Sunday, November 25, 2012

Mae West: Billy Benedict

MAE WEST starred in "My Little Chickadee" [1940] and William "Billy" Benedict was seen as Lem.
• • William "Billy" Benedict [16 April 1917 — 25 November 1999] • •
• • Born in Haskell, Oklahoma on 16 April 1917, William Benedict was fascinated by the drama department of his Tulsa, Oklahoma, high school and focused on dancing in musicals. In 1934, when he decided to relocate to California, he learned there was an abundance of dancers but acting was better paid. When he made his entry into the screen trade, he was accorded a few featured roles. Soon he slid into the ranks of a busy bit parts player.  In 1951, he made his first foray into TV and racked up more credits.
• • From 1935 — 1988, he was in numerous types of Hollywood genre films and then received rather steady guest-starring roles on TV series. He never danced onscreen and married for the first time in 1969.
• • Billy Benedict died in Los Angeles on Thursday, 25 November 1999. He was 82.
• • Stanley Walker [15 May 1910 — 23 November 2005] • •
• • Stanley Walker was born in Texas on 21 October 1898.
• • Newsman Stanley Walker came up to see Mae West on many occasions. He saw her productions onstage, and he sat at her elbow several times backstage and at the night spots she frequented. As a writer for the old New York Herald Tribune in the 1920s and 1930s, Stanley Walker chronicled the city in words the way Weegee did with a Graflex.
• • Written in the aftermath of Prohibition, Stanley Walker's bestseller The Night Club Era is a lively and idiosyncratic account of the people and places that defined New York's night life during the era of "the great American madness."
• • After learning that he had a fatal illness, Stanley Walker met with a few of his old friends at the Driskill Hotel in Austin and told them he was dying. He committed suicide at his Lampasas, Texas ranch on Sunday, 25 November 1962. He was 64.
• • On Saturday, 25 November 1911 in Variety • •
• • The opening night cast of  "Vera Violetta" at the Winter Garden did not include the misbehaving  and Gaby-upstaging Mae West. Her antics during the out-of-town try-outs brought about her dismissal. Variety (perhaps without knowing it) printed a face-saving explanation in their issue dated for Saturday, 25 November 1911, indicating Mae had pneumonia. Hmmm, no doubt brought about by standing in an icy draft when Gaby Deslys opened her mouth wide and blasted her.
• • On Tuesday, 25 November 1947 in Australia • •
• • Australia's Savoy Theatre announced "Maurice Chevalier, Mae West now showing together on the same programme!! We have turned back the clock and from 1934 have brought you the Happiest Entertainment of 1934 Maurice Chevalier, Jeannette MacDonald, Charlie Ruggles in "One Hour With You" and also Mae West, Cary Grant, Edward Arnold in "I'm No Angel" now at these times . . . 
• • Source: The Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday, 25 November 1947.
• • On Thursday, 25 November 1943 in NYC • •
• • Bouquets did not shower Mae West after her film "The Heat Is On" was released right before Christmas in December 1943. Trading on The Big Apple's fondness for the Brooklyn bombshell, this ill-fated project had a special New York City premiere on Thursday, 25 November 1943.
• • On Tuesday, 23 November 1980 • •
• • A private service for Mae West was held in the Old North Church replica, in Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills, on Tuesday, 25 November 1980.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "This was live theatre show business as I liked it. And it liked me."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article on Cary Grant mentioned Mae West.
• • Peter Bogdanovich wrote: Another big thing was gleaned from his successful experience on two pictures playing the love interest to Mae West. In both She Done Him Wrong (1932) and I’m No Angel (1933), Cary is the object of Mae’s affections and desires. She pursues him, rather than the other way around. Indeed, she makes one of the screen’s most famous (and most misquoted) invitations to Grant in their first scene together: “Why don’t cha come up sometime, an’ see me?” Cary’s a minister [sic], says he hasn’t the time. She responds, “Say, what’re you tryin’ to do, insult me?!” What Cary took home was that it’s better to be wanted than to want, and once he established himself as a star in 1937, it never was otherwise. . . .
• • Article (with errors): "My Favorite Star" written by Peter Bogdanovich for The New York Observer; published on Tuesday, 25 November 2008
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2496th 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 1940
• •
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