One of the luxuries of working for a newspaper based in South Florida is that I know I can make an allusion to MAE WEST and not leave most of my readers scratching their heads, remarked the very talented political cartoonist Chan Lowe.
• • In case you missed one day of enjoying the Sun Sentinel, here is Chan Lowe's cheeky chuckle at the Secret Service prostitute scandal [from 16 April 2012]. Too too marvelous!
• • Grace La Rue [23 April 1880 — 12 March 1956] • •
• • Born in Kansas City, Missouri in the month of April — — on 23 April 1880 — — Grace La Rue (birthname Stella Gray) was a singer and a major musical comedy star during the first two decades of the 20th century. In "The Honeymoon Express" the winsome actress introduced the song "You Made Me Love You (I Didn't Want to Do It)" to an enraptured British audience at the London Palace on 4 August 1913.
• • During the Broadway run of that musical, however, cast member Al Jolson recorded that song for Columbia Records. During the number onstage one evening, Jolson went down on one knee and cried: “Gimme, gimme, what I cry for.” This created a sensation. When the audience wouldn’t let him sing anything else, he gave them one chorus after another — — even dismissing the cast altogether while Gaby Deslys was still on stage. The exasperated French diva quit the Winter Garden show, and Grace La Rue replaced her.
• • In 1919, Grace starred in "That's Good" and then wed her cast-mate, actor Hale Hamilton. The happy couple toured together in vaudeviille.
• • Retired and residing in California, Grace LaRue — — age 48 — — made a brief appearance as Frances in "She Done Him Wrong"  as a personal favor to Mae West.
• • Grace La Rue died in Burlingame, California on 12 March 1956. She was 75.
• • On Tuesday, 23 April 1935 in The Hollywood Reporter • •
• • A review of "Goin' to Town" appeared in The Hollywood Reporter in their issue dated for 23 April 1935.
• • On Tuesday, 23 April 1935 • •
• • They were black and white and read all over. In 1935, April's newspapers were peppered with spicy headlines about the actress's private life that probably caused a headache (if not also a certain degree of heartburn). The cover of the New York Herald wiggled its weight in woe at the city's citizens: "Actor who Claims He Is Star's Ex-husband Bares Story of Romance" [on Tuesday, 23 April 1935]. Not to be outdone, the Los Angeles Examiner blasted out some immensely unflattering photos along with this cover feature: "Dancer's Story of Marriage Irks Film Star" [25 April 1935]. Mae would definitely have preferred being paired with a chimpanzee rather than a balding, skinny, unprepossessing ex-vaudevillian looking down at his threadbare socks in April 1935.
• • On Sunday, 23 April 2006 • •
• • Voice of America featured "Mae West: The Wild Woman of Film and Stage" on Sunday, 23 April 2006.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said (to director Henry Hathaway): "Nobody gets laughs in my pictures but me, see?"
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article in Perth, Australia mentioned Mae West.
• • Sunday Times wrote: "Mae West is as great a favorite with a section of the world's reading public as she is with motion picture audiences, it was revealed recently on the arrival in Hollywood of the president of the company acting as her publishers.
• • Sunday Times wrote: The president journeyed from his New York headquarters to present her with the first copy of the British edition of her novel, "She Done Him Wrong," and to get her signature on a contract for translation of the same book into French. The demand for Miss West's book made it necessary to start foreign translations, as well as having special editions ordered in England.
• • Sunday Times wrote: "She Done Him Wrong," the novel based on Miss West's picture, which skyrocketed her to film fame, already is one of the world's best-sellers, and nearly a million copies have been sold. At present the star is at work on a new book, "How to Misbehave," and is contemplating novelising her original screen story, "I'm No Angel." If she finds time, it is expected that she will write a novel based on her screen drama of the Naughty Nineties, "It Ain't No Sin." . . .
• • Source: Article: "Mae West Achieves Fame With Her Books" written for The Sunday Times (Perth, Australia) and printed on page 7; published on Sunday, 22 July 1934
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2279th
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • 2012 by Chan Lowe • •
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NYC Mae West.