoff had been most persuasive when pitching this project to him, Harry decided on the spot to buy him out. "This picture is going to be a bust," predicted Cohn. Even Mae West was disappointed in Ratoff by the end.
• • Leukemia finished off Gregory Ratoff. He died in Solothurn, Switzerland in mid-December — — on 14 December 1960. He was 63 years of age.
• • On 14 December 1937 • •
• • Conservative Catholic Martin Quigley's hand-wringing article, "Radio Begs Trouble," found its way into Motion Picture Daily. The issue, centered around the controversial NBC broadcast starring Mae, was dated 14 December 1937.
• • On 14 December 2009 • •
• • An article in a British newspaper [published on 14 December 2009] described a charming lodge, whose famous guest list includes Mae West.
• • According to British reporter Chris Sullivan, The Olde Bell is the oldest inn in the country (built in 1163).
• • Situated about an hour away from London in the Berkshire hamlet of Hurley, The Olde Bell has attracted a cross-section of individuals for centuries. "It wowed the great and the good of America including Mae West, Clark Gable, Bob Hope, and Liz Taylor," notes Chris Sullivan. "Winston Churchill also stopped here during the war to make an urgent phone call from the now empty phone booth."
• • The Olde Bell is located on High Street, Hurley, Berkshire, SL6 5LX. The London Times posted lovely photos. To see where Mae slept, go to
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Everything's in the mind. That's where it all starts. Knowing what you want is the first step toward getting it."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article in the Mercury News in Australia mentioned Mae West in the first sentence.
• • The Mackay Daily Mercury staff wrote: IT WAS Mae West who said: Is that a pistol in your pocket or are you pleased to see me? Well, Mackay reveller Clayton Ainslie didn't have a pistol in his pocket — — it was a snooker ball. ...
• • Source: Article: "Police pocket snooker ball" in The Mackay Daily Mercury; posted on 14 December 2011
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2145th 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 • • with Owen Moore in 1932 • •
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