Friday, January 24, 2014

Mae West: Donald Kerr

MAE WEST worked with the actor Donald Kerr who played the role of a stage manager in "The Heat's On" [1943]. 
• • Donald Kerr [5 August 1891 — 25 January 1977] • •
• • Born in Eagle Grove, Iowa on 5 August 1891, Donald Kerr set his cap for Tinseltown and touched down in 1933 when he was 42 years old. The versatile character actor would eventually amass nearly 500 credits in film and TV appearances. Often these were bits parts but, occasionally, he snagged a supporting role.
• • From 1933 — 1965, Donald Kerr was seen in Westerns, romantic comedies, detective dramas, and family fare. Casting agents often assigned him the role of a reporter — — he must have looked good in a fedora, taking notes and asking questions — — and he was also used as a bartender, barber, barker, cabbie, clerk, circus worker, cook, farmer, pianist, sailor, spectator, waiter, etc.
• • He was dressed as a sailor in "So's Your Aunt Emma!" [1942], a film starring Roger Pryor, the handsome heart-throb who had played the boxer Tiger Kid in "Belle of the Nineties" [1934] starring Mae West. A year later Kerr played a stage hand in "The Heat's On" [1943] starring Mae West. 
• • Donald Kerr was cast as a comic in "John Goldfarb, Please Come Home!" [1965], which starred funnyman Jim Backus. After this role, Kerr finally packed it in and retired from the screen world at the sprightly age of 74.
• • Mae-mavens will recall that in the cast of "Myra Breckinridge" [1970], 57-year-old Jim Backus portrayed a doctor.  And Backus would reunite with Mae West three years later, attending the Masquers Club's salute to the Empress of Sex as one of her "Gentlemen in Waiting" (along with George Raft, Jack Larue, Steve Allen, Lloyd Nolan, etc.).
• • Donald Kerr died in Los Angeles, California on Tuesday, 25 January 1977. He was 85.
• • On Monday, 24 January 1938 • •
• • According to Time, Mae West's cinema earnings in 1936 were $323,000, about as much salary as Bethlehem Steel's president, Eugene G. Grace, and the chairman of its board, Charles M. Schwab.
• • Time Magazine published a review of Mae West's latest film "Every Day's A Holiday" (Paramount Pictures, 1938). Time's lily-livered critic had this to say:
• • In the peculiar idiom of show business, Mae West's art comes under the head of umph.  ...
• • On Saturday 24 January 1948 in London • •
• • "Diamond Lil" starring Mae West toured Manchester, Blackpool, Birmingham, and Glasgow before opening at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London on Saturday night, 24 January 1948.
• • On Tuesday, 24 January 1950 in the Baltimore Sun • •
• • Sculptor Louis Rosenthal was interviewed and photographed in a Maryland hotel suite right next to Mae West. The article was: "Mae West Unaltered in 19 Years, Sculptor Finds."
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West's next Paramount picture probably will have the back- ground of Alaska during the gold rush days, and will carry the tentative title of "Klondike." Miss West will write it.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Never embarrass the audience. Stifle the blush with a laugh."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The New Movie Magazine mentioned Mae West.
• • "Press Agent Blushes" • •
• • Imagine the embarrassment of a Paramount press agent the other day when he introduced Mae West to May Robson [19 April 1858 — 20 October 1942]. Miss Robson had heard of Miss West (and who hasn't?) but Miss West didn't know who Miss Robson was — — and said so. ...
• • Source: The New Movie Magazine; published February 1933
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2839th 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:

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• • Mae West in 1943

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