Monday, April 30, 2012

Mae West: Adolf Hitler

There is no indication that MAE WEST, whose mother was a German native, ever met Adolf Hitler [20 April 1889 — 30 April 1945].  Nevertheless, their names danced a bizarre tango in the press for a number of years.
• • As hot an issue as Hitler • •
• • It seems it was Variety's columnist "Land" whose provocative paragraph first linked the names of Mae West and Adolf Hitler in 1933.  "Land" wrote:  Needless to say this opus will scarcely get on the reformers' recommended lists.  But with the tide running the opposite way, perhaps the spleen of the moralists isn't such a factor right now. And anyway, Mae West is today the biggest conversation-provoker, free space grabber, and all-around box office bet in the country. She's as hot an issue as Hitler.  [Source: Variety, 17 October 1933.]
• • Mae's Best Bit-Ler • •
• • During the mid-1930s, a slim cartoon romance appeared entitled "Mae's Best Bit-Ler." The plain cardstock cover gave no indication what sort of peculiarity awaited inside. Printed by Tabasco Publishing Co., Havana, Cuba, the red booklet had 16 pages with the story printed on one side of the page in blue ink alternating between the front and back sheets. The narrative has Mae West involved with Hitler.  Here is one drawing showing the smitten tyrant and the curious movie star.
• • Hitler and Mae West — A Broadcast Cancelled • •
• • In 1935, this headline appeared in a newspaper in Melbourne, Australia: "Hitler and Mae West — A Broadcast Cancelled!" The article began: At the request of the Vice Consul for Germany, Dr. Koeltzoch, an imaginary conversation between Herr Hitler and Miss Mae West was not broadcast over the national network on Saturday night as had been arranged. "The proposed item was a brief sketch of the type often given on the vaudeville stage," the Victorian manager of the Australian Broadcasting Commission, Mr. T. W. Bearup, said to-day. "We did not believe anyone could take exception to it. But we cancelled it in deference to the wish of the consul." [The newspaper was dated Tuesday, 31 December 1935 when the dictator was alive.]
• • Should Mae West Marry Hitler? • •
• • During 1939 — 1945 the British tabloid, The Daily Mirror well and truly cornered the market in outlandish accounts and weird stories meant to amuse rather than to educate, and peculiar human interest stories. One early example was their front page headlines that wondered “What would have happened if Hitler had married Mae West?” — — jaw-dropping.  During the 1930s, a Los Angeles fan magazine also ran with this cover-line: "Should Mae West Marry Hitler?" Mind boggling.
• • Adolf Hitler ended his own life in Germany during the month of April.  Monday, 30 April 1945, was Walpurgisnacht. There had been ferocious street-to-street combat in Berlin and, when Soviet troops were within a block or two of the Reich Chancellery, Adolf Hitler and his bride Eva Braun committed suicide. The leader of the Nazi party was 56.
• • John Lorenz [6 December 1886 — 30 April 1972] • •
• • More than anything, variety artist Mae West wanted to be "in the legit" — — on The Gay White Way — — and Jesse Lasky gave her an opportunity. The extravaganza, produced by Ned Wayburn, Mae's dancing teacher, was titled "A La Broadway."
• • In 1911, Jesse Lasky opened the Folies-Bergere, a plush dinner theatre restaurant on West 46th Street and he cast a pretty 18-year-old Mae to appear in the revue along with a comedy duo, Cook and Lorenz.
• • John Lorenz was cast as Nick O'Teene in "A La Broadway." Born in Buffalo, NY on 6 December 1886, his Broadway career began in 1909 when he was attached to a musical comedy "The Motor Girl." After doing several shows, he took his final bows in "Ramshackle Inn," a farce, in 1944.
• • Lorenz seems to have teamed up with a mature performer James Cook by 1910 and they actively toured on the vaudeville circuit. Considered to be one of the "monarchs of minstrelsy," James Cook had done a blackface act in 1885 with Rankin's Minstrels. (Blacks were recognized as musicians of talent, due to the popularity of minstrel shows.) Additionally, James Cook was an early member of the White Rats. James Cook was cast as Jim Jamb in "A La Broadway" and he may have been cast in another production on the Gay White Way in 1932.
