Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mae West: Fred Kohler

MAE WEST played Cleo Borden in "Goin' to Town" [1935] — — and Fred Kohler was seen as Buck Gonzales
• • Fred Kohler [20 April 1887 — 28 October 1938] • • 
• • Born in Burlington, Iowa on Wednesday, 20 April 1887, Fredrick L. Kohler was a miner in his younger days. He lost part of his right hand in a dynamite accident. Determined to pursue a career in variety, he gamely took odd jobs to support himself as he sharpened his dramatic skills. Eventually, he joined a stock company and toured with them before planting his feet firmly in the soil of Tinseltown when he was 24 and he made some headway during the silent film era.
• • From 1911 — 1938, Fred Kohler played supporting roles in 139 motion pictures. The well-built six-footer had a stern demeanor and casting agents liked to call on him when a villain was required or a no-nonsense type. In addition to bandits and henchmen, he also could enliven the persona of a slave auctioneer, a Gypsy Chief, a gunner, a monk, a sheriff, an inmate, and assorted soldiers and foreboding foreigners.
• • Fred Kohler portrayed Buck Gonzales in "Goin' to Town" when he was 48 years old.  He made 24 motion pictures after that.
• • His penultimate project would be "Lawless Valley" [1938] and this adventure flick featured his son Fred Kohler, Jr. [1911 — 1993] portraying his screen son. "Lawless Valley" had cast a few actors who had the privilege of working with Mae West: Lew Kelly [also seen in "Goin' to Town"] and Robert McKenzie [also seen in "I'm No Angel"].
• • His career lasted without let-up until his sudden death from a heart attack. Fred Kohler died in Hollywood, California on 28 October 1938. He was 51.
• • On Wednesday, 25 April 1934 • •
• • An article about Mae West was printed in Britain's Evening Standard on Wednesday, 25 April 1934.  The "London after Dark" column by John Betjeman [28 August 1906 — 19 May 1984]  carried this sub-title: "I'm No Anna (Karina), Says Mae West."
• • On Thursday, 25 April 1935 • •
• • It was on a Thursday that Mae West's latest motion picture was released in the USA.on Thursday, 25 April 1935.
• • An enormous international cast was assembled to do justice to Mae West's ambitious screenplay "Now I'm a Lady" centered around the main character Cleo Borden, who wishes to be part of the tony horsey set. Script approval was granted, at last, by the Hays Commission on Monday, 1 April 1935. Produced by Emanuel Cohen Productions (as Major Pictures), the 74-minute comedy was released on 25 April 1935 under the new title "Goin' to Town."
• • On Tuesday, 25 April 1950 in Pittsburgh • •
• • An article "Mae West Saying a Lurid Farewell to Nixon Theater," written by Karl Krug, was printed in the Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph on Tuesday, 25 April 1950.
• • On Sunday, 25 April 1982 • •
• • George Eells' Letter to the Editor (discussing Mae West and the black artists she helped break into films) was printed on page 95 in The Los Angeles Times on Sunday, 25 April 1982.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I have had to do my share of outsmarting men through necessity."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Sunday Times mentioned Mae West.
• • "Mae West Again — — May Be Her Last Film" • •
• • Hollywood gossips are predicting Mae West's new picture, scheduled to start soon, will be her last. ... She will collect £60,000 though, for her work in the new film. ...
• • Source: Item: Sunday Times (Perth, Australia); published on Sunday, 29 August 1937
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2635th 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 1935

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