Thursday, February 02, 2012

Mae West: Ted Oliver

An actor who was featured in "Klondike Annie" [1936], a motion picture starring MAE WEST, was born on the second day of February.
• • Ted Oliver [2 February 1892 30 June 1957] • •
• • With a birthname like Virgil Kinely Oliver, it is no wonder the aspiring thespian would change his first name to Ted. Born in Henderson, Kentucky on Tuesday, 2 February 1892, Ted Oliver launched his screen career during the silent era. His first motion picture was "Daring Days" [1925], directed by John B. O'Brien; one of the stars was Edward Hearn, a longtime friend of Mae's.
• • Between 1925 — 1950, the character actor found work in 102 films, often in an action scene that required him to wear a uniform such as a police officer, motorcycle cop, jail guard, turnkey, sergeant, state trooper, chauffeur, counterman, and the like. He played Grigsby in "Klondike Annie."
• • Ted Oliver died in Los Angeles, California on Sunday, 30 June 1957. He was 65.
• • Auction ends on Thursday, 2 February 2012 • •
• • An autographed 8" X 10" of Mae West is estimated to go for no less than $250 today when the auction concludes in The City of Brotherly Love. There are over three dozen signed items under the heading of "American & British Motion Picture & Stage Performers" and you must pre-register in order to bid.
• • Auction is today at Freeman's: 1808 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103.
• • On Wednesday, 2 February 1927 in The N.Y. Times • •
• • Pole-vaulted out of the ghetto of the clubby entertainment section, Mae West suddenly became notoriously noteworthy in national news headlines on Wednesday, 2 February 1927 in The New York Times (and elsewhere).
• • On Tuesday, February 1st at 5:00 AM, the Brooklyn bombshell was arrested along with her sister and the director Edward Elsner in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
• • According to The New York Times: Edwin [sic] Elsner of New York, stage director of "The Drag," which opened here last night, and Miss Beverly West of New York, sister of Mae West, author of the play, were arrested at 5:30 o'clock this morning in Miss West's room at the Arcade Hotel and will be arraigned in the City Court on Wednesday on technical charges of breach of the peace.
• • The arrest at the Arcade Hotel is dramatized in the play "Courting Mae West." Beverly's drunken antics and Mae's strategies are featured in Act I, Scene 2 in this serious-minded comedy based on true events.
• • On Thursday, 2 February 1933 with Rudy Vallee • •
• • The collection "Mae West Original Radio Broadcasts" includes her rendition of "Frankie and Johnny" which was aired on "The Rudy Vallee Show" on Thursday, 2 Febru­ary 1933.
• • On Wednesday, 2 February 1938 in Variety • •
• • Though "Every Day's a Holiday" did not do big numbers in certain cities, ticket receipts totaling $57,000 at the box office in New York City would indicate that Mae West definitely attracted a full house in her hometown.
• • Variety's headline was "Benny GoodmanWest Boffo B'way for $57,000" [Variety Magazine on 2 February 1938].
• • On Wednesday, 2 February 2005 • •
• • An article "It's as all-American as chop suey" written by Michael Luo for New York Times News Service and printed on 2 February 2005 mentioned that Madame Wu's Garden in Los Angeles was a favorite of Mae West as well as Cary Grant.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "She who hesitates is a damned fool."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Two people interested in the San Fernando Valley discussed John Indrisano's extramarital affair with Mae West, for whom the ex-boxer left his wife.
• • Mae West gave her 32-year-old lover a bit part in "Every Day's a Holiday" [1937].
• • John Indrisano [1905 — 1968] was 62 years old when he hung himself in his San Fernando Valley home [on 9 July 1968].
• • Joan Vardaro McMillan wrote to Kevin Roderick and he posted their exchange under this heading — — "Mae West and [Joan's] grandfather."
• • Joan's letter to Kevin Roderick: I LOVE your book and website. I'm writing a memoir of my Italian-American childhood in the San Fernando Valley (covering the years 1959 up until 1968). My grandfather, John Indrisano, had a long-standing relationship with Mae West, for whom he left my grandmother. My family lived on Bahama Street in Sepulveda (now North Hills, of course). My mother said that Mae West had a home just around the corner from us (maybe on Rayen Street, not sure). We once or twice saw Mae's sister, Beverly West, being driven to the house in a big Cadillac. Do you know the actual name of the home? I just remember it as Mae West Ranch. It had a huge brick fence walling the property off from the other homes. Thanks! Maybe you can point me in someone's direction if you don't know. — — Ciao, Joan Vardaro McMillan
• • Kevin Roderick's reply to Joan • •
• • Thanks. Sounds like the makings of a great story, Joan. I don't know anything about Mae West's home in that area, just that she was a prominent Valleywood rancher and landowner. A quick check of the gossip columns finds mentions of her running a Valley ranch for trotting horses in 1935, and in 1938 she bought fifty acres in El Otono Estates, which was either in today's Canoga Park, West Hills or Woodland Hills. That year, the city planning commission turned down Mae's request to open a diner on the triangle of land formed by Van Nuys Boulevard, Chandler Boulevard and Circle Drive. She still owned corner in 1951. ...
• • "The San Fernando Valley: America's Suburb," researched and written by Kevin Roderick, was first published in 2001.
• • Source: Posted on 2 February 2006 on The Valley Observed web site
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2196th 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:

