Sunday, January 20, 2013

Mae West: Barbara Stanwyck

MAE WEST met Barbara Stanwyck years before the chorine selected her stage name. One of the nearly naked nymphs paraded onstage nightly by Texas Guinan in her pricey speakeasies, the ambitious Brooklynite — — born on January 20th — — managed to impress the right people and make her way after a hard-luck childhood.
• • Canadian researcher R. Mark Desjardins wanted to bring this to the attention of our readers: TCM had been featuring Barbara Stanwyck films and I had set up my DVD to record them. At 3:30 AM, I was inserting another disc. As I removed the towel off the tv in my bedroom (to enable me to snooze while the recording was in progress), there was the tail end of "Cry Wolf" [1947] flashing onscreen. 
• • Mark continued: Barbara Stanwyck's character is in a room and a Mae West carnival chalkware doll is on display!  What a lark to spot that movie moment! Mark added: These are often found on eBay and can go for quite a price
• • Barbara Stanwyck [16 July 1907 — 20 January 1990] • •
• • Little Ruby Catherine Stevens was born in Brooklyn, New York on 16 July 1907. She was still under-age when she was hired as a dancer by Texas Guinan. During the years when she was onstage as part of Texas Guinan's mob, or slinking around in several of Guinan's glamourous ginmills as one of the troupe, the slim chorus girl Ruby had been noticed by Mae West, a friend of the night club czarina. Texas Guinan was a chain-smoker and, unfortunately, many of her dancers fell under the spell of nicotine.  
• • In 1927, the five-foot-five brunette made her screen debut in "Broadway Nights" as a fan dancer. Between 1927 — 1986, she racked up 102 credits for motion pictures and TV work. Her earliest roles situated her screen persona as a low-class female making her way in life.
• • It is possible that, while filming "The Thorn Birds" in 1983, the inhalation of special-effects smoke on the set may have incited her bronchitis attack. She would have been at risk for pulmonary problems anyway, thanks to her life-long romance with cigarettes.
• • Barbara Stanwyck died of congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica on Saturday, 20 January 1990. She was 82.
• • On Sunday, 20 January 1929 • •
• • On Sunday, 20 January 1929 Mae brought "Diamond Lil" to Chicago, where it made its Midwest debut to a packed house. For most of the 16-week engagement, the play attracted a large audience in the Windy City.
• • Mae West and Sgt Pepper • •
• • Which of the people represented on the cover of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band along with Mae West have died?
• • One actor who died in the month of January is handsome Johnny Weissmuller, who left us on Friday, 20 January 1984. He died from pulmonary edema at the age of 79.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I've always taken the rap for the Code — — but it was really those Barbara Stanwyck pictures (i.e., 'Babyface') that did it."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article on Pre-Code movies mentioned Mae West.
• • Susan King wrote: Though a number of these films revolved around the gangster world, including 1930's "Little Caesar," 1931's "The Public Enemy" and 1932's "Scarface," these pre-code films were generally dominated by strong female actresses such as Mae West, Barbara Stanwyck, Jean Harlow, Greta Garbo, and Clara Bow.
• • Susan King explained: Women were much more sexually aggressive in pre-code films, morals were loose. Their dialogue was suggestive. And their often skimpy outfits left little to the imagination. Some actresses who starred in pre-code films flourished after the code crackdown in 1934. But others, like Mae West, whose image was so sexually charged, lost audiences as a more sanitized version of herself. ...
• • Source: Article: "Classic Hollywood: Pre-code films out from Warner Archive" written by Susan King for The L.A. Times; published on Sunday, 8 January 2012
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2552nd 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:

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• • Mae West figurine
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