Friday, March 15, 2013

Mae West: Zita Baca

MAE WEST played Cleo Borden in "Goin' to Town" [1935] — — and Zita Baca played a dancer. The actress was born in March.
• • Zita Baca [17 March 1917 — 22 September 1992] • •
• • Born on 17 March 1917, Zita Baca received her Social Security card in New York City.
• • Her first screen credit came when she was 16 years old in 1933, cast as a dancer in "The Prizefighter and the Lady," and working with three boxers who had known Mae West: Max Baer, Primo Carnera, and Jack Dempsey.
• • From 1933 — 1942, she participated in 24 motion pictures as a bit parts player, usually in a dance interlude as with "Goin' to Town."  Other minor roles were: coed, chorine, ship passenger, gypsy, and hand maiden.  Her screenland sayonara to her fans came with a buoyant musical comedy "Ship Ahoy" [1942]; Zita Baca was fortunate to be on the set with several performers who would also have the privilege of working with Mae West such as Red Skelton, Philip Ahn, Bess Flowers, Edmund Mortimer, Addison Richards, and Lucio Villegas.
• • During the year 1938, the actress-dancer lived in a Los Angeles apartment at 1015 S New Hampshire Avenue (then numbered as 1120¼). She was listed in the Los Angeles street directory through 1942 when "Ship Ahoy" made its maiden voyage through movie houses. Shortly after, perhaps she moved back to New York City, where she had family.
• • Zita Baca died on 22 September 1992 in New Hyde Park, Nassau County New York. A relative has said she was given a "non-cemetery burial," which sounds like she was cremated.
• • On Friday, 17 March 1916 • •
• • From 1912 — 1916, Mae West had an ally in vaudeville: her well-connected booking agent Frank Bohm.
• • Under Frank Bohm's careful grooming, Mae transformed herself into a headliner for Manhattan's American Roof Theatre in January 1915 where she performed Sheldon Brooks's "Balling the Jack" and her trademark number "I've Got a Style All My Own."
• • Unfortunately, the agent who was so "generous, vital, and adoring" to Mae was cut down by tuberculosis of the spine when he was only 33 years old. Frank Bohm died in the month of March — — on Thursday, 9 March 1916. Variety Magazine reported on his untimely demise in their issue dated for Friday, 17 March 1916.
• • By March 1916, however, Mae West had fallen off the pathway to stardom. From applauded headliner at a good theatre a few steps away from Broadway in January 1915, by March 1916 Mae was slaving away at Pittsburgh's Victoria Theatre, performing in cheap, third-rate burlesque. Holy moly!
• • On Monday, 17 March 1930 • •
• • It was on Monday, 17 March 1930 when Mae West's "Pleasure Man" trial before Judge Amadeo Bertini began, and the New York District Attorney charged that Mae violated Section 1140-a by writing another gay play and he also charged her with the crime of maintaining a public nuisance — — an insulting charge typically levied at speakeasies and skidrow saloons not playwrights.
• • On Thursday, 17 March 1966 • •
• • On 17 March 1966 caricaturist Al Hirschfeld wrote on one page: "John P. Sullivan has purchased a drawing of mine of Mae West for $250.00."
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "You never hear about good women in history."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Motion Picture Daily mentioned Mae West.
• • "Mae West Gets New Paramount Contract" • •
• • Motion Picture Daily wrote: Hollywood, Oct. 4 — Mae West signed a new contract with Paramount today which calls for two pictures a year from her for the next four years. The actress has the option of writing her own stories, selecting her own cast and working for a percentage of the grosses on the eight pictures, under the terms of her new deal. ...
• • Source: News Item in Motion Picture Daily; published on Thursday, 5 October 1933
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2606th 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  in 1935

• • Feed — —
  Mae West

No comments:

Post a Comment