Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Mae West: Marion Gates

Marion Gates made her Broadway debut in "Diamond Lil" starring MAE WEST.
• • "Diamond Lil," revived by George Brandt at the Broadway Theatre, opened on 14 September 1951. After 67 performances, the show closed on 10 November 1951.
• • Born in Cape Cod, Massachusetts in the month of March — — on 6 March 1931 — — Marion Gates was 20 years old when she was cast in the role of Barbara.
• • Nicknamed "Skeeter," she was the daughter of two retired vaudeville actors Charles Gates Breckle and Marian Finlay Gates Breckle, who owned and operated the Theater Package Store in Buzzards Bay from 1944 until the early 1960s.
• • In 1949, she graduated from Wareham High School. Then she went to New York to study at the American Academy of Dramatic Art.
• • She wed actor Jerry Fujikawa [1912 — 1983], and the couple relocated to the West Coast and raised three children. Marion Gates Fujikawa was a resident of Los Angeles for close to five decades and died at Sycamore Park Convalescent in Los Angeles from Alzheimer's disease on 6 July 2010. She was 79.

• • Rochelle Hudson [6 March 1914? — 17 January 1972] • •
• • Thanks to Mae West, movie-buffs will never forget Rochelle Hudson, who played Sally Glynn on the 1933 classic "She Done Him Wrong." We're thinking about her because she was born in March — — on 6 March perhaps in 1914.
• • Unfortunately, skidrow barrooms saw far too many desperate girls like Sally Glynns.
• • Oklahoma City native Rochelle Hudson [6 March 1914? — 17 January 1972] was active in the entertainment scene from the 1930s—1960s.
• • Rochelle Hudson's career began when a friend of her mother's, who had connections with the studio of 20th Century Fox, got the 16-year-old signed to a contract in 1930. At first, the teenager was trained by Fox's voice coach, who then farmed her out for singing work on radio and voice-overs in Warner Brothers' popular cartoon "Bosko." Hudson's first flicker of credit on the silver screen, on loan to RKO Pictures, was as Carmen in "Fanny Foley Herself" [1931].
• • Often shoe-horned into sunny girl-next-door parts, Hudson was also effectively cast as tomboys and slatterns.
• • By December 1932, Rochelle Hudson (now in Paramount's hands) got her chance to walk into Suicide Hall — — Gus Jordan's saloon — — and leave an indelible impression on celluloid.
• • As in Mae's play, Sally Glynn enters with torn clothes. In silhouette, she attempts suicide but is prevented, and brought to Lady Lou's boudoir upstairs to recover. Intuitively, Mae West's character senses this is a romantic problem. When Sally wonders how she knows it is man-woe, Lady Lou replies: "You know, it takes two to get one in trouble."
• • Lou asks: "What was he? Married?"
• • Sally replies: "Yes, but I didn't know."
• • Lou explains: "Men's all alike — — married or single. It's their game. I happen to be smart enough to play it their way. You'll come to it."
• • Ever optimistic, Lady Lou suggests that Sally gets a new wardrobe and a change of attitude: "Always remember to smile. You'll never have anything to worry about. Forget about this guy. See that you get a good one the next time."
• • Sally frets that she's a goner: "Who'd want me after what I've done?"
• • Lou replies: "Listen, when women go wrong, men go right after them."
• • Lou explains to Gus Jordan, Serge Stanieff, and Russian Rita what the commotion was: "Some guy done her wrong. The story's so old it should have been set to music long ago."
• • After doing herself credit as the wretched luckless Sally, Rochelle Hudson went forward to co-star in "Wild Boys of the Road" [1933], portray Cosette in "Les Misérables" [1935], and play Natalie Wood's mother in the iconic "Rebel Without a Cause" [1955].
• • Notable roles for Rochelle Hudson also included: Claudette Colbert's adult daughter in "Imitation of Life" [1934]; Richard Cromwell's love interest in the Will Rogers (a fellow Oklahoman) showcase "Life Begins at 40" [1935]; and the daughter of carnival barker W.C. Fields in "Poppy" [1936].
• • Man woes pursued her in real life, though; she went to the altar four times.
• • After her heyday in the 1930s, Rochelle Hudson's career dwindled into "B"-picture leads. TV kept her busy for awhile. She co-starred on the 1954 sitcom "That's My Boy" and made appearances in many anthology series.
• • In 1967, she retired from show business for good and used her contacts as a real estate agent to the stars.
• • Pneumonia and a love for the bottle hastened an early sunset. Rochelle Hudson died on 17 January 1972 in Palm Desert, California when she about 57.
• • On Sunday, 6 March 2005 in The N.Y. Times • •
• • Although the literary Sherlock Holmes never came to New York, Basil Rathbone, his great portrayer was once arrested in the city, explained Michael Pollak.
• • In the short item "Egad, Holmes! To Jail?" N.Y. Times columnist Michael Pollak wrote: The night of Feb. 9, 1927, the management and press having been alerted, the police went to the theater and politely arrested Basil Rathbone and 10 other cast members of "The Captive." Bail was quickly posted, and Rathbone escaped jail by promising not to perform in the production again.
• • Michael Pollak continued: Two things particularly irked Rathbone, he wrote later. One was the censorship. The other was that in the public's mind, he and the production had been equated with Mae West, who had been arrested the same night along with much of the cast of "Sex." . . .
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Stay young, ladies — — even if you have to change your birth dates in the family Bible. Have your face lifted if necessary."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article about Debbie Reynolds mentioned Mae West.
• • Fielding Buck wrote: Debbie Reynolds brings Hollywood to Sturges Center. ... After that, Reynolds returned to her normal voice, familiar from her “perky” roles in MGM musicals of the 1950s and comedies of the 1960s. “It’s from working with stars. I started doing impressions. You hear them every moment, every day for months and months. … And then I always loved Mae West, so I just did her because I loved her voice. I do a lot of people. I do anybody. Name it, I’ll do it. Barry Fitzgerald … Liberace … Zsa Zsa Gabor… Paris Hilton.” ...
• • Source: Article: "Debbie Reynolds is bringing her variety show to San Bernardino on Saturday" written by Fielding Buck, Staff Writer for InLandSoCal; published on 29 February 2012
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2230th 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/
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • 1951 • •
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Mae West.

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