Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mae West: Francis J. McDonald

MAE WEST starred in "Every Day's a Holiday" [1937] — — and Francis J. McDonald was seen as one of the henchmen. 
• • Francis J. McDonald [22 August 1891 — 18 September 1968] • •
• • Born in Bowling Green, Kentucky on 22 August 1891, Francis James McDonald was a stage actor who became involved in the cinema during the silent era in 1913 as a 22-year-old.  Two years later he married the versatile Australian actress Mae Busch [1891 — 1946]. Busy McDonald appeared in numerous silents, often in ethnic roles, and also returned to Broadway around 1918.
• • With his dark hair, pronounced nose, "dangerous" mustache, and ferret eyes, the five-foot-nine player was often cast as the villain, a combative character, an Indian, or a foreigner.  When talkies began, he was an experienced 37-year-old and continued working in either featured roles or bit parts (especially as a thug or henchman), and then later in guest-starring roles on TV.  Certain directors were fond of him, which kept him in demand from 1913 — 1965, when he participated in more than 350 productions.
• • Francis McDonald died in Hollywood in September — — 18 September 1968.  He was 77.
• • Jeremy Irons [born on 19 September 1948] • •
• • Born in Great Britain on Sunday, 19 September 1948, actor Jeremy Irons has been onstage and onscreen.  When he was starring in "Impressionism" with Joan Allen on Broadway in April 2009, he was interviewed about his private changing room.
• • Jeremy Irons remarked that Mae West had had this dressing room (when it was the Royale Theatre). He added, "There is a great spirit in here, and I love that sort of feeling of continuity." 
• • Happy Birthday to Jeremy Irons today.
• • On Friday, 19 September 1919 • •
• • It was on Friday, 19 September 1919 that Mae West was booked on the vaudeville circuit, where the New York City critics caught her 16-minute act. Showing off her figure in a dramatic black and white gown and one stunner made of silver shimmer, the 26-year-old performer selected three songs: "Laughing Water," "Yankee Boys Have Made a Wild French Baby Out of Me," and "Everybody Shimmies Now." Harris Music Publishers boasted in a short news article that they had published those songs.
• • Though Variety looked askance at one of Mae's more daring dance numbers, complaining that the movements were "a bit broad for vaudeville," the reviewer had to admit something. "Mae West shows a marked improvement in method and delivery," he wrote.
• • On Wednesday, 19 September 1928 • •
• • Variety used their hammer on Mae West more often than a judge uses a gavel. Variety published a review (on page 46) in their issue dated for Wednesday, 19 September 1928. The title was  "Oh, My Dear, Here's Mae West's New Show — Get a Load of It and Weep."  Weep for Diamond Lil? Thanks a heap, Variety.
• • On Wednesday, 19 September 1951 • •
• • In September 1951, the Mae West and W. C. Fields comedy "My Little Chickadee" was screened for Cornell University students and staff along with the Academy Award winning cartoon "Gerald McBoing-Boing" on Friday and Saturday (September 21st and 22nd) at 7:00 pm and 9:15 pm.  This double feature was shown in University Theatre, Willard Straight Hall. Students paid sixty cents for a reserved seat.
• • The student union placed a display ad on page 2 in the Cornell Daily Sun, Issue 3, on Wednesday, 19 September 1951.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "And then, when the company had left, I'd imitate 'em, saying everything they'd said in the same voice.  I could imitate anybody."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article on "My Little Chickadee" mentioned Mae West.
• • Variety wrote: "Universal catches Mae West on a delayed rebound from Paramount, teaming her with W.C. Fields for a hefty package of lusty humor. Picture marks return of Mae West to the screen after two years absence."  ...
• • Source: Review: "My Little Chickadee" written by staff for Variety; published on Sunday, 31 December 1939
By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2432nd 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 • 1937
• •
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