Friday, December 13, 2013

Mae West: Don C. Harvey

In December 1946, MAE WEST celebrated the holidays by giving a series of out-of-town  performances of the play "Come On Up."
• • For instance, there was a rousing Christmas Day show on Wednesday, 25 December 1946 that was part of the four-night, pre-Broadway engagement of the comedy by Miles Mander, Fred Schiller, and Thomas Dunphy presented at the Davidson Theatre in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
• • By Sunday, 29 December 1946, Mae and the cast were cavorting on the boards in St. Louis, Missouri, continuing the regional circuit that would promote it to producers. The production continued touring cross-country, finally closing on 22 February 1947 at the Biltmore Theatre in Los Angeles, failing to snag a coveted Broadway booking.
• • Handsome Don C. Harvey originated the role of Nick.
• • Don C. Harvey [12 December 1911 — 23 April 1963] • •
• • Born in Council Grove in east central Kansas in the month of December — — on Tuesday, 12 December 1911 — — Don Carlos Harvey decided to become an actor. Harvey started his career playing in tent shows, with repertory companies, and on radio programs with his wife Jean Harvey, whom he married in 1934 when he was 23 years old.
• • In 1945, Don Harvey got a chance at a minor role in the romantic comedy "That Night with You."  One of his cast mates was character actor Syd Saylor, who had played a cowoby in "Goin' to Town" [1935] and worked with Mae West. Was this the link that brought him to Mae's attention perhaps? By the following year, Harvey would be rehearsing his role in "Come On Up" and then trouping for nine months with the Brooklyn bombshell.  The play opened on 20 May 1946 at the Oakland Auditorium in Oakland, California.
• • When the run finished, Don C. Harvey's profile had been raised several notches. Starting with "Dragnet" [1947], "For You I Die" [1947], and "The Counterfeiters" [1948], he was able to score some featured roles in motion pictures. More often, however, he was a bit parts man. From 1945 — 1963, his resume racked up 194 credits for film and TV work.  One of his last appearances was in the popular comedy "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" [1963].
• • Still married to Jean and working until the very end, Harvey suffered a fatal heart attack. He died in Studio City, California on 23 April 1963. He was 51.
• • On Friday, 13 December 1912 in Variety • •
• • At Hammerstein's Victoria the stagebill was always crowded. In December 1912, the singing comedienne Mae West opened right after intermission, a difficult spot on the Program because the audience was still taking seats, waving to friends as they strolled down the aisle, and not paying attention to the act onstage. Variety noted, in their issue dated for Friday, 13 December 1912 that Mae West was at a disadvantage that evening and "some of her very good material went for naught."
• • On Friday, 13 December 2013 • •
• • The Mae West Blog welcomed 1,239 visitors in the last 24 hours. Many of these clicks were from people around the world.
• • Glad tidings to all of you 1,239 Mae-mavens from near and far. You must have noticed our cheerful welcome mat and we enjoyed entertaining and informing you about the iconic screen queen, an American original.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West's style is too subtle for Hollywood, it seems. They don't get her. After seeing Babs West in "She Done Him Wrong" I went around shouting like a fan fanatic. Is that being sophisticated? Well, Richard Cromwell joined me. Thank God for youth and the finer susceptibilities. As I say, Hollywood couldn't make Mae out.
• • One of my favorite women protested my bubbling enthusiasm. "Why," she exclaimed, "Mae West hurls sex at you like a pie in the face!"
• • "Yeah!" I scream. "And isn't it funny!"
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "The thing that worries me most . . . is the reformers likin' me. When they do, I'll know I'm slippin'!"
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article in Australia praised Mae West.
• • Even as the switchboard at NBC lit up, registering outraged American reactions to Mae West as Eve on "The Chase and Sanborn Show" on Sunday's program on 12 December 1937, and while the purity patrol was describing this "radio sacrilege," all was quite jolly well indeed among the fans of the actress in Brisbane, Australia. At that time, "Go West Young Man" [1936] was showing Down Under.
• • "Mae West as Star of Theatre" • •
• • The Courier-Mail wrote: Mae West's latest film, now showing at the Majestic Theatre, is a story of broken romances. It also provides her with a more or less straight part to play as Mavis Arden, a theatre star under a five-year contract, which stipulates that she must not fall in love.
• • The Courier-Mail explained: Her Press agent and adviser (Warren William) has a full-time job to see that the clause of her contract is carried out, but he himself falls in love with her. Before this, however, he manages to break up her romances with Harrigan (Lyle Talbot), an old sweetheart of hers, and a local farmer (Randolph Scott). ...
• • Source: Article in The Courier-Mail (Brisbane); published on Monday, 13 December 1937
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2809th 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 in 1946

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