Among her favorite sayings was “I'm not MAE WEST, but I do my best!'' — — and fun-loving Dolly French, who wore a crown when she was honored at the Belknap County Nursing Home (Laconia, N.H.) this week on her 100th birthday, had a lot of candles to deal with.
• • If anyone knows when, where, or why this interesting phrase got started — — "I'm not Mae West, but I do my best" — — come up and cue us.
• • Tammany Young [9 September 1886 — 26 April 1936] • •
• • Born in New York City on 9 September 1886, Tammany Young appeared on Broadway during the Prohibition Era and acquired the rep of being a “good luck actor” by Broadway producers. Consequently, he was often cast in bit parts by the likes of the Shubert brothers, Jed Harris, and David Belasco as a way of attracting prosperity and good fortune to their theatrical productions. This high regard paid off and Alex Gard drew his likeness for Sardi's restaurant.
• • In Hollywood, Young started out in silent films and then was cast in talkies. Although frequently uncredited, he eventually appeared in over 100 movies with such stars as Mae West, Myrna Loy, Bing Crosby, Shirley Temple, and Judy Garland.
• • In "She Done Him Wrong," Tammany Young portrayed the colorful Chuck Connors, who had been a well-known figure on the Bowery. On Broadway, Mae West had cast Chuck Connors, Jr. in the role of his father Chuck Connors in "Diamond Lil" for an air of authenticity.
• • Tammany Young was known most notably for his role as the stooge (straight man) to W.C. Fields with whom he appeared in seven films between 1925 — 1936.
• • The actor was an infamous gate crasher as well. By claiming to be an ice man, he worked his way into the 1921 Dempsey — Carpentier prize fight in New Jersey, for instance; in 1932 he nudged his way into the Los Angeles Olympics. These exploits often popped up in the columns of sportswriters who knew him.
• • During the month of April — — on Sunday, 26 April 1936 — — Tammany Young died in his sleep in Hollywood at the age of 49. At the news of Young's untimely demise in California, W.C. Fields became severely depressed and stopped eating and sleeping. One wonders: did Fields also stop drinking while in mourning?
• • On Monday, 26 April 1926 on Broadway • •
• • Written by "Jane Mast" and starring Mae West as Margy LaMont, "Sex" opened in April — — on Monday, 26 April 1926. The Broadway debut occurred a few blocks north of Columbus Circle at Daly’s 63rd Street Theatre, the only playhouse available at the time. "Mae played a Canadian woman," noted Playbill, "with no time for those Mounties."
• • The N.Y. Daily News sent a reviewer who wrote: "Most of the 'Sex' appeal falls to the talents of Mae West, a vaudeville actress who somewhat resembles Texas Guinan."
• • On Friday, 26 April 1935 in the L.A. Examiner • •
• • This article appeared on Friday, 26 April 1935 in the Los Angeles Examiner: Louella O. Parsons wrote "Eva Tanguay Backs Mae in Dispute Over Husband." Notice the timing of Louella's supportive article and Mae's appearance on her radio program on April 26th. Hmmmm.
• • Hollywood Hotel on Friday, 26 April 1935 • •
• • The popular star of Paramount Pictures rarely appeared on radio. When she did, the sole purpose was to promote one of her motion pictures. Mae West had guest-starred on The Shell Chateau with Al Jolson in 1936 and also on Louella Parsons’ blackmailing program Hollywood Hotel on 26 April 1935, with featured guest Paul Cavanagh in an adaptation of her (then most current) screen gem: "Goin’ to Town."
• • On Sunday, 26 April 1936 in Virginia • •
• • It was on a Sunday, 26 April 1936 in Arlington, Virginia, that a fascinating double feature was offered at the State Theatre: Mae West in “Klondike Annie” and Charlie Chaplin in “Modern Times.”
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly."
• • Mae West said: "That's the ninth man since January I'm supposed to have been married to."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An interview with Janet Jackson mentioned Mae West.
• • Michael A. Gonzales wrote: The first time I ever saw Janet Damita Jo Jackson was years before she became a superstar. It was the winter of 1974 and the seven-year-old was comic relief during the Jackson Five's world tour. Dressed in a pint-sized Bob Mackie sequined gown, the cinnamon-skinned child stood before the sold-out audience of 5,000 screaming fans inside Radio City Music Hall, in New York, and performed skits with her brother Randy.
• • Michael A. Gonzales wrote: The youngest of nine brothers and sisters, hailing from the blue-collar community of Gary, Indiana, the little girl performed impersonations of Cher and Mae West to perfection.
• • Michael A. Gonzales wrote: 'Come up and see me sometime,' she said, rocking back and forth, as the audience laughed and clapped.
• • Michael A. Gonzales wrote: 'My father wanted me to be in the show,' says Janet Jackson today. 'I really didn't have much of a say in it. I can't remember whose idea it was that I do Mae West, but it was Michael who worked with me to get it right.' . . .
• • Source: Article: "'I eat to fill the void': Janet Jackson interview" written by Michael A. Gonzales for The Telegraph [U.K.]; published on 22 November 2010
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2282nd 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 • • 1932 • •
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NYC Mae West.