• • John Lorenz died in Paramus, New Jersey during April — — on Sunday, 30 April 1972.   He was 86.
• • On Monday, 30 April 1956 in N.Y. World-Telegram Sun • •
• • It was on Monday, 30 April 1956 that Robert W. Dana's felicitous coverage of "The Mae West Review" appeared.
• • Robert Dana's popular daily dish "Tips on Tables" was published in the now defunct New York World-Telegram and Sun.
• • His column "Mae West's Show Grows" [dated April 30th] indicated Dana had seen the routine previously.
• • Robert W. Dana wrote: The old belief that everything should be bigger and better — — a thought most forcefully pronounced by Hollywood trailers — — can be applied with forthright honesty to Mae West, who has returned to the Latin Quarter [in New York City on West 48th Street], where she scored heavily in the fall [sic] of 1954.  ...
• • On Wednesday, 30 April 1969 in Los Angeles • •
• • On Wednesday, 30 April 1969, on light blue note paper (engraved Miss Mae West at the top), the Hollywood icon took time out to send a warm letter to her cousin Tillie.
• • The Delker Family: Mae's mother Matilda (Delker) West had 5 siblings who emigrated from Germany to the USA together. By the time the family reached New York, they were Lutherans.  Her brother Carl Delker married Miss Mathilde Misdorn on 26 May 1889. Notice the reference to Mae's "Aunt Tillie," her mother's sister-in-law. [Also note the absence of the surname "Doelger." On Mae's marriage license in April 1911, her mother's maiden name was given as Matilda Dilker, probably a clerical error.]
• • Mae West wrote: Dear Tillie:  For a long time I have been wanting to write to you, and also send you these little gifts. Some years ago, I received them from Aunt Tillie Delker.  I believe they belonged to her daughter, our Cousin Eleanor.  I thought you might enjoy wearing them.  They are a lovely necklace of garnets and a cameo pin.  . . .
• • April 1978 in Club • •
• • An interview with Mae West appeared in the men's magazine Club.  The issue was dated April 1978 and the byline was Ellis Nassourin.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "It's all a lot of strudel."
• • Mae West said: "He's the kind of man a woman would have to marry to get rid of."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article on voices mentioned Mae West.
• • NPR stated:  Commentator Brian McConnachie has been asking listeners to describe in poetic language their impressions of famous voices.  In his last challenge, he asked listeners to describe the voices of Sean Connery, Bob Dylan, Odetta, and Mae West.  . . .
• • Source: Article: "Vocal Impressions: Hearing Voices, Round Four" written by NPR for the website NPR Radio; posted on 30 April 2007
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2286th 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 •  1934 • •
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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mae West: Jackie Searl

A young actor was featured in "My Little Chickadee" [1940] starring MAE WEST.  Do you recall Jackie Searl?
• • Born in Anaheim, California on 7 July 1921, John E. Searl began his silver screen resume with "Daughters of Desire" [1929], a silent movie, as Jackie Searl when he was a lad of eight.
• • The clean-cut freckled blond was a bratty counterpart to child actress Jane Withers. Cast in 94 productions for the cinema as well as in guest-starring bits on TV (1960 — 1969), Jackie found it easier to attract attention during the pre-WW2 era.
• • Jackie Searl continued playing secondary parts into his teens with roles in "Ginger" [1935], "Little Lord Fauntleroy" [1936], "That Certain Age" [1938] and "Small Town Deb" [1941].  He was seen in a minor role (Boy) in "My Little Chickadee" when he was 19.
• • Searl never made it as far as Freddie Bartolomew, who took the title role in "Little Lord Fauntleroy" — — a role once played on stage by a young Mae West.
• • After fulfilling his military obligations, Jackie Searl tried to recharge his Hollywood heyday. Then during the 1960s he made some inroads into small screen turf; he guest-starred on TV shows such as "Lassie," "Perry Mason," "Rawhide," and others.
• • Jackie Searl died in Tujunga, California in the month of April — — on Monday, 29 April 1991.  He was 69.
