Monday, March 25, 2013

Mae West: Ralph Brooks

MAE WEST starred as Cleo Borden, a former dance hall queen, in "Goin' to Town" [1935] and Ralph Brooks was used in a festive party scene.
• • Ralph Brooks [23 September 1915 — 23 March 1992] • •
• • Born in Davie County, North Carolina on 23 September 1915, little Ralph Thomas Brooks came into the world with a whoop and a holler. By the age of 11 he was on a movie lot playing a student in "The Collegians" [1926] and following the guidance of director Wesley Ruggles, who worked with Mae West when he directed her in "I'm No Angel" [1933].
• • From 1926 — 1968, he participated in a combination of TV series and motion pictures, making 373 appearances onscreen.  Though Brooks had an early start as a Tinseltown fixture, his 42 years in the business would only result in a regular paycheck. With the exception of a few supporting roles, he remained as a bit parts player, often cast in when a little dancing was required. He often played a night club patron, escort, party guest, wedding guest, dance extra, theatre usher, spectator, and other blend-into-the-background bits. In fact, Ralph Brooks played a party guest in "Goin' to Town" [1935].
• • A notable piece of movie lore is that his character, Pvt. Wilhelm in "The Charge at Feather River" [1953] gives name to the famous scream used as sound effect in several movies; one of his cast mates, Lane Chandler, had the privilege of working with Mae West 13 years earlier in "My Little Chickadee" [1940].
• • The tenacious thespian played a dance extra for the very last time in "Madigan" [1968] when he was 53 years old, then retired.   
• • Ralph Brooks died in Los Angeles, California on Monday, 23 March 1992. He was 76.
• • On Tuesday, March 25 in San Antonio History • •
• • On Tuesday, 25 March 1924 Mae West appeared on a vaudeville program at the Majestic Theatre in San Antonio, Texas.
• • On Friday, 25 March 1977 • •
• • From Monday, 6 December 1976 until Friday, 25 March 1977 — — this was the shooting schedule in Hollywood for "Sextette," starring eighty-three-year-old movie star, Mae West in her final screen role [citation from the book "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere: The Complete Chronicle of the Who 1958 — 1978" written by Andrew Neill, Matthew Kent, Roger Daltrey, Chris Stamp].
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "I'm here to make talkies."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A special adjective was coined for Mae West and added to the dictionary.
• • She's "Curvacious" • •
• • Hollywood, October 15.— "Curvacious," the Mae West descriptive adjective coined by Blake MacVeigh of Paramount's publicity department, will be listed in the next edition of Funk and Wagnalls dictionary. ...
• • N.B.: Funk and Wagnalls was an American publisher known for its reference works including "A Standard Dictionary of the English Language" (first edition printed in 1894).
• • Source: News Item in Motion Picture Daily; published on Monday, 16 October 1933 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2612th 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 1935

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