Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Mae West: Bess Flowers

MAE WEST plays Cleo Borden, a newly rich former dance hall queen, in "Goin' to Town"  [1935] and Bess Flowers was seen briefly as a night club extra.
• • Bess Flowers [23 November 1898 — 28 July 1984] • •
• • Born in Sherman, Texas on 23 November 1898, pretty Bess Flowers was married in 1923 to an assistant director in Hollywood. Cullen Tate [1896 — 1947] was Cecil B. DeMille's A.D. After Tate's death in 1947, Bess wed William S. Holman, a studio manager at Columbia Studios. No doubt, these alliances kept her tied to the casting game of musical chairs in Tinseltown, though she was never tethered to the starting line-up, as it were.
• • Five-foot-eight and slim, she portrayed a mannequin and wore only sleek slices of chiffon in her earliest photoplays. But shortly after, she became a fully fledged "dress extra." 
• • If the term is new to you, a "dress extra" is a bit parts player who would buy her own clothes to wear in scenes. Rarely given dialogue, the dress extras fill in the frame, portraying department store buyers, auction attendees, party guests, passengers, pedestrians, and so on. Often these crowd scenes are trimmed or deleted. The up-side is that a popular dress extra could participate in many silent movies or motion pictures; the scene would not take more than a day to shoot. The down-side was the lack of career advancement.
• • From 1923 — 1965, Bess Flowers was seen in more than 800 motion pictures and as an extra on TV shows.
• • In 1924, the "Queen of the Hollywood Extras" gave birth to her only child, Patricia E. Tate [29 January 1924 — 1 August 1972].  Her daughter died at 48 years old.
• • Bess Flowers died in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California on Saturday, 28 July 1984.  She was 85.
• • On Wednesday, 31 July 1974 • •
• • "Sex is good for you," says Mae West. And an interview published in The Australian Women's Weekly began with that provocative opening when they printed a profile of the sultry star. "I've never had anything to worry about," Mae assured the Aussie reporter. "It's always been success, success, success." ...
• • [Source: The Australian Women's Weekly on page 29; published in Australia on Wednesday, 31 July 1974.]
• • Save the Dates: August 12th and August 17th and 18th • • 
• • What: three events timed to celebrate the 120th birthday of Mae West, born in Brooklyn, NY on August 17, 1893
• • On Monday, 12 August 2013 at the Hudson Sq Library • • 
• • One afternoon only! • •
• • When: Monday, August 12, 2013 from 4:00pm — 5:45pm [Seating from 3:45pm]
• • Where: Hudson Branch Library, 66 Leroy St., New York, NY 10014; NOT accessible to wheelchairs 
• • Who + What: "Diamond Lil" by Mae West as a Reader's Theatre Experience with words and period songs and live music — a unique, unforgettable presentation
• • Cast: Costumed in 1890s Bowery style, actress Darlene Violette and actor Sidney Myer present the 1932 novel "Diamond Lil" written by Mae West in Mae's words — enhanced with period songs and live music by Brian McInnis.  At intervals, historian and playwright LindaAnn Loschiavo leads an "Armchair Tour" through the boisterous Bowery and Chinatown of the 1890s with rare vintage images you have never seen before. 
• • What else: The ever-popular Mae West Raffle. 
• • August 12th Admission and Raffle Tickets: FREE. 
• • RSVP:  Email  MaeWestDiamondLil (at) gmail  (dot) com
• • Closest MTA subway stations: Christopher St. or West Fourth St.; or the M7 bus. 
• • Closest PATH station: Christopher St. 
• • The public is invited (suitable for age 18 and over)
• • The library has a spacious auditorium so tell your fun-loving friends about this!
• • All of the sex and none of the censorship . . . • • 
• • The novel "Diamond Lil" closely follows the 3-hour production Mae performed onstage from 1928 — 1951, and it is much more exciting than the family-friendly screen version. Playwright LindaAnn Loschiavo massaged Mae's classic opus into an 85-minute adaptation featuring all of the sex and none of the censorship. No intermission. 
• • There will be two stagings of "Diamond Lil" on August 17th and August 18th in Manhattan, both in midtown. Don't miss out.
• • Find out more details (both addresses, performance times, ticket prices, cast) here: 
• • Updates:
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I did not change my way of life. I harmed no one. I had a philosophy, an idea of how to live fully and in my way.  I believed in it as fully and as strongly as I believed in being an American."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Observer (London) mentioned Mae West.
• • Tracy McVeigh wrote: ''Marriage is a fine institution," said 1930s film star Mae West. "But I'm not ready for an institution." And now, according to figures just released by the Office for National Statistics, we're all falling out of love with marriage. ...
• • Source: Article: "To have and to hold — but not necessarily to marry" written by Tracy McVeigh for The Observer; published on Saturday, 13 July 2013
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2705th 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

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• • Mae West 3 Diamond Lil events

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