• •  Duke Ellington [29 April 1899 — 24 May 1974]  • •
• • On the birthday of Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington — — born at the end of April in Washington, D.C. — — it is interesting to recall how hard Mae West had to wrestle with Paramount Pictures to get the musician into her film "Belle of the Nineties."
• • Always the champion of the African-American talents she met, Mae insisted that the studio hire him to play and also appear in the movie. The studio didn't want to hire Ellington, at first, because they said the famed Cotton Club headliner would be "too expensive." When Paramount finally gave in to Mae, they agreed to let Ellington and his orchestra play — — however, they insisting on having all white musicians on the set.
• • Mae West marched into the head office at Paramount and said, "White men can't play black music in my picture!" And it was done. Ellington and his band were used and shown onscreen, thanks to Mae (who refused to budge on this).
• • "Belle of the Nineties" was in production from 19 March 1934 until June 1934.
• • Born in Washington, D.C. on 29 April 1899, Duke Ellington died on 24 May 1974 in New York City.   He was 75.
• • On Monday, 29 April 1935 in the Cornell Daily Sun • •
• • The caption read: Autograph seekers drive Miss Lyn Olson (above), 22-year-old beauty parlor operator of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, "crazy" because she resembles Mae West, blonde screen actress of many marriage licenses. And the Associated Press b/w photo reveals so startling a likeness that Lyn Olson could have had a second career as a Mae West look-alike.  Were Lyn's eyes blue, too? [Source: page 6 of Cornell Daily Sun, Volume 55, Issue 154, on Monday, 29 April 1935.]
• • On Friday, 29 April 1938 in the Boston Herald • •
• • Beantown readers were treated to this titillation on 29 April 1938, announced with a boldface headline:  Clutching, Squealing Crowd Greets Mae West with Mob Scene Here.
• • The Boston Herald reporter wrote: Complete with the publicized curves and husky, slurring accents that have made her practically a symbol of what she is pleased to call “the sex personality,” Mae West crashed into Boston yesterday morning through a clutching, squealing crowd of 3000 eager admirers who turned the South station into a mob scene.
• • The Boston Herald reporter noted: Cries of pain mingled with shouts of “There she is!” and “Give us a smile, Mae!” as the mob, in a surging onslaught, trampled on toes and barked shins to get closer to the object of it all. The plump blonde actress, in a trailing satin dress, with make-up thick on her features and a huge bunch of orchids clutched in a heavily jeweled hand, gave them the smile and was taken off to the Ritz-Carlton, where she is staying while appearing in person at the RKO Boston Theater this week.
• • On Saturday, 29 April 1950 in Pittsburgh • •
• • Pittsburgh's Mayor David Lawrence and Mae West shared the stage of the Nixon Theater on Saturday night, 29 April 1950, after the final performance of her play, "Diamond Lil." The 47-year-old playhouse was booked for bulldozing, making way for the new headquarters of the Aluminum Company of America.  Tsk.  But what do the citizens of Pittsburgh know about the magnificence of the theatre arts anyway?
• • On Sunday, 29 April 1984 in The N.Y. Times • •
• • N.Y. Times reporter Francis X. Clines was reviewing Peter Conrad's book and gave his 29 April 1984 column this spunky title: "Walt Whitman's and Mae Wests's New York."
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "A dame that knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• •  An article on broads mentioned Mae West.
• • Meta Wagner muses: It’s amazing to me how the quips Mae West famously uttered still serve as quotable quotes today: “Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?” “When I’m good, I’m very good, but when I’m bad, I’m better.” “A man in the house is worth two in the street.” Now, that’s a broad! . . .
• • Meta Wagner adds: Currently back on Broadway is "South Pacific," the World War II-themed musical that immortalized a catchy number "There Is Nothing Like a Dame." Mae West was a swell dame (not to mention a triple A-all-right broad).   . . .
• • Source: Article: "Vox Pop: Broads Don’t Blog, Especially in Haiku" written by columnist Meta Wagner for the website PopMatters; posted on 29 April 2008
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2285th 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 •  1940 • •
• •
Feed — —
Mae West.