Monday, May 20, 2013

Mae West: Johnny Arthur

MAE WEST starred in "Every Day's a Holiday" and Johnny Arthur was briefly seen.
• • Johnny Arthur [20 May 1883 — 31 December 1951] • •
• • Born in Scottdale, Pennsylvania on Sunday, 20 May 1883 was John Lennox Arthur Williams. Specializing in a type — — the timid or whiny character — — took the five-foot-eight thespian far. He appeared onstage in Great Britain and toured the USA.
• • By 1923, he was 40 when he launched himself into film work during the silent era.
• • From 1923 — 1947, he would participate in 110 motion pictures as a bit parts player. When he was hired for "Every Day's a Holiday," his role was not even specified.
• • Johnny Arthur died in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California on 31 December 1951. He was 68.
• • On Thursday, 20 May 1926 in Life Magazine • •
• • Drama critic Robert Benchley [15 September 1889 — 21 November 1945] attended a performance of "Sex" starring Mae West in April 1926.  To his astonishment, Benchley noted that "at the corner of Central Park West and Sixty-Third Street, we ran into a line of people which seemed to be extending in the general direction of Daly’s Theatre . . . and what was more, the people standing in line were clutching, not complimentary passes, but good, green dollar bills.” Ahhh, Bobby dear, nothing like a paying audience.
• • The well-connected Algonquin Round Table writer and best buddy of Dorothy Parker was the Drama Editor of Life Magazine at this time.  Robert Benchley, writing in Life (issue dated for 20 May 1926), gave his opinion that, since "Sex" was playing to an SRO audience, it would soon become "a whacking hit."  But he complained it was "solely because the papers had said that it was 'vulgar' and 'bold' and because someone had the genius to think of its name."
• • That's not giving Mae too much credit for her creativity, eh?
• • On Sunday, 20 May 1934 • •
• • The article "So Mae West's Slipping? Not So She Can Notice It!" was published in The Los Angeles Times in their weekend edition on Sunday, 20 May 1934. By then Mae had two motion picture hits behind her and her third "Belle of the Nineties" would be released in September 1934.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I'd never marry a man who drinks to excess, or one who cannot carry his liquor like a gentleman. For one reason, the man I marry has got to be interested, not in liquor, but in Mae West!"
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Motion Picture mentioned Mae West.
• • Columnist Mark Dowling wrote:  She never goes to night-clubs. She isn't a time-killer and she isn't a show-off. She never goes out, as some stars do, wearing fetchingly scanty attire. For that matter, she seldom appears in public at all without the constant "chaperonage" of her manager. She lives in an apartment, not a mansion, attended by her colored maid (whom you have seen with her on the screen). ...
• • Source: "Don't Get Me Wrong!" — Mae West written by Mark Dowling (page 1) for Motion Picture; published in December 1934 issue
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2652nd 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 1937

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