Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mae West: Hollywood Heritage

Steve Stoliar, Groucho's personal secretary, enjoyed spending quality time with MAE WEST, Zeppo, Gummo, George Burns, Bob Hope, Jack Lemmon, S.J. Perelman, Steve Allen, and scores of other luminaries of stage, screen, TV, and literature. He will be sharing those memories with an audience this evening at the Hollywood Heritage Museum.
• • Theme for the event on Wednesday, 14 March 2012 is "Remembering Groucho Marx."
• • His publicity material explains that Steve Stoliar is the author of the bittersweet memoir "Raised Eyebrows: My Years Inside Groucho's House," about which, Woody Allen wrote: "It's one of the best books about a show-business icon I've ever read. It makes Groucho live so much more than the conventional bios." Steve was a young Groucho Marx fan(atic) who landed the plum job of working in the home of the legendary comedian as Groucho's personal secretary and archivist.
• • WHERE: Hollywood Heritage Museum, 2100 North Highland Avenue, Hollywood, CA 90068; T. (323) 874-2276
• • WHEN: Wednesday, 14 March 2012 from 7:30 pm to11:00 pm.
• • Diane Arbus [14 March 1923 — 26 July 1971] • •
• • In 1964, Diane Arbus [14 March 1923 — 26 July 1971] flew to Los Angeles. Her buddy Robert Brown chauffeured her to Mae West's beach house on two successive days.
• • After the session, Mae handed Diane a C-note, saying, "Thanks, honey." This was a habit dating back to the 1930s when the Paramount Pictures star would tip still photographers who snapped her on the set. [Diane returned the $100 with a gracious note.]
• • When the sharply focused black and white portraits appeared in print, however, Mae found them harsh, ugly, pitiless and directed her attorneys to sue the publisher. Her lawyers fired off a letter, calling the Mae layout "unflattering, cruel, and not at all glamourous."
• • Until Saturday, 14 March 1914 • •
• • During a well-documented divorce drama in 1935, Frank Wallace's lawyers claimed that the vaudeville hoofer was living, as man and wife, with Mae West from the time of their Milwaukee wedding on 11 April 1911 until Saturday, 14 March 1914. The choice of that date was quite peculiar. In 1914, Mae West was married to Guido Deiro and touring with him in vaudeville, with bookings for 40 weeks that year.
• • On Saturday, 14 March 1914 in The Columbus Ledger • •
• • Throughout 1914 Mae and Guido were engaged jointly as headliners on the Loew circuit. They were touring in Columbus, Ohio in mid-March when they teasingly circulated the rumor that the accordionist was really "Count Deiro" — — hey, anything to attract a reporter and set yourself apart. The spoof worked and they got a write-up in The Columbus Ledger, on Saturday, 14 March 1914.
• • Maybe Frank Wallace saw that very newspaper.
• • On Saturday, 14 March 1936 in Motion Picture Herald • •
• • An article about "Klondike Annie" (and the censorship battles over the film) was featured in Motion Picture Herald in their issue dated for 14 March 1936.
• • On Sunday, 14 March 1937 • •
• • It was Sunday, 14 March 1937 when Mae West signed a check (number 581) from her account at California Bank to Mr. William Mutara for his salary for the week of March 14th, 1937; the amount was $24.75. This check was sold to a collector for $96.
• • "Sex" in Seattle 'til 14 March 1998 • •
• • "Sex," written by Mae West and directed by Ed Hawkins, was onstage in Seattle during March 1998. Staged at the Annex Theatre, 1916 Fourth Avenue, Seattle, WA, the final performance was on Saturday, 14 March 1998.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Good sex is like good bridge. If you don't have a good partner, you'd better have a good hand.”
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article about Adolph Zukor mentioned his guest Mae West.
• • James A. Frank wrote: About half an hour north of New York City, on the other (western) side of the Hudson River in New York’s Rockland County, sits a private club that until recently was called Dellwood. The property used to be owned by Adolph Zukor, who rose from poor Hungarian immigrant to founder of Paramount Pictures.
• • James A. Frank wrote: After buying the property in 1918, Zukor named it Mountain View Farm as the land rolled over several hundred acres and featured broad views of the Ramapo Mountains and the Palisades. Although he couldn’t see the river, Zukor may have escaped Manhattan by sailing up the Hudson to a nearby dock.
• • James A. Frank wrote: Among the buildings Zukor added was a small movie theater where he held private screenings. He threw lavish parties and entertained many stars of the day, from Charlie Chaplin to Mae West. Thomas Alva Edison was not only a close friend but he introduced Zukor to A.W. Tillinghast, who the golf-mad movie mogul hired to turn a nine-holer on the property into an 18-hole layout. . . .
• • Source: Article: "Paramount Country Club: Tillinghast 'Hidden Gem' To Be Restored" written by James A. Frank for; posted on 14 March 2011
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2238th 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 • 1914 • •
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