Source: to Google 
• • Photo: • • Mae West's married lover • John Indrisano • •
 • • Feed — —
Mae West.


  1. Anonymous5:43 PM

    Re: Mae West home on Rayen St. in Sepulveda.
    I lived down the street from the home. I believe it was called Palm Tree Ranch due to the Palms that were planted surrounding the property. I lived in that neighborhood from 1964 until 1979 and during that time I believe Mae's sister lived in the home.
    Tammy R.

  2. Anonymous3:21 AM

    Tammy - Howdy Neighbor. May West actually lived on Gloria Street and Parthenia Street - Her Brother and or sister, probably both, lived on the Palm Ranch property on Rayen and Gloria --- The little wash at the end of Gloria, is where me and the boys and girls hung out, day and night and the wash bordered the last east part end of the brothers property... We saw the brother and his large pet desert Tortoise and some other animals often... As`kids, we saw May West on occasion as well... I lived on Londelius Street and Gloria from 1960 until 1979...Now live out in Santa Clarita, but I do drive by the old stomping grounds every few years, to rekindle the mostly good childhood memeories - Steve

  3. Anonymous1:35 PM

    I lived on Gresham & Gloria across from the wash entrance where we played as kids from 1960-69'. I remember feeding apples to a horse on the ranch, but other than that, the place was overgrown and mysterious.

    Steve, you mention Mae West herself lived on Gloria & Parthenia street. I had a childhood friend who lived on the NW corner of Gloria & Parthenia in a magnificent, huge house...I wonder if that's the house you are referring to. It was older and way upscale from the plain houses in the neighborhood around it. The house has been replaced, as I see on Google Maps.

    Billy Barty lived about 2 blocks south of Parthenia, we went to his house and got his autograph...nice guy.

    - Jon

  4. Ellie4:50 AM

    I can show you how to get there,from Sunset Blvd. my Godfather Uncle Johnnie took me there several times. Mae was very beautiful, My mom said that Uncle Johnnie bought that property for her cause he was blinded in LOVE and he was. I was about 10 yrs old he had a house on a hillside just east of the HOLLYWOOD Sign but west of Maes house off of Sunset Blvd. Ellie

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  6. I lived at 16013 Rayen st., Sepulveda, ca. Directly across from Mae West sister. Palm Tree Ranch. White brick walls and palm trees. Mae West visited many-a-sunday. For at a good 2 years. I would play out front knowing she'd be arriving soon. My dad was pretty good friends with the man who lived there. I guess he was Mae's sisters driver (?). She was tall, slender, long blond hair pulled back. Now the property is an apartment complex I think. I went to gledhill elementary, my bro went to holmes jr.high and Monroe high!