Friday, January 11, 2013

Mae West: Sydney Jarvis

MAE WEST was featured in the musical "A Winsome Widow," a 1912 Broadway success. One of her cast mates was Sydney Jarvis, born on January 11th.
• • Sydney Jarvis [11 January 1878 — 6 June 1939] • •
• • Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on Friday, 11 January 1878 was Sydney Jarvis.
• • His first success was on the London stage as a concert singer with Henry Wood.  He soon realized that singing was poorly paid compared with the earnings of a well-rounded music hall star, thus he began performing in the evenings as a music hall comedian, using a different stage name.  His versatility impressed the producers of "The Monks of Malabar," a comic opera staged on Broadway the Knickerbocker Theatre in the autumn of 1900 when Sydney Jarvis was 22 years old. Between 1900 — 1919, he was in nine Broadway productions that drew on his talents as a singer, comedian, and comical actor. His last two shows were "The Cohan Revue of 1918" and "Monte Cristo, Jr." in 1919.
• • Sydney wed silent screen actress Virginia Dare [1882 — 1962]. Their son Arthur Murray Jarvis [1920 — 1979] entered the film business; he became a sound engineer for MGM.
• • From 1929 — 1939, Sydney was in 59 feature films (which included two laugh-out-loud comedies with Laurel and Hardy).
• • And yet perhaps it was daunting when the multi-talented Broadway veteran Sydney Jarvis (who bore a strong resemblance to actor Leo G. Carroll) found himself mostly doing uncredited bits amid a paucity of early featured roles. The debonair six-footer was used in scenes as a bailiff, butler, chief of police, courtroom spectator, jury member, doorman, party guest, passenger, referee, stage manager, townsman, waiter, witness, and once as Santa Claus.  He played a museum attendee in his final film "Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation" [1939], which featured Morgan Wallace, who would be working a year later with Mae West in "My Little Chickadee."
• • Sydney Jarvis died of cancer in Hollywood, California on 6 June 1939.  He was 61.
• • On Saturday, 11 January 1919 • •
• • The iconic publication Judge featured three hot topics in their weekend issue dated 11 January 1919 — — vaudevillian Mae West, the illustrator John Held Jr, and the Armistice.  Judge Magazine's editorial office at that time was 225 Fifth Avenue, NYC.
• • On Thursday, 11 January 1996 • •
• • Under review in The Washington Post was a new release: "When I'm Bad, I'm Better: Mae West, Sex, and American Entertainment" — — a biographical book written by Marybeth Hamilton [NY: HarperCollins, 307 pages].
• • On Friday, 11 January 2002 • •
• • Eleven years ago, WENN reported on Friday, 11 January 2002 that racy "Sex and the City" actress Kim Cattrall is set for a steamy new role — — as legendary screen siren Mae West. Kim Cattrall has been approached to play the starlet in a big-budget biopic, as well as receiving offers to feature in a remake of one of actress and comedienne West's movies."
• • Since this is rather old news, it seems nothing came of it, alas and alack.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "A noted sculptor is doing my figure in marble, and says I'd have made a perfect stand-in for Venus. Flattering, of course. But maybe not. That dame was cold, and didn't have any arms."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A book about American theatre mentioned Mae West.
• • Daniel Blum wrote:  Mae West made a dent in theatrical history with "Diamond Lil," a play of her own authorship. "Pleasure Man," another play by Miss West (in which she did not appear), boasted a piece of off-stage action as flagrant as any ever attempted. A "Black Maria" awaited the entire cast after the second performance. Another play closed by the police was "Maya," a symbolic biography of a Marseilles prostitute played to critical ac- claim by Aline MacMahon. ...
• • Source: Book: "A pictorial history of the American theatre, 100 years — 1860 — 1960"   written by Daniel Blum [Philadelphia: Chilton Company]; published 1960 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2543rd 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 • 1912
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  Mae West.

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