Friday, April 19, 2013

Mae West: Al Ferguson

MAE WEST starred in "My Little Chickadee" [1940], a film released in the USA on 15 March 1940. An Irish native was seen briefly as a train passenger.
• • Al Ferguson [19 April 1888 — 4 December 1971] • •
• • Born in Rosslare, County Wexford, Ireland — — in the month of April — — on Thursday, 19 April 1888 was a bonny boy named Alfred George Ferguson. He got his feet wet in local theatre productions and then migrated to California to become a screen actor when he was in his early twenties.
• • From 1912 — 1958, Al Ferguson was cast in 314 motion pictures and guest-starred on 4 projects for TV (three of which were Westerns). During the silent era, he scored featured or supporting roles. Then in several talking pictures, the slim six-footer was given more to do but, gradually, he became just another bit parts player. He spent four and a half decades in Tinseltown used mostly in action/ adventure flicks or Westerns. Perhaps you recall seeing him as a passenger in the famous train scene in "My Little Chickadee" [1940].
• • In one of his last Westerns, "Perils of the Wilderness" [1956], Al Ferguson was accorded the featured role of Mike; on the set he encountered actor Eddie Fetherston, who had worked with Mae West in "Go West, Young Man." (Eddie Fetherston had played a reporter.)
• • Al Ferguson bade farewell to his TV fans in an episode of "Sky King" in 1958; in the same year his final film was released, "The Law and Jake Wade," when he was 70 years old.
• • Al Ferguson died  in Long Beach, Long Island, New York on 4 December 1971. He was 83.  His remains are in an urn at Forest Lawn Glendale, Glendale, California at the Freedom Mausoleum, Columbarium of Understanding.
• • On Tuesday, 19 April 1927 in The N.Y. Times • •
• • The New York Times gave this news item prominence in their paper on Tuesday, 19 April 1927: "Mae West Star In Raided Play Jailed and Fined" was the headline.
• • Mae West the star of one of three recently raided Broadway plays was sentenced to ten days in the workhouse and a fine by Judge Donnellan today as the penalty for participating in an obscene performance. A similar sentence and fine were pronounced in the case of James A. Timony and a sentence without the fine for William Clarence Morganstern. All the other 19 defendants in the "Sex" case received suspended sentences .  ...
• • On Tuesday, 19 April 1927 • •
• • The sentencing of Mae West, Jim Timony, and the cast of "Sex" took place on Tuesday, 19 April 1927 in Jefferson Market Court (General Sessions). That trial and the dramatic guilty verdict end Act I of the full-length stage play "Courting Mae West: Sex, Censorship, and Secrets," a serious-minded comedy set during 1926 — 1932. Watch a scene on YouTube.
• • On Thursday, 19 April 1928 • •
• • In his diary, on Thursday, 19 April 1928, Carl Van Vechten wrote: Then we go to see Mae West in "Diamond Lil," sitting in the front row. I like it even better than before . . . .
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "The other men in the 'Mae West camp' are my brother, Jack, with whom I reside. He is part of my family, and the other part of my family is my father. Boris Petroff, former stage producer, is my dramatic adviser, while Murray Fiel and Murray Ellman — — with Mr. Timony — — comprise what amounts to a business board of directors."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A newspaper in Canberra mentioned Mae West.
• • "Mae West Again at the Capitol" • •
• • Mae West, Broadway star who made such a sensational debut in films in "She Done Him Wrong," last year, will be seen at the Capitol Theatre to-night, Friday and Saturday in her second starring vehicle "I'm No Angel." This remarkable film won the distinction last year in America of being the most popular production of the year, and wherever else it has been screened it has generally proved an outstanding success.  ...
• • Source: News Item: The Canberra Times; published on Thursday, 19 April 1934

• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2631st 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.

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• • Mae West 1940

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