Saturday, January 26, 2013

Mae West: Roy Gordon

MAE WEST starred in "Come On Up" and Roy Gordon was in the cast in September 1946 when the comedy was staged in Washington, D.C. at the prestigious National Theatre and elsewhere. J.W. Bentley was the character he played.
• • The play was directed by Russell Fillmore and produced by the Shuberts. Their booking in D.C. was part of a national tour that continued into 1947.
• • Roy Gordon [15 January 1896 — 12 October 1978] • •
• • Born in Salt Lake City, Utah in January — — on Wednesday, 15 January 1896 — — was a sweet-faced infant named Gordon Langston Driggs. In his mid-20s he started to appear in silent films in supporting roles.  After an auspicious beginning being cast as authority figures (a judge, bank manager, colonel, college dean, detective, physician) in some supporting roles, gradually Roy Gordon found himself relegated to minor participation.
• • From 1922 — 1964, he racked up a resume of 169 credits between his film work and TV fare. However, Roy Gordon  (a.k.a. R. Wells Gordon) would continue to seesaw between featured roles and uncredited bits, never building career momentum. In "Powder Town" [1942], Roy Gordon played Dr. Wayne; in the film were the former Mae West cast mates Victor McLaglen and Mary Gordon. Perhaps they recommended him to Mae when she was conducting auditions in 1946.
• • Roy Gordon's final film was "Shock Treatment" [1964]; the 68-year-old played a butler and got to work with Mae's friend Roddy McDowall.
• • Roy Gordon died in Los Angeles, California on 12 October 1978. He was 82.
• • Diem Obiit Mater: on Sunday, 26 January 1930 • •
• • Mae West and her mother were really the love of each other's lives until Matilda died in the month of January — — on Sunday, 26 January 1930 — — at age 59. How terrifying it was for Mae during the winter of 1929, knowing that her mother's illness was worsening. After Matilda died, Mae felt, "There wasn't anyone to play to."
• • Note: On the April 1911 marriage license for Mae West and Frank Wallace, her mother's name is noted as "Matilda Dilker" not Delker, quite probably a clerical error.
• • On Monday, 26 January 1948 • •
• • In Britain, The Times reported on Monday, 26 January 1948 that "Miss West is a competent actress. Appearing in a tawdry ornate framework of her own devising, she puts across her own kind of audacity with good timing and a shrewd sense of its own absurdity."
• • On Thursday, 26 January 2012 • •
• • A spirited talk on Mae West took place in Great Britain on Thursday, 26 January 2012. The topic was "Parker Tyler, Mae West, and Queer Fandom"; the speaker was Dr. James Boaden, Department of History, University of York.
• • According to critic Parker Tyler, Mae West's "sudden greatness was to have introduced a deliberately comic parody of the sex goddess. Her unique blend of sexiness and vulgar comedy, in other words, was the screen's first sterling brand of conscious sex camp." In 1969, Parker Tyler expressed his opinion that Mae was "a female impersonator who is, after all, a woman." A few years later, he wrote the intro to Jon Tuska's book "The Complete Films of Mae West."
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West was asked: "What do you think of television?"
• • Mae West said: "I'd like it — — it would give me a chance to come up and see you some time."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The London Daily Telegraph mentioned Mae West.
• • Leonard Mosley wrote: "She herself is a Restoration comedy rolled into one body — — earthy, happy, and outspoken. Shocked me? No. I just like her." ...
• • Source: Review: "Diamond Lil" written by Leonard Mosley for The London Daily Telegraph; published on Monday, 26 January 1948 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2558th 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 1946
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