Friday, September 21, 2012

Mae West: Nervous Collapse

MAE WEST did not paint her public portrait to be parsed — — only admired.  And no recitation of ills would do for her 1959 memoir neither, not the heartaches she distilled, productions that went downhill, lovers who lacked skill, costars who were a pill, nor the poverty that filled her stomach during lean times in vaudeville.  "Mae West always triumphs," she once told a silly producer who suggested script revisions.  
• • And yet, despite her stamina and robust constitution, there was an inconvenient broken ankle in 1949 along with ongoing concerns such as her nearsightedness, stomach aches, and maturity onset diabetes.
• • According to a news item syndicated by Reuters, on Monday, 21 September 1964, Mae West was a patient at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital. The legendary Hollywood star was being treated for nervous exhaustion.
• • Actress Mae West, 72, Has Nervous Collapse • •
• • Hollywood — Mae West, 72, was reported in "satisfactory" condition today in Cedars of Lebanon Hospital where she was admitted last Thursday for treatment of a "nervous collapse."
• • Attendants indicated Saturday that she would be released within a few days.
• • Source: Huntingdon Daily News (on page 2) published on Monday, 21 September 1964.
• • Trixie Smith [1895 — 21 September 1943] • •
• • A talented blues singer was featured in Mae West's Broadway play "The Constant Sinner" at the Royale Theatre, which opened in mid-September 1931.
• • Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Trixie Smith was an African American blues singer, recording artist, vaudeville entertainer, and actress.
• • Trixie Smith was cast as Liza in Mae West's Harlem drama on Broadway, a show that included many black performers such as handsome Lorenzo Tucker. Two years later, she was elevated to the stage of the Theatre Guild for its production of "Louisiana." All told, Trixie Smith was seen in four Broadway plays from 1931 — 1940. Smith also  appeared in four movies.
• • Trixie Smith died in New York in the month of September — — on Tuesday, 21 September 1943, after a brief illness. She was 48.
• • On Friday, 21 September 1934 • •
• • Around 21 September 1934, Mae West was busy promoting her latest release: "Belle of the Nineties."
• • On Friday, 21 September 1934 in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette • •
• • On Friday, 21 September 1934, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published this tidbit under "Hollywood Gossip": Mae West is planning to back a stock company on the coast.  Her sister, Beverly, and her manager, James Timony, will head the enterprise. 
• • Mae West Trivia • •
• • Mae enjoyed eating the eggplant parmigiana at Casa D'Oro in Westwood.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "You know, honey, I see something men must like about you. You're a brilliant listener."
• • Mae West said: "I'm just as busy when I'm not making a movie."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article in The Guardian mentioned a visit to Mae West in Hollywood.
• • "There's nothing better in life than diamonds . . ."
• • Charlotte Chandler recalled an interview with Mae West in Ravenswood Apts, Los Angeles, California, for London's newspaper The Guardian.
• • Charlotte Chandler told it like this: Mae West held out her hand to me. As I took it, I scratched my palm on one of her diamond rings. All of her fingers were covered with diamonds. These, she explained, were just her "daytime diamonds." Holding out her hands, she said, "They're all real. They were given to me by admirers." Her gaze settled on my unadorned hands. "Oh, you poor kid! You don't have any!" For a moment she regarded me with pity. Then she brightened. "But you have some at home?" I shook my head. She studied me, then said encouragingly, "You could, honey. But you've gotta try, and you've gotta know how to try. Knowing what you want is the first step toward getting it. There's nothing better in life than diamonds." ...
• • Source: Article: "Mae West" written by Charlotte Chandler for The Guardian [U.K.]; posted on Friday, 21 September 2007
By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2434th 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/
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• • Mae West • 1965
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