"MAE WEST Held to Tradition" was the headline in mid-January 1949 when the actress was 55 years old. (Mae was born in August 1893.) Let's see what this Australian newspaper was talking about.
• • Baltimore, January 15 — Mae West lived up to the tradition of the stage to-day by insisting 'the show must go on!' although it meant her release from hospital against the doctors' orders.
• • She is starring in her own stage production "Diamond Lil."
• • Mae West was rushed to hospital early to-day but six hours later, saying she was better, demanded her release. Hospital doctors had reported she was suffering from "an acute abdominal obstruction" and probably would require an operation.
• • The hospital registered Mae West's age as 40 [sic].
• • Source: Townsville Daily Bulletin (Queensland); published on Monday, 17 January 1949.
• • On Saturday, 17 January 1931 • •
• • The novel "Babe Gordon" by Mae West was given some snooty scrutiny in the Daily Princetonian (page 2), Volume 55, Number 171; book review published on Saturday, 17 January 1931.
• • The critic wrote: Well, anyway, for erotic description La West is pretty darned good ...
• • On Wednesday, 17 January 1934 in The L.A. Times • •
• • Covering the trial, and Mae's testimony about the frightening jewel heist engineered by brazen Harry Voiler, The Los Angeles Times wrote this: Mae West swayed into court on high French heels and hitched up her hips as she made ready to climb into the witness box. A mink coat made Mae West look like any other well-dressed woman from the rear but it was the front view that wowed the crowded courtroom. It may not be done on purpose but Miss West has a trick way of carrying her hands when she walks . . . and there is no question that it went over big. She wore her coat unbuttoned and placed the backs of her hands on her body just below the hips, well to the rear."
• • On Monday, 17 January 1944 • •
• • An article about the motion picture "The Heat's On" starring Mae West was published in Hollywood Citizen-News in Monday's issue on 17 January 1944.
• • On Monday, 17 January 1949 in The N.Y. Times • •
• • Mae West was 55 years old in January 1949. Always feisty and hard-working, the actress pushed herself and, alas, various health problems caught up with her during January 1949. Portraying the insouciant Diamond Lil in a three-hour play was bound to be more difficult while ailing and touring, even for this indefatigable trouper.
• • No doubt these headlines in The New York Times added more stress to both the star and her producers when reporter Sam Zolotow's article was printed in Monday's newspaper on 17 January 1949: "Mae West Revival Drops Toronto Run; Star's Illness in Baltimore to Halt Buffalo, Syracuse Visits — — Play Due Here February 3rd."
• • Sam Zolotow wrote: A gallant attempt by Mae West to minimize her illness has not been successful. The star of "Diamond Lil," scheduled to arrive February 3 at the Coronet in the revival of her play, had appeared in Baltimore last week through Friday night [on 14 January 1949], when she was taken ill. . . .
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Much of this money is spent to maintain a reputation. Stars feel that a "rep" for some particular idiosyncrasy is an asset in hand. Mae West's diamonds are part of her publicity campaign.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Suddenly the table began to tip in my direction, and it went on for some time. The message, it turned out, was from my late father, and he spoke about several things which nobody in the group could have known. He told me that one of the men I was seeing at the time — — the man who was present at the seance, in fact — — was okay, and that I should continue to see him if I wanted to. ..."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The New Movie Magazine mentioned Mae West.
• • Herb Howe wrote: One day I visited Mae West on the set she was just about to put her head in a lion's mouth. The lion growled at my interruption and I fainted in Miss West's arms. Mae murmured something. Then, turning to the lion, she snapped, "Keep your mind on your work!" and the lion fainted. Talk about the lion and the lamb lying down together. Mae's a miracle worker. ...
• • Source: The New Movie Magazine; issue dated for August 1933
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2834th blog post.
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • in 1949 • •
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