Thursday, January 31, 2013

Mae West: Elizabeth Patterson

MAE WEST starred in "Go West Young Man" and Elizabeth Patterson was seen as Aunt Kate Barnaby.
• • Elizabeth Patterson [22 November 1875 — 31 January 1966] • •
• • Born in Savannah, Tennessee on 22 November 1875 was a little sweet face named Mary Elizabeth Patterson. When she showed a taste for the dramatic arts, her strict Southern-bred parents balked, adjuring her to come to her senses. Instead she came to Chicago, where she joined the Ben Greet Players and did plays by Shakespeare. Honing her skills in stock, she made to Broadway in 1913 in a revival of "Everyman" when she was in her mid-30s. Performing in both comedies and dramas, she accrued 26 credits for shows on The Great White Way between 1913 — 1954; the comedy "His and Hers" would be her last time onstage in Times Square.
• • It seems no one tires of "The Boy Friend" and a silent era version in 1926 would be her first screen role; when Elizabeth Patterson played Mrs. Harper she was 51. Also in the cast was Maidel Turner, who also met Mae West and worked with her in "Klondike Annie"; Maidel's character was Lydia Bowley.
• • Elizabeth Patterson enjoyed performing so much— with Mae West and others that casting directors often found use for the versatile five-foot-five character actress. Though she once played a baroness, she was more frequently cast in featured roles as a plain-faced neighbor, stern schoolteacher, meddler, town gossip, care-worn mother, grandma, difficult relative, pesky senior, or difficult customer.
• • During the 1950s — 1960s, TV watchers saw her on "Playhouse 90,"  "Alfred Hitchcock Presents,"  "I Love Lucy" (playing Lucille Ball's elderly neighbor and part-time babysitter, Mrs. Trumbull), and "The Barbara Stanwyck Show" [1961], after which she decided to retire. She was 86 years old by then.
• • Between 1926 — 1961, she participated in 135 productions on the big screen and on TV. Elizabeth Patterson died of pneumonia in Los Angeles in January — — on Monday, 31 January 1966. She was 90.
• • On Monday, 31 January 1927 in Bridgeport • •
• • Despite the public's curiosity about the controversial vaudevillian Mae West, and her latest play "The Drag," Jim Timony could only manage to secure half a week at Poli's Park, which was then in use as a burlesque house in Bridgeport.
• • It was a dreary and wintery Monday on 31 January 1927 when the Morals Production Company hoisted a banner over the trolley cars criss-crossing Main Street. Pedestrians were intrigued by this saucy announcement: "'The Drag' by the author of SEX — — more sensational than Rain or The Captive!" It was Mae West’s intention to give gay characters a voice and a spotlight. The police were lying in wait for her.
• • These true events are dramatized in Act I, Scene 2 of the stage play "Courting Mae West" by LindaAnn Loschiavo. Why not bring this astonishing 95-page play to your theatre?
• • On Tuesday, 31 January 1933 • •
• • Vaudeville star Elsie Janis dated her synopsis for a "Mae West Talking Picture" for Tuesday, 31 January 1933 — — but the project was deemed unsuitable for Mae.
• • On Friday, 31 January 1936 • •
• • According to the archives of The Hutchinson News [published in Hutchinson, Kansas]: In Hollywood, police raided an alleged "indecent" stage show and arrested the business manager for Mae West, along with 13 of the cast of "Ladies by Request." The play had run for several weeks. [This news item ran on Friday, 31 January 1936 and refers to a Los Angeles production produced by Jim Timony in a theatre owned by Mae.]
• • On Tuesday, 31 January 2006 • •
• • The Original Air Date for the episode "Dead Famous: Mae West" was broadcast on Tuesday, 31 January 2006. Stars: Gail Porter, Chris Fleming, and Mae West in archival footage.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "What I mean is I was coming to the conclusion that boys made much better playmates than girls."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Chicago Tribune mentioned Mae West.
• • Rick Kogan wrote: The list goes on, a gathering so eclectic as to be almost surreal: Jerry Garcia, Barbra Streisand, Woody Allen, Orson Welles, Johnny Depp, Mae West, Satchel Paige, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Ringo Starr, Ike and Tina Turner (together), Buster Keaton, Richard Pryor, Sophia Loren — is that enough?  Those are just some of the people in Schapiro's latest book, "Steve Schapiro: Then and Now," published in November. ...
• • Source: Article: "Steve Schapiro, a fly on the wall — with a camera" written by Rick Kogan for the Chicago Tribune; published on Sunday, 27 January 2013  
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2563rd 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 1936
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