Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Mae West: Harold Minjir

In "Go West Young Man" — — released on 18 November 1936 — — MAE WEST stepped into a role of Mavis Arden, a persona created by another actress for a Broadway comedy ("Personal Appearance") that poked fun at "Hollywood dementia" and the divide between what fans think they know about an unmarried actress and her racy private life.
• • The N.Y. Times wrote: Apart from that incessant swaying of hers (it is some one's idea, probably her own, that it represents the epitome of eroticism) her treatment of the róle of the prurient lady of the screen is what the casting directors call a natural. Mae West never allows Mavis Arden to delude any but herself and a few star-struck youngsters.
• • A brief bit was done onscreen by Harold Minjir who died in April — —on April 16th.
• • Harold Minjir [5 October 1895 — 16 April 1976] • •
• • Born in Denver, Colorado on Saturday, 5 October 1895 was a tot named Harold R. Minger. Under the name "Harold Minjer" he was active on Broadway from 1924 — 1928, as impressive a trouper with a raucuous musical as a serious drama. He turned up in "The Grand Street Follies" and other productions with cast mate Dorothy Sands, an insistent and skillful Mae West impersonator.
• • Fortified by such big league experience, Minjer/ Minjir traveled to Tinseltown during the early sound era when he was 35 years old and was accorded several high-profile supporting roles. The meatier scripts soon stopped coming, alas, and the handsome, mustachioed performer found his choices reduced to scrappy bit parts and dress extra categories.
• • From 1930 — 1945, Harold Minjir was cast as an actor in 67 motion pictures. Several times he won the part of a secretary; in "Go West Young Man" he played Cummings, Harrigan's Secretary.
• • His last films were in 1945 when he was 50 and his participation had diminished to "uncredited" bits or the truly ignominious designation of "scenes deleted." All the same, Minjir's numerous cast mates in "The Woman in the Window" [1945] included several people who had the privilege to work with Mae West; while making that motion picture, he rubbed shoulders with Dorothy Peterson, Tom Hanlon, Sheldon Jett, Larry Steers, and Hollywood's most frequent dress extra Bess Flowers.
• • Harold Minjir died in Los Angeles on Friday, 16 April 1976. He was 80. Minjir was buried in Corona del Mar's Pacific View Memorial Park.
• • On Monday, 16 April 1928 • •
• • This is from Carl Van Vechten's journal entry for Monday, 16 April 1928. Van Vechten wrote: I read proofs all the morning. Lunch in ... Then to see Mae West in "Diamond Lil," which I adored. Miss West is marvelous. Saw Edna Ferber between acts.
• • Source: "The Splendid Drunken Twenties: Selections from the Daybooks, 1922 — 1930" by Carl Van Vechten.
• • On Monday, 16 April 1934 • •
• • Here's what Mae was doing on Monday, 16 April 1934, during the height of the Depression: the Paramount Pictures star had ordered and signed for a 1934 V-12 Cadillac Town Cabriolet. The specifications indicated: a black chassis; wire wheels; the top (or roof) in Landau black leather; upholstery in black leather.
• • On Wednesday, 16 April 1947 • •
• • "Court Tilt Won by Mae West" was headlined in The Los Angeles Times newspaper on Wednesday, 16 April 1947. Two authors had sued Mae West and Mike Todd over the authorship of "Catherine Was Great."
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "You can see for yourself that a girl's just at old as she feels."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An Australian article mentioned Mae West.
• • A newspaper feature published Down Under on Saturday, 26 February 1938 discussed in great detail all the ways the real woman was nothing like the fictional females she played.
• • The Mirror (in Perth, Australia) wrote: Mae West's characterisation of a motion picture star in "Go West Young Man," the hilarious comedy, which will be screening at the Grand Theatre, Friday next, March 4, strangely enough, is entirely unlike her own life as an outstanding film luminary.
• • The Mirror gave several examples. Here's one: "Go West Young Man" portrays a film star's touring paraphernalia as extremely elaborate, but the real Mae West journeyed to Corona, California for her first ''location" scenes of the picture, in simple fashion. Accompanied only by her driver and personal maid, Miss West's arrival was inconspicuous, and her departure the same — — a decided contrast to the film role (Mavis Arden) she portrays.
• • Source: Article: "Go West Young Man" Mae West Stars in Coming Paramount Attraction printed in The Mirror (Perth, Australia) on page 24, on Saturday, 26 February 1938
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2628th 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: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/

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• • Mae West 1936

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  1. Is there any information regarding Mae West and WW1 please?

    Regards L. London
    16th April 2013

  2. • • If you are asking did Mae West follow in the footsteps of Elsie Janis, the answer is "No."
    • • Thanks for your visit today.