Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Mae West: Lee Shumway

Lee Shumway had a minor role in "Go West Young Man" [1936] starring MAE WEST. He was seen as a police officer.
• • Born in Salt Lake City, Utah on 4 March 1884, Leonard Charles Shumway pursued his dream of performing for an audience in front of the footlights in various regional theatres. But by 1913 the handsome six-footer switched to a career in silent films, mostly in numerous adventure shorts. He transitioned into talkies and was often cast in rough and tumble cowboy flicks. Shumway appeared with Lou Gehrig in "Rawhide" [1938] and finished off his screen resume in 1953 with "Savage Frontier" and "Calamity Jane."
• • From 1913 — 1953, the durable character actor was seen in over 440 productions on the silver screen and, later, on TV especially in the popular series "The Lone Ranger" where he established a character from 1950 — 1953.
• • Shumway retired after four decades. He died in Los Angeles in the month of January — — on 4 January 1959. He was 74 years old.
• • William Landon Jones [1906 — 1982] • •
• • William Landon Jones enjoyed a close friendship with Mae West for 50 years.
• • Born in Memphis, Tennessee on 12 May 1906, he was known in boxing by the moniker "Gorilla" Jones. In June 2009, the five-foot-nine fighter was posthumously inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, N.Y.
• • The 22-year-old Jones met Mae West in a New York night club during 1928. He had enjoyed a long career in the ring and was about to come into the big time in 1929, when he would earn a $100,000 purse — — about $1.2 million in today's money — — for winning a bout in Madison Square Garden.
• • In 1929, Jones bought his parents a Ford sedan and a handsome $10,000 home in Memphis; he also rewarded himself with a $5,400 Lincoln. He bought three suits after each bout in the ring, handing off older outfits to less fortunate fellows. He added a flashy diamond-collared lion to his public persona, walking the cub on a leash to matches and personal appearances.
• • ''In 1929 when I was in the so-called 'big' money, I spent too much,'' he admitted years later. ''I liked fast horses, fast autos, fast airplanes. I had too many friends who helped me spend.''
• • Often photographed in a ringsize seat, the daughter of "Battling Jack" also befriended other black pugilists such as Chalky Wright and Joe Louis.
• • Jones died at age 75 in January — — on 4 January 1982. After Mae's death, it's said he lost the will to live.
• • On 4 January 1934 in The Los Angeles Times • •
• • Always a champion of the underdog, in October 1933 Mae West had called on Jim Rolph, governor of California, to block the extradition of union leader and film projectionist C.D. Cooper, who turned out to be an escaped inmate from South Carolina. The convict's real name was Ben Jones.
• • Mae West wrote to Gov. Rolph in a playful but earnest way: "Now, Jim, you know that I know men
— — and if there ever was a man who appeared innocent it is Jones. In Ben Jones we have an example of a useful citizen and a job awaits him here."
• • Mae's involvement resulted in a number of follow-up articles. One news item about Ben Jones's situation (after Mae's outreach to the governor) ran in the L.A. Times and was printed on 4 January 1934.
• • On 4 January 2004 in Philadelphia • •
• • Elsa Schiaparelli's involvement with film and theater costume was as remarkable as her fashion line. Her designs appeared in over thirty motion pictures, including "Every Day's a Holiday" starring Mae West and "Moulin Rouge" with Zsa Zsa Gabor.
• • Her first major retrospective exhibition was arranged to illustrate the ways in which her creations mirrored the social, political, and cultural climate of her times and it was held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
• • "Shocking!" The Art and Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli began on 28 September 2003 in The City of Brotherly Love. The final day of this colorful display was in early January
on 4 January 2004.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I take it out in the open and laugh at it."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A brief bit on the upcoming election mentioned Mae West.
• • Clarissa Pinkola Estes writes: Maybe Iowa was interesting once. But now, I wouldnt care if it was dems or repubs… the lineup is like watching third string green shirts/ blue shirts hyped as ‘superbowl.’ That’s pathetic, and Iowa now, is like watching reruns, bad ones, over and over. And over. So over. Re: the ‘lineup, I feel like Mae West (lol) … For gosh sake, give me a REAL MAN!! . . .
• • Source: Column: "Iowa, Whatever" written by Clarissa Pinkola Estes for The Moderate Voice; posted on 4 January 2012
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2166th 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 • • in 1936 • •
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