Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Mae West: George Eells

Several authors have published full-length books about MAE WEST.  Released two years after her death was "Mae West: A Biography" [NY: William Morrow, 1982] by Stanley Musgrove and George Eells.
• • George Eells [20 January 1922 — 1 January 1995] • •
• • Born in Winslow, Illinois in January — — on Friday, 20 January 1922 — — George Eells was attracted to the world of print, entertainment, Hollywood headliners, and their chroniclers. 
• • In 1967, he wrote a book about Cole Porter and his music. In 1981, his book about drug addled singer Anita O'Day focused on her memories about her colleagues Billie Holiday, Gene Krupa, and Stan Kenton.
• • A more reliable payday than book publication, however, was his script writing for the TV show "This Is Your Life," which was hosted by Ralph Edwards.
• • A writer, an editor, and a biographer of several entertainment figures, George Eells, unfortunately, contracted pneumonia months after he had undergone brain surgery. He  died at St. Vincent's, a hospital near his residence in Greenwich Village, New York, NY, on Sunday, 1 January 1995. He was 72.
• • On Tuesday, 2 January 1934 in Chicago • •
• • On Tuesday, 2 January 1934, when Mae's sister Beverly applied for a marriage license in Chicago, it was hoped that her second Russian-born husband would be a better companion than her ex-husband Sergei Treshatny. The groom Vladimir Baikoff made Beverly's acquaintance when both were booked on a radio program. Beverly was doing her famous Mae West impersonation for a broadcast — — and Vlad was eager to conjugate some sultry Slavic verbs with her in private, after the show.
• • On her marriage license, Beverly gave her age as 27, meaning that she had been born in 1907. This was consistent with Mae's calculations; in 1934, Mae was giving her birthyear as 1900 and the siblings were seven years apart.
• • Good thing municipal clerks were not crossing checking New York State's records with Illinois — — otherwise someone might have wondered about the bride who was born in 1907, having been first married in 1917 when she was 10 years old.
• • Beverly's second marriage ceremony was performed at the Congress Hotel in Chicago. Judge Joseph Sabath (of divorce court fame) officiated.
• • On Sunday, 2 January 1938 in Singapore • •
• • A news brief appeared in Singapore on Sunday, 2 January 1938 with this headline: "Mae West, As Eve, 'Insult To Faith'" (page 13) date-lined from New York. Only two paragraphs long, the item reprinted sharp criticism of Mae's radio skit with comments that first appeared in a religious Brooklyn weekly.
• • The Straits Times wrote: Miss Mae West's interpretation of Eve in a broadcast skit, "Adam and Eve," has been attacked by the Roman Catholic weekly, Brooklyn Tablet as "an insult to every Christian."
• • Source: The Straits Times; published on Sunday, 2 January 1938.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I had been starred but I was glad to go to Hollywood as a nobody."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article in The Catholic Herald reviewed a bio of Mae West by George Eells and Stanley Musgrove (along with a number of silly errors).
• • Tom Hutchinson wrote:  If Mae West could survey today's screen scene, she might well recognise it as part of an empire she founded when she introduced man's sex as a comedy subject to the screen in the thirties with "She Done Him Wrong." The sub-title of George Eells and Stanley Muggeridge's (sic) collaboration is "The Lies, The Legend, The Truth" (Dobson Books). They have certainly traced her extraordinary career from child stardom (sic) in variety to her long and ultimately victorious battle with the Motion Picture Production Code to allow her particular brand of jokey sex a place in movies. They record many authentic witticisms of her best encounters, and evoke the polish and glamour she preserved with professional perfectionism. She spoke of her screen and "showbiz image" in the third person as her separate creation, who "wouldn't do this or wear that." ...
• • Source: Book Review: "Life with Hollywood's Freakiest Phenomenon" written by The Catholic Herald  [UK] and printed on page 7; published on Tuesday, 5 June 1984
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2534th 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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• • Photo:
• • Mae West • 1935
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  Mae West.

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