Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mae West: Enplaned

Mae in December 1954
MAE WEST was in the news on Saturday, 11 December 1954.
• • That was a gala dinner party tossed by Ethel Sissle [7 November 1915 — December 1984] in honor of Louise Beavers [8 March 1902 — 26 October 1962] last Sunday, before she enplaned for California and Las Vegas with the irrepressible Mae West.
• • Source: Item "With the Celebs" in The New York Age; published on Saturday, 11 December 1954.  
• • Ethel Sissle was the wife of Noble Sissle. 
• • During an interview, Eubie Blake said this about his college educated vaudeville partner: We didn’t play the deluxe houses, like the Paramount. They said we drew Negroes. We didn’t draw Negroes. We didn’t have a Negro act. I did a little light Negro comedy, a bit of dialect. Noble Sissle didn’t like that. Sissle never sang in dialect. He was right out of college — — Butler, Indianapolis. We’d just sit and entertain, wrote all our own material. When I’d play piano, I’d play a pop song, but I wouldn’t announce it. We had an act you couldn’t follow. But usually we had to work number two.
• • On Monday, 11 December 1939 • •
• • W.C. Fields sent Mae notes and script suggestions. Often these musings did not make it into the "My Little Chickadee" script.
• • In a note dated Monday, 11 December 1939 — — Dressing Room, Fields wrote:
• • Dear Mae, Eddie [Sutherland] told me that you asked him if I had any suggestions for the finish. This is it. The finish leaves us just the two of us at the end of the picture with no attempts at comedy or wise cracks from either of us. I think it will leave a nice human, homey feeling in the audience's mind. . . .
• • However, this vague, unfunny conclusion Fields sketched out was rather toothless and too wispy to be used. Wiser heads prevailed.
• • On Saturday, 11 December 1943 • •
• • The hard-working soldiers of the 63rd Infantry were treated to American entertainment in the evenings. The film screened for the military men and women on Saturday evening, 11 December 1943 at 18:45 (6:45 pm) was "The Heat's On" starring Mae West. Va-voom.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Too often, in Hollywood, we who are close to the business are liable to overlook something that is right under our nose. And especially when that something is somebody's popularity. Surely we know that Clark Gable is the first male box-office draw, and that Mae West is first among the women. We even know who is second and third on those two lists. But we are usually so blinded by the records of those first few that we often forget the rest.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "I won't drink Los Angeles water — — it's terrible.  I only drink bottled water." 
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article on Shakespeare mentioned Mae West. Do you sense some snark here?
• • If Shakespeare lived to-day, asked Sir John Martin Harvey, would he make films and feature Mae West?
• • Sir John Martin Harvey noted: Imagine Shakespeare with horn-rimmed glasses, smoking a cigar, wearing plus fours, sitting back in a canvas chair with a megaphone in one hand, directing the film production of his latest play, "As You Like It," featuring Mae West. ...
• • Source: Article in The Australian Women's Weekly; published on Saturday, 28 July 1934  
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2807th 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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• • Photo:
• • Mae West in December 1954

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