This actor played General Sessions Judge George L. Donnellan, who presided over the 1927 trial of MAE WEST.
• • Born in New York as Aaron Frederic Franklyn on 15 October 1926, he worked in the cinema or in guest starring roles on television as Fredric Franklyn or Fred Franklyn. Between 1971 — 1984, he found his way into 21 productions, mostly for the small screen.
• • Viewers saw him in the 1982 TV movie "Mae West" as Judge Donnellan (credited as Fredric Franklyn) when he was 56 years old and at the end of his acting career.
• • Frederic Franklyn died in Los Angeles, California in March — — on Tuesday, 7 March 1989. He was 62 years old.
• • George L. Donnellan and Mae West • •
• • In July 1925, George L. Donnellan was the Democratic leader of the Tenth Assembly District and he had been a defense attorney since (at least) the early 1920s. Subsequently, he received an appointment to the bench.
• • During the trial in March 1927 and early April — — presided over by (now) Justice George L. Donnellan — — Mae West had argued in a written statement that her plays were a work of art. Her lawyers made a case that "Sex" was a morally instructive drama. Mae did not take the stand. At Jefferson Market Court, the magistrate had suggested a guilty verdict would be fitting, before the jurors went off to deliberate. Six hours later, the verdict came in. At her sentencing, Mae West was fined $500 and given 10 days to repent at an off-shore detention center.
• • In April 1927, twelve jurors found Mae West, James Timony, co-producer Clarence Morganstern, and also 19 members of the cast and crew guilty. "This trial occupied the attention of the entire country," Judge George Donnellan told the news media when all the defendants returned for sentencing. Denouncing the play "Sex" as "obscene and immoral," Donnellan emphasized that he wanted to demonstrate that New York is "the most moral city in the universe." The judge sentenced the defendants to 10 days in jail — — but then suspended the sentence for everyone except Mae West, Timony, and Morganstern.
• • The warden for the Women's Workhouse shortened her sentence by two days for good behavior.
• • The play "Courting Mae West: Sex, Censorship & Secrets" dramatizes the trial and the melee in court when the verdict is read aloud [in Act I, Scene 5].
• • Will Hays [5 November 1879 — 7 March 1954] • •
• • Will Hays did battle with Mae West, bleaching her scripts of fun and friskiness, and earning his title as the Hitler of Hollywood.
• • Born in Sullivan, Indiana, William Harrison Hays, Sr. [5 November 1879 — 7 March 1954], was the namesake of the Hays Code for censorship of American films, chairman of the Republican National Committee (1918–1921) and U.S. Postmaster General from 1921 to 1922.
• • The first president of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA), Will Hays began his new job, at a $100,000 annual salary, in the month of March — — on 6 March 1922.
• • After his retirement in 1945, Will H. Hays returned to his hometown in Indiana where he died in the month of March — — on 7 March 1954. He was 74.
• • Anthony Comstock [7 March 1844 — 21 September 1915] • •
• • Anthony Comstock [7 March 1844 — 21 September 1915] was a former United States Postal Inspector and politician dedicated to the ideas of Victorian morality. In 1873 Comstock created the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, an institution dedicated to supervising the morality of the public.
• • Wikipedia imprecisely states: "In his vigilant career, Comstock sought prosecutions against James Joyce, Theodore Dreiser, D. H. Lawrence [1885 — 1930], Mae West, radio programs, and true-detective magazines."
• • When Comstock died in 1915, however, 22-year-old Mae West was touring in vaudeville and had not written her plays yet. Instead it was John Sumner, who would assume Comstock’s mantle and carry on his work. Sumner was the Suppression of Vice rep who was around to cause trouble for Mae.
• • On 7 March 1934 in The Hollywood Reporter • •
• • The Hollywood Reporter (issue dated for 7 March 1934) reported that there were sixteen stories in the March 1934 Movie Mirror "and they all, individually, are worth the price of the magazine." Mae West appeared on the front cover of Movie Mirror. Inside, Harry Lang, the Boswell of Tinseltown, concluded his three-part series of the life story of Mae West. This fan magazine was 96 pages and cost a dime.
• • On 7 March 1936 in Kentucky • •
• • Frankfort, Kentucky — — The New Majestic Theater is showing Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy in "their funniest full-length riot," "The Bohemian Girl." The Grand presents Margaret Sullivan, James Stewart, and Ray Milland in "Next Time We Love," while Loew's Victory advertises Charlie Chaplin's (soon to be classic) "Modern Times," with Mae West's "Klondike Annie" coming soon. [Source: Evansville Courier & Press, 7 March 1936]
• • On Wednesday, 7 March 2007 • •
• • The Southeastern Theatre Conference devoted a session to "Interrupted Theatre" and the panel's topics included Mae West, The Living Theatre, and The Laramie Project at 4:00 pm on Wednesday, 7 March 2007.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Be a pal, ladies. If you're not, they'll find their pals elsewhere."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article about George Raft's suspension by Paramount mentioned Mae West.
• • The West Australian editors wrote: George Raft was suspended by Paramount Pictures for 10 weeks recently for walking off the set during the making of Mae West's fourth film "It Ain't No Sin," in which he was cast opposite Miss West. Roger Pryor was borrowed from Universal to fill the part allotted to Mr. Raft. Paramount executives stood by Miss West's claim that it would be fair play for Mr. Raft to support her, as she had taken a minor part in his first starring picture "Night After Night." This is the second time the studio has suspended Mr. Raft, the first being over his refusal to play a part in "The Story of Temple Drake" . . . .
• • Source: Article: "George Raft Refuses Part in Mae West Film" written by The West Australian editors and printed on page 3; published on Friday, 4 May 1934
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2231st 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: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • in court, 1927 • •
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