Friday, February 22, 2013

Mae West: Wally Westmore

Wally Westmore had a lot to say about how expertly MAE WEST kissed. In 1936, for instance, one of Wally's comments appeared in The Film Daily.
• • If all the stars kissed like Mae West • •
• • "If all the stars kissed like Mae West, my job would be comparatively easy. There's no bank, turn, or wing-over to her kisses — — so there isn't much of a lipstick smudge to repair afterwards," said Wally Westmore. Let's find out more about Mae's stalwart lip-meister.
• • Wally Westmore [13 February 1906 — 3 July 1973] • •
• • Born in England, Walter "Wally" James Westmore added to Great Britain's population on Tuesday, 13 February 1906. Wally was one of the six Westmore brothers, all of whom took the same career path and became notable make-up artists for the motion picture industry. Wally's brothers were Mont, Perc, Ern, Bud, and Frank.
• • Their father was George Westmore [1879 — 1931], born on the Isle of Wight, UK, who mastered the hairdressing trade and gradually expanded into wig-making and make-up. After George and his wife Ada wed in 1901, they had so many children that having an adequate income was always a pressing concern. Seven of their children survived into adulthood including one daughter Dorothy (who died at age 24). The large Westmore clan emigrated to the USA determined to be part of the silent screen excitement.
• • George Westmore felt his destiny should be in the movie business and established the first ever movie make-up department. He also taught his British-born sons Monte, Perc, Ern, and Wally the techniques of the trade. His two youngest American-born sons, Bud [1918 — 1973] and Frank [1923 — 1985] became make-up artists as well.
• • Alas, Ada died in 1924, after 23 years of conjugal bliss, leaving the grieving widower with several kiddies. In 1925, he wed Anita Salazar. His second marriage caused George such misery, he committed suicide in Hollywood in 1931.   
• • Wally Westmore was 25 years old when his father swallowed a lethal dose of mercury. His earliest work went uncredited. Despite that, in 1931, he earned recognition. He was hired to do the special make-up effects for "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" and his artistry was lauded as groundbreaking. Between 1931 — 1970, Wally Westmore did the make-up for auditions, test shots, and 430 projects for the silver screen and TV. A fatal heart attack brought things to a halt. He died in California on 3 July 1973.  He was 67.
• • The Westmores earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Motion Pictures. See it at 1645 Vine Street in Hollywood, California.
• • On Saturday, 22 February 1936 • •
• • Gossip columnist Louella Parsons wrote a short piece "Mae — Studio Clash: Blonde Star Signs Contract with Cohen" and it was printed on Saturday, 22 February 1936  in the Los Angeles Herald Examiner.
• • On Saturday, 22 February 1936 • •
• • The newspaper headline read: "Exciting Racing in Mae West Picture."
• • The Mirror editors wrote: There are some grand and exciting racing sequences in the Buenos Aires scenes of "Now I'm a Lady" (at the Grand soon). And there will be intrigue and plotting and murder. The divine Mae West is stirred. Two songs by Sammy Fain and Irving Kahal, ''Love Is Love" and "He's a Bad Man (But He's Good for Me)," will linger in memory for a long time. Vocalising many will enjoy most is Mae West's rendition of the aria "My Heart Opens at the Sound of Your Voice"' from the opera ''Samson and Delilah."
• • Source: Mirror (Perth, WA) on page 17, Saturday, 22 February 1936.
• • On Saturday, 22 February 1936 • •
• • Newspaper gossip columns ran this teaser: "Mae West May Go Back to Broadway."
• • The item noted: Mae West has written a new play, and it looks as if it will bring her Hollywood career to an end — — at least for the time being. Her film contracts in Hollywood terminate shortly, and she is thinking of appearing in her own play on Broadway, where she was a famous star in the "Diamond Lil" days. Incidentally, that period included the famous prosecution for putting on an alleged indecent play.
• • Source: Mirror (Perth, WA) on page 9, Saturday, 22 February 1936.
• • On Saturday, 22 February 1947 • •
• • The show "Come On Up" starring Mae West closed at the Biltmore Theatre in Los Angeles, California on Saturday, 22 February 1947.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "You never hear about good women in history."
• • As she removed some jewelry, Mae West said: "Let me pull some of my harness off and I'll give you a few words of wisdom."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Film Daily mentioned Mae West.
• • "Musical Airways" by Universal, 10 mins.
• • Film Daily wrote: Lively short studded with novelty. Sybil Bowan takes role of publicity director for trans-Atlantic dirigible company, inviting Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Beatrice Lillie, and Mae West to appear on airship's entertainment program. When they decline, Sybil pinch-hits for them, impersonating each. She also acts as M.C. for three groups of entertainers, Cappy Barra's Harmonica Swing Ensemble; Audrey and Wesley Catri, youthful dancers; and Four Eton Boys, a smooth pop quartet. It's diverting stuff. ...
• • Source: News Item printed in The Film Daily; published on Wednesday, 2 September 1936
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2585th 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:

Source: to Google

• • Photo:
• • Mae West 1935
• • Feed — —
  Mae West

No comments:

Post a Comment