It's not often that you get a revealing backstage glimpse of MAE WEST from a female who traveled with her across the United States.
• • Last year I came across a poignant recollection of Mae by a registered nurse. Her essay was as insightful as it was painful to read. One day I might post it.
• • Meanwhile, let's hear from Anne Rea, Mae's hair dresser, who traveled with the actress from 1946 — 1952. Get ready to hear some details that go straight to the root.
• • "Stylist for Mae West Visits in Racine" • •
• • The Racine Journal-Times Sunday Bulletin interviewed Mrs. Rea and wrote this: A former Racine, Wisconsin woman spent 6 years accompanying Mae West's blond tresses, which were packed with stage properties while on tour. Mrs. Anne Rea, the former Miss Anne Sorenson of Racine, now of West Hollywood, was the personal hair dresser of the vaudeville star from 1946 through 1952; Mrs. Rea explained that Mae West did not wear wigs, but merely false hair pieces to supplement her curls. "She isn't bald nor does she have thin hair," Mrs. Rea added.
• • Miss West often carried around thousands of dollars worth of spit curls, bangs, and other false hair pieces that she used during her road shows.
• • "Most movie and stage stars wear false hair pieces so they can change the style of their hair-do without spending hours under dryers, or with their hair in pin-curls," Mrs. Rea explained to us.
• • Mrs. Rea is here in Wisconsin visiting her brother, Cliff Sorenson, of 3007 Bate St., and his family. She plans to join her husband, William, tonight, when Spike Jones band appears at Great Lakes. Mr. Rae is stage electrician with the Jones show.
• • In 1941, Mrs. Rea moved with her mother and father to West Hollywood, California. Before that, she had worked in several Racine beauty shops. At first, Mrs. Rea worked for Sophie's, a Hollywood beauty shop that handled false hair pieces. Then Miss Sophie and Mrs. Rea went to work for the House of Westmore.
• • For some time, Mrs. Rea had handled Miss West's hair, but had never met the movie star. "She always sent her chauffeur to pick up her hair when it was finished. Most of the stars did," Mrs. Rea recalled.
• • One day Miss West called to ask who had been handling her false hair and asked if the person would be interested in going on tour with her.
• • This lengthy interview will be continued tomorrow.
• • Source: Article: "Stylist for Mae West Visits in Racine" for The Racine Journal-Times Sunday Bulletin (Racine, Wisconsin); published on Sunday, 25 March 1956.
• • On Monday, 26 March 1934 in Los Angeles • •
• • The soundtrack to the motion picture "Belle of the Nineties" was recorded at Hollywood Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. On Monday, 26 March 1934, Mae West did the vocals for "Hesitation Blues" backed by Duke Ellington and His Orchestra.
• • On Wednesday, 26 March 1958 • •
• • Rock Hudson, age 32, and Mae West performed the song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” together, in point style, at the 30th Annual Academy Awards on Wednesday, 26 March 1958.
• • The 1957 Academy Awards were presented at the RKO Pantages Theatre, Hollywood, California and broadcast on NBC-TV.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • More than 95 per cent of the Kentucky Colonels are outright Optimists, 2 per cent downright Pessimists, and 3 per cent are on the fence.
• • Irvin Cobb was voted as the Colonels' favorite author, Will Rogers the favorite screen and radio star. The other preferences were Mae West, George Arliss, Claudette Colbert, Wallace Beery, Myrna Loy, Shirley Temple, Jack Benny, Eddie Cantor, Morton Downey.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Are you makin' love — — or takin' an inventory?"
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Variety mentioned Mae West.
• • Mae West's "Hussy" • •
• • A "Single" — Collaborating on Farce Comedy — Will Appear in It • •
• • Mae West has given up continuing in vaudeville. Instead the former "single" turn is to next appear in a farce comedy she has written in collaboration with Adeline Leitzbach. The title given to the piece is "The Hussy."
• • Source: Variety; published on Friday, 22 September 1922
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2878th blog post.
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • touring in 1954 • •
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