Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Mae West: Louis Giambalvo

The TV movie "MAE WEST" was broadcast in 1982, thirty years ago. Louis Giambalvo was cast in the role of George Kane.
• • Born in the Sunset Park area of Brooklyn, NY, Louis Giambalvo is celebrating a birthday today; his birthdate is on 8 February 1945. When he was in NYC, he was active in the Greenwich Village theatre circles. The actor is regularly seen on TV shows in guest roles as well as in motion pictures. In 1979, Louis Giambalvo moved to Los Angeles.
• • We hope Mr. Giambalvo is having an amazing birthday celebration today!
• • The cast for "Mae West" [1982] • •
• • Ann Jillian ... Mae West
• • James Brolin ... Jim Timony
• • Piper Laurie ... Matilda West
• • Roddy McDowall ... Rene Valentine
• • Louis Giambalvo ... George Kane
• • Chuck McCann ... W.C. Fields
• • Harold Fong [1911 — 1982] • •
• • Mae West was surrounded by a diverse number of nationalities when she filmed "Sextette" [1978].
• • Born in February — — on Wednesday, 8 February 1911 — — Harold Fong was seen briefly as the Chinese Kitchen Chef. A bit part player often cast as a menial or in an ethnic role, Fong was featured in 74 projects either on the small screen (in one TV series or another) as well as on the big screen such as: a naval aide, a Japanese, a clerk, or a captain of a patrol boat — — all of which he played in 1944 in Hollywood when he was 33 years old. His two final appearances were in "Up in Smoke" and "Sextette," both released in 1978, after which he retired.
• • On 1 June 1982, Harold Fong died in Los Angeles. He was 71. Unfortunately, little more is known. Nevertheless, it is still the right thing to give him his due here and memorialize his passing.
• • On Tuesday, 8 February 1927 • •
• • The date was Tuesday, on 8 February 1927. Mae had staged a midnight "sneak preview" of "The Drag" at Daly's 63rd Street Theatre, reported Variety Magazine; invited attendees included city officials and several respected physicians, who had been expected to give the play an endorsement.
• • Forty-one weeks into a sellout run of "Sex," Jimmy Walker happened to be out of town and the acting Hizzoner, holier-than-thou Joseph V. McKee, decided to send in the cops. Because of "holy Joe" getting her arrested, and brought to Jefferson Market's Police Court, Mae West wound up spending the night of February 9th in Jefferson Market Jail.
• • After a trial in the Jefferson Market Courthouse during March 1927, Mae West wound up convicted of "corrupting the morals of youth." She was sentenced to ten days in the Women's Workhouse on Welfare Island.
• • "I expect it will be the making of me," she told reporters, and it was: it made her a household name.
• • But "The Drag" died in Mae's dreams and did not open. Battling her with legal maneuvers, hefty fines, an expensive court battle, and dreadful jail cells, the censors and politicians made their point: there would be no gays on Broadway.
• • Dated for Friday, 8 February 1935 • •
• • Calling James A. Timony the manager of Mae West for 25 years, and the person who "guided her to success," The N.Y. Times's obituary for the Brooklynite also noted that he "received major credit for her development from a relatively obscure singer and dancer into an internationally known prototype of the American siren."
• • Clearly, their long-term arrangement took various forms during the 38 years of their partnership from 1916 — 1954. Each derived benefits from this relationship and one example is this signed check.
• • Dated for Friday, 8 February 1935, the $3,500 allowance to James Timony was his 10% commission on Mae's script for "Now I'm a Lady," sold to Paramount Pictures for $35,000. This was quite a sum in 1935 when most of the country was in the grip of the Great Depression.
• • On Monday, 8 February 1960 in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West got her star on the "Walk of Fame" at 1560 Vine Street on 8 February 1960.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "No gold-digging for me. I'll take diamonds! We may be off the gold standard someday."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article on local entertainment in Brisbane's cinema mentioned Mae West.
• • The Courier-Mail editors wrote this: The new star, Mae West, will be seen at the Tivoli to-morrow in "She Done Him Wrong." Curves, comedy, and song — — all Mae West's repertoire has been added to this gay story of a diamond-loving lady of the gay '90s. The "come up and see me sometime" girl is original and merry in a story she wrote herself, and her two songs, "Frankie and Johnny Were Lovers" and "Haven't Got No Peace of Mind," will also be heard. The cast includes Cary Grant, Owen Moore, Gilbert Roland, Noah Beery, and others. Mae West brings a totally new style of comedy to the screen, and "She Done Him Wrong" has been acclaimed wherever It has been screened.
• • Source: Article: "Tivoli Theatre" in The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld) on page 14; published on Thursday, 8 February 1934
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2203rd 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 • 1978 • •
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