Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mae West: Eddie Butler

MAE WEST was delightful in "My Little Chickadee" [1940], a motion picture that gave many character actors a chance for a credit and a payday.
• • Eddie Butler, who played a henchman, was born in Mae's hometown, New York City, on 5 July 1888.  He was seen in only one other film "Bullets or Ballots" (as Garber) in 1936. The 52-year-old added his presence to Chickadee's Old West setting of poker players, saloons, sheriffs, mean hombres, and blazing guns.
• • Just as he was getting to know the casting directors, Eddie Butler died in Hollywood on 31 May 1944.  He was 55.
• • Charles Pierce [14 July 1926 — 31 May 1999] • •
• • Charles Pierce was a popular impressionist who often did Mae West. Perhaps to cover up his own inadequacies with a script, he would often draw attention to Mae's false teeth in his act or don a foolish hat with a silly feather dangling from it, which he'd blow out of his way as if to say, "See what I have to put up with when they dress me as Mae!"
• • Born in Watertown, New York, Charles Pierce was known for many eerily convincing imitations of popular motion pictures actresses. Eschewing the term drag queen, which he found incorrect and demeaning, he billed himself as a male actress.
• • Breaking in by doing small gay clubs in New York City, Pierce watched his fame spread. When he relocated to San Francisco, California, his act became well-known to Hollywood stars. His imitations were even mimicked by other female impersonators. Along with his Mae West impression, his roles included Bette Davis, Tallulah Bankhead, Gloria Swanson, Carol Channing, Katharine Hepburn, and Joan Crawford — — which became the drag queen canon.
• • Charles Pierce died in North Hollywood, California on the last Monday in May in 1999.  He was 72.
• • On Monday, 31 May 1999 • •
• • There was a 30-minute episode "Mae West" on TV's E! Mysteries & Scandals: Season 2, Episode 14. It aired on Monday, 31 May 1999.
• • On Tuesday, 31 May 2011 • •
• • On the BBC's "The World Accordion to Phil," Scots accordionist Phil Cunningham featured the vaudeville accordionist who secretly married Mae West. This TV episode was first broadcast on Tuesday, 31 May 2011, in the UK. You can watch it online.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "It takes two to get one in trouble."  
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article by a theatre critic in California discussed Mae West.
• • Jeff Smith wrote: Mae West became such a fixture in pop culture the military named the first vest-sized life preserver after her. The yellow B-3, used throughout World War II, got its name because when someone inflated it, they grew as endowed as the platinum star of stage and screen.
• • Jeff Smith wrote: West danced to a different drummer all her life with all her heart. After the First World War, when thin became in, flappers called for straight lines as skinny as the cigarettes women now smoked in public. West, who bucked tradition and trends (and who claimed to have been Catherine the Great in a previous life), did a 180. She bulked up and put her unrepressed sexuality centerstage, decked in diamonds and laced with one-liners that, like Oscar Wilde's, summed up an entire way of life.
• • Jeff Smith wrote: "It's good girls who keep diaries," she said. "Bad girls never have the time." . . .
• • Source: Review: "Theatre" written by Jeff Smith for San Diego Reader; published on 27 May 2012 
By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2317th 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 • Flower Belle Lee • •
• •
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