Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Mae West: Target of Threats

MAE WEST was at home, surrounded by a special bodyguard, when the verdict was returned, explained the newspapers on Monday, 5 February 1934.
• • The evidence indicates that about 7 o'clock on the evening of the Mae West robbery the complaining witness was seated next to defendant Voiler in the front seat of a parked sedan. A man came up to the car, opened the right-hand door and said, "this is stick-up." He pointed something resembling a gun at the occupants and took a purse and jewelry, speaking several sentences to them during the operation. He wore no mask and had a lighted cigarette in his mouth. The complaining witness observed his eyes, part of his nose and the center of his face. She also observed his height and size, and that his hand was heavy and rather stout. Pursuant to a telephone call a few days later, the purse was recovered but not the money or valuables.
• • LOS ANGELES, Feb. 5 (UP) — J. Edward Friedman, alleged Chicago gangster, was convicted Saturday on charges of second degree robbery In the famous $15,000 jewelry hold-up of Mae West, stage and screen actress.
• • Friedman fainted when the verdict was read after the jury had deliberated less than three hours. His wife sobbed hysterically. Although present when the state had closed its final arguments, Miss Mae West was at home, surrounded by a special bodyguard, when the verdict was returned. As the long trial reached an end, rumors were heard that Miss West had become the target of new threats.
• • The bodyguard had been assigned when she reported receiving several death threats. Superior Judge Harry F. Sewell set next Tuesday as the day for sentencing Friedman, who persistently had denied the actress' charges.
• • In two dramatic appearances on the witness stand during the trial, the screen siren had pointed out Friedman as one of two bandits who robbed her of jewels and money in front of her apartment house in September 1932. Harry Voller, Detroit man who had been with Miss West just before the hold-up, is under arrest in Chicago, charged with plotting the robbery.  ...
• • Source: Article reported by UP for syndication; rpt by on page 5 by The News-Herald (Franklin, PA); published on Monday, 5 February 1934.
• • On Sunday, 5 February 1933 in New York World Herald • •
• • In an interview with New York World Herald in their Sunday issue, on 5 February 1933, Mae West boasted about discovering Cary Grant and getting him the role of Captain Cummings for her motion picture.
• • On Monday, 5 February 1934 in Scandinavia • •
• • "I'm No Angel" starring Mae West made its debut in Denmark on 5 February 1934.
• • On Saturday, 5 February 1949 on Broadway • •
• • Mae West fused herself to the persona of "Diamond Lil" like no other character she had ever played.
• • In the month of February, a Broadway revival of "Diamond Lil" opened at the Coronet Theatre [5 February 1949 — 26 February 1949]. This hugely successful revival was interrupted, alas, after a few weeks. Mae West broke her ankle on February 26, causing performances to halt after she slipped on a rug in her hotel room.  Ouch!
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • But of all the snappy lines you have put on the screen, Mae West, my favorite is the one in "Belle of the Nineties" when Miljan showed you the "old master" painting and your comeback was: "It looks like an old mistress to me!" Only a Mae West could put a line like that over! 
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "The man with the gun said to me, 'Give me the poke.'"
• • Mae West said: "My purse was on the seat beside me and the bandit reached over for it. I figured he wanted it, so I picked it up and gave it to him."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Daily Beast mentioned Mae West.
• • Robert Hofler wrote: But Zanuck and Brown just loved Michael Sarne’s concept for the film: Myra’s sex change is nothing more than Myron’s bad dream. Which could also describe the cast that Fox assembled for the picture.
• • Mae West, 67, came out of retirement to play the horny agent Leticia Van Allen, and in addition to the $350,000 Fox offered her, she could write her own lines in "Myra Breckinridge." West’s first job as her own screenwriter was to change the name of her character from Leticia to Letitia. It was, she said, “too choice an opportunity to let it get away.”  ...
• • Source: Article: "Hollywood's First Sexplosion" by Robert Hofler for The Daily Beast; published Friday, 31 January 2014 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2847th 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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