Thursday, September 05, 2013

Mae West: Francis Ford

MAE WEST starred in "Goin' to Town" and Francis Ford was seen as a sheriff.
• • Francis Ford [14 August 1881 — 5 September 1953] • •
• • Born in Portland, Maine on 14 August 1881 was a little sweet face named Frank Thomas Feeney. It so happened that he was the elder brother of the director John Ford and a great influence on his sibling as well as a mentor.
• • Francis Ford had been a screen director until the advent of sound, all the while lending himself out to studios as an actor. Around 1929 or so, he would devote himself to acting. Casting agents often placed him in authority roles.
• • Between 1909 — 1953, he was seen in 490-something motion pictures and also in four TV Westerns such as the "Lone Ranger."  In 1935, the trim six-footer portrayed a sheriff in "Goin' to Town" and got to work with Mae West.
• • Acting right up to the end, Francis Ford was seen as a grandfather in his last motion picture "The Marshal's Daughter" [1953].  He got to work with Johnny Mack Brown, who was a poker player in the film. But two decades earlier, he had the privilege of co-starring in "Belle of the Nineties" opposite Mae West; perhaps you recall his role as the dapper and wealthy gentleman named Brooks Claybourne who gives Ruby Carter diamonds.
• • Francis Ford died in Los Angeles, California  on Saturday, 5 September 1953. He was 72.
• • Mae West and "Diamond Lil" Trivia • •
• • Diamonds and Mae West go together like smoke and fire.
• • Nothing makes a jewel more enticing than a compelling romantic history, observed the Los Angeles-based vintage jewelry dealer Neil Lane, who has spent over two dozen years in the business. “Jewelry is typically given as a token of love,” he told The Robb Report in 2003. “People love jewels with a romantic provenance.”
• • Among his favorite love stories is that of Mae West and her longtime younger lover, Paul Novak. “When Mae West’s lover died, he left a safety deposit box with an extraordinary collection of her jewelry,” says Lane. “The man had very little money, but he never sold her jewels because they meant so much to her.” Lane acquired several pieces from West’s estate, including a circa-1920s, 40-carat diamond bracelet, priced at $150,000, which the actress wore in the play "Diamond Lil."
• • On Friday, 5 September 1952 in Colorado • •
• • On Friday, 5 September 1952 in Denver, Adlai Stevenson gave a speech that included a piece of wisdom — — "it is not the years in your life, but the life in your years" — — and this statement has been misattributed to both Abraham Lincoln and Mae West.
• • 73 Birthday Candles Lit for Raquel Welch • •
• • Happy Birthday to Raquel Welch, whose career was not boosted by "Myra Breckinridge" [1970], though her curves made the poster memorable. Born on Thursday, 5 September 1940, the former model is 73 years old today. When they co-starred together, Mae West was 77 years old. Yes, you think about it, honey.
Joanna Bonaro as FRANCES and Darlene Violette as DIAMOND LIL
• • See "Diamond Lil" This Autumn! • •
• • By popular demand, actress Darlene Violette — — and the wonderful cast who brought the Bowery denizens and Suicide Hall’s ne’er-do-wells to life — — will return in “Diamond Lil” for several evening performances at Don’t Tell Mama [343 W. 46th Street] on these dates in 2013:
• • 7:00pm on Sunday September 15th and 22nd. 
• • 7:30pm on Sunday October 27th — Hallowe'en Party — come in 1890s costume!
• • 7:00pm on Sunday November 3rd — vote for Gus Jordan for Sheriff Night.
• • 8:30pm on Sunday November 10th
• • 7:00pm on Sunday November 17th
• • 7:00pm on Sunday November 24th
• • Phone after 4pm to reserve a seat: 212-757-0788; RSVP online:
• • Closest MTA subway stations: 42nd St./ Times Sq. via A, C, E, 1, 2, 3 
• • The public is invited (suitable for age 18 and over). Join us as we turn the iconic NYC nightspot Don't Tell Mama into Gus Jordan's "Suicide Hall"! 
• • The Cast: Starring Darlene Violette as Diamond Lil, Queen of the Bowery and also featuring Sidney Myer, Anthony DiCarlo, Joanna Bonaro, Gary Napoli, Juan Sebastian Cortes, Kimmy Foskett, Jim Gallagher and live music by Brian McInnis
• • Director: Co-directed by Dena Tyler, The Actors Studio, and Darlene Violette.
• • Come up and see for yourself. You might even win a swell Raffle Prize.
• • Read a Review of "Diamond Lil" • •
• • L'Idea Magazine's editors attended four times and had a lot to say. Here's the link:
• • Staying faithful to the gritty themes in the novel, LindaAnn Loschiavo trimmed the work to 85 minutes for a cast of eight.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Do the best you can with what you've got."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Dallas Observer mentioned Mae West.
• • Elaine Liner wrote: High camp: Mae West in a feather boa in "She Done Him Wrong." Low camp: Jamie Farr in a dowdy dress on M*A*S*H.  Camp adjacent: Every cock in a frock in the mock campy "Priscilla Queen of the Desert the Musical," whose national tour is now at the Dallas Summer Musicals at Fair Park. ...    
• • Source: Article: "Kind of a drag" by Elaine Liner for Dallas Observer;  published on Thursday, 21 May 2013
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2735th 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

• • Photo:
• • Mae West Diamond Lil returned for Mae's birthday

• • Feed — —
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