Saturday, September 01, 2012

Mae West: Gala, Guido, Great

It was on Friday, 1 September 1939 in Great Britain when English viewers saw MAE WEST featured in a splashy cameo in “Mickey’s Gala Premiere” on television.
• • Plot: A new Mickey Mouse cartoon is about to have its premiere in the Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Movie stars are seen arriving in limousines to attend this event. Outside Grauman's, The Keystone Cops (Ben Turpin, Ford Sterling, Mack Swain, Harry Langdon, and Chester Conklin) are supervising the traffic.  The first limo pulls up and the audience sees Wallace Beery, Marie Dressler, Lionel Barrymore, John Barrymore, and Ethel Barrymore (some in costumes from 1933's films).  When Laurel and Hardy exit and shut the door, The Marx Brothers poke their heads out of the car window.
• • Next scene: Maurice Chevalier, Eddie Cantor (costumed), and Jimmy Durante each take a turn at a microphone. The men are followed by Jean Harlow, Joan Crawford (costumed as Sadie Thompson in "Rain"), and Constance Bennett all singing.  Joining in this musical number are Harold Lloyd, Clark Gable, Edward G. Robinson, and Adolphe Menjou.
• • Meanwhile, Sid Grauman is saluting all his guests. George Arliss and Joe E. Brown  enter as Charlie Chaplin sneaks inside.  After Buster Keaton enters, The Marx Brothers step on the red carpet (crouching under Groucho Marx's coat).
• • When Mae West enters, costumed as sultry Lady Lou in "She Done Him Wrong," she utters her famous line, "Why don't you come up sometime and see me?" This shocks and embarrasses Sid Grauman.
• • On 1 September 1939 “Mickey’s Gala Premiere” was the final broadcast by the BBC Television Service, which suspended programming during the war.
• • Guido Deiro [1 September 1886 — 26 July 1950] • •
• • Guido Deiro was born on Wednesday, 1 September 1886 in northern Italy near Torino.  In 1910, he came to an expo in Seattle, then began performing on the vaudeville circuit.
• • In August 1913, the handsome, successful 27-year-old accordionist (who was married to pianist Julia Tatro at the time) met a 20-year-old vaudevillian Mae West, while both were performing in variety in Detroit. They quickly fell in love and secretly married. Mae signed her marriage license as Catherine Mae Belle West; at the time she was still married to dancer Frank Wallace though Guido had divorced young Julia.
• • Mae filed for divorce from Guido Deiro on the grounds of adultery on 14 July 1920. The divorce was granted by the Supreme Court of the State of New York on 9 November 1920. Guido almost immediately re-married for the third time. Mae later said, "Marriage is a great institution. But I'm not ready for an institution."
• • The two finally reconnected in 1943 in Hollywood. By then, Mae had also legally shed her ex-husband Frank Wallace, after a lengthy court proceeding and Guido had split from his fourth wife, who was about 30+ years his junior. Though once a high-earner and very generous to everyone, unfortunately, Guido was destitute by then. He showed her an article he had written, "Mae West and Me," which he planned to sell to Look Magazine. Mae was horrified when she read it, so they made a private arrangement about his article.  Thus they agreed to keep their relationship private.
• • Since they became friends again, Mae paid for the private schooling of Guido, Jr.  Occasionally, Guido would visit her at the Ravenswood Apartments in Hollywood.
• • Guido Deiro died in California of congestive heart failure on 26 July 1950. He was 63.
• • On Tuesday, 1 September 1931 • •
• • After "The Constant Sinner" (set in Harlem) opened, Variety made its feelings known in their issue dated for Tuesday, 1 September 1931.  Variety noted:  "Diamond Lil" was a Mother Goose story compared to this one. 
• • On Wednesday, 1 September 1937 • •  
• • Joe Breen approved the script of "Every Day's a Holiday" on Wednesday, 1 September 1937 albeit with a few warnings to the studio.  The scenes "must not overexpose the bodies of the dancing girls" was one caveat. Oh, yeah, and watch out for those "negro spirituals," cautioned Breen.
• • On Wednesday, 1 September 1948 • •
• • An article focused on the "Catherine Was Great" plagiarism suit carried this title: "Mae West Changes Her Role in Court."  It ran in The Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, 1 September 1948 on the front page.
• • On Tuesday, 1 September 2009 • •
• • The CD "Mae West: The Ultimate Collection" was released on Tuesday, 1 September 2009 by Master Classics Records.  Mae relaxes on the cover holding a long cigarette holder.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Biographies — — that's what I like best.  I like everything that is true, I mean.  Everything that happened, otherwise I'm not interested.  If I wanna read fiction, somepin (sic) that isn't true, I can dream it myself if I want."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A medical article and its peculiar comments mentioned Mae West.
• • Thomas Findlay, M.D. wrote: The story, of course, is the old one about a teenage autograph hunter who asked Mae West: "What shall I do, Miss West? I know I'll never find a man with $10,000 who will give me a beautiful fur coat like yours."
• • Thomas Findlay, M.D. added: The reply was to the point. "Well, you might find 10,000 men with a dollar apiece, you know." ...
• • How physicians find time to come up with such nonsense is something to ponder, especially since most doctors cannot find the time to cure patients (only medicate 'em).
• • Source: Article: "Mae West and the Doctor Shortage" (Letters) for Annals of Internal Medicine; published on 1 September 1970
By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2413th 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 • 1933
• •
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