Monday, August 20, 2012

Mae West: Kay Deslys

MAE WEST got on the wrong side of Gaby Deslys when they worked together in the show "Vera Violetta" in 1911.  But she got along fine with good-natured Kay Deslys in "Belle of the Nineties" [1934]. Kay, 34, was featured as a Beef Trust Chorus Girl.
• • The 5 March 1934 issue of The Hollywood Reporter announced this: Leo McCarey is searching for a Beef Trust chorus. Director wants a bulging line for the Mae West picture, "It Ain't No Sin." (The headline for this item was "Beef Trust Wanted.")
• • Kay Deslys [28 September 1899 — 15 August 1974] • •
• • Born as Kathleen M. Herbert in London, England on 28 September 1899, the pudgy performer started her career in her twenties at Hal Roach studios in short comedies and played Mrs. Hardy twice on celluloid opposite Laurel and Hardy. In 1941 she worked with W.C. Fields.
• • From 1924 — 1952, the five-foot-four actress was seen in 68 feature films. The roles she snagged included Melvin's Chubby Date, Big Bertha, Amazon Chorus Girl, Fat Woman, Beer Garden Waitress, Suffragist, Jail Matron, and a number of bit roles as bridesmaid, barmaid, moll, floozy, servant, girlfriend, wife, mother, and customer.
• • By the time Kay Deslys retired from the cinema in 1952, her obesity had affected her health.  She died in West Covina, Los Angeles due to congestive heart failure and cerebral vascular accident in the month of August — —  on 15 August 1974. She was 74
• • Virginia Hammond [20 August 1893 — 6 April 1972] • •
• • When Virginia Hammond was cast as Miss Plunkett in "Goin' to Town," the actress had often been hired to portray aristocratic types and snooty society dames — — the kind of woman who would read Town and Country Magazine, for instance.
• • She was born under the sign of Leo (birthdate 20 August 1893) in Staunton, Virginia and launched her career in Hollywood in 1916. After being cast in 46 motion pictures during two decades, she retired from the cinema in 1936.
• • Virginia Hammond died in Washington, D.C. on 6 April 1972. She was 78.
• • On Friday, 20 August 1915 in Variety • •
• • An article "May West in Pictures" (sic) appeared in Variety's issue dated for Friday, 20 August 1915.
• • Spelling her name Mae with a "y," Variety wrote: "May West, the vaudeville comedienne, has signed a contract with the U [Universal Pictures] to go to the coast for four weeks." 
• • Stills I've seen from this audition show Mae lying across a bed, looking frisky. Hmm.
• • On Friday, 20 August 1937 • •
• • The Argus wrote: A portion of the Warburton road, noted for its curves, was referred to as the Mae West stretch at the Transport Regulation Board's sitting yesterday, and Macedon was described as "a place of the elite."  ...
• • Source: Article: "Curved Road Known as Mae West Stretch" in The Argus (Australia) on page 9; published on Friday, 20 August 1937.
• • On Thursday, 20 August 1970 • •
• • Hollywood types received an invitation to "Sights and Sounds of Mae West" and the event was scheduled for Thursday, 20 August 1970.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "My second day on the island I received a request from a prison matron to visit the sick-wards. She told me that the patients were anxious to see me, many of them having cut my picture out of the newspapers. They were becoming excited and noisy, the matron said.  At first I disliked the idea of being on exhibition; but then I felt that if I could bring a little cheer to those unfortunates in the sick-ward, it would be rendering at least a small service to a part of the public that I am unable to serve on the stage. I was escorted to the sick-wards by two matrons and the warden. On the way, we passed the tiers of cells in the main prison. Suddenly there was a great uproar. Some one had passed the word along that I was coming through. Faces appeared at the barred doors and they shouted wildly in greeting."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article Mae West was asked to write ["Ten Days and Five Hundred Dollars"] about her jail term appeared in Liberty. There's an irony for you: incarceration and liberty.
• • Mae West wrote:  The court attendant leaned toward me and said, "Are you feeling all right, Miss West?"   I replied, "Quite all right."
• • Mae West explained:  He then escorted me to the side of the courtroom, through a cage effect, then out a door, where there were a few steps leading down to another door. That door was opened and two gentlemen who stood there said, "Right this way, Miss West."
• • Mae West continued: They were most courteous; they didn't want anything to happen to me before I got to Welfare Island, I guess. I was ushered into a waiting-room. There was a colored woman, with a gold badge, in charge.  . . .
• • Source: Article: "How I Was Jailed for Sex" written by Mae West for Liberty Magazine; published on 20 August 1927   
By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2401st 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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