MAE WEST was kept out of jail by her well-connected attorney Nathan Burkan.
• • "Mae West Trial Opens" was front page news on Thursday, 20 March 1930 in the Frederick News Post and elsewhere.
• • Why didn't Mae West pay her lawyer? The simple answer is: she couldn't. The court costs had forced her into bankruptcy. The financial fall-out caused the Broadway star such shame, she never alluded to it.
• • This scene is dramatized in the play "Courting Mae West." Mae, who has cleverly side-stepped the intrusive personal questions by Texas Guinan, finally breaks down and confesses the truth to her sister Beverly when she joins her in the court room. The legal bills have been overwhelming and now Mae is penniless. Beverly then offers her own confession: she's gotten a job that will support them — — but will Mae object to it? This pivotal scene, one of the most unexpected confrontations between the two sisters, is a riveting bit of drama.
• • "Nathan Burkan Dies of Acute Indigestion" • •
• • United Press wrote: New York. ... He once sued Mae West for alleged non-payment of fees. At one time or another he had represented such well-known figures as . . . former Mayor James J. Walker, Pearl White, Theda Bara, Eleanor Boardman, and the late Florenz Ziegfeld. ..
• • Source: Article rpt in The Reading Eagle; published on Monday, 8 June 1936.
• • On Friday, 20 March 1914 • •
• • An item in the Columbus Journal newspaper dated for Friday, 20 March 1914 ran like this: "Love laughs at locksmiths" and Cupid takes long chances, even in vaudeville. But Guido Deiro, the accordion player now at Keith's, put him through very hard paces yesterday. Deiro braved the wrath of those who might oppose him and secretly skipped off to Cincinnati, Ohio on Thursday morning in order to see his fiancee, Mae West, who is playing at the Keith house in that city. He left at 1:05 AM and got back at 3:10 PM, just in the nick of time to go on for his last act.... He played his accordion as he had never played it before, for he had the inspiration.
• • On Thursday, 20 March 1930 • •
• • The Thursday issue of The New York Times (on 20 March 1930) continued their coverage of the infamous "Pleasure Man" trial presided over by Judge Amedeo Bertini. The District Attorney's office was now headed by former State Supreme Court Justice Thomas T.C. Crain. And his prosecutor was hot-headed James Wallace who swore he would "prove that it would take the most confirmed pervert to write such a play." The star of the proceedings went first on the witness stand: NYC Police Captain James J. Coy, who led the charge of the night brigade as it descended on two different occasions on Mae's gay play at the Biltmore.
• • Though Nathan Burkan, her legal counsel, kept Mae off the stand, she told a reporter that, if anyone needs a dirty play, they should go straight to James Wallace.
• • On Friday, 20 March 1936 • •
• • "Smoke, Fire, and Mae West" read a headline in the Examiner on Friday, 20 March 1936. The editors explained: Mae West gave permission to an American firm to make dolls in her likeness. The day operations began, the factory caught fire. Now what do you make of that?
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West also presents a few of her characteristic songs in her new Paramount picture "Goin' to Town." The erstwhile Belle of the Nineties sings "He's a Bad Man," "Love is Love in Any Woman's Heart" and "Now I'm a Lady," a blue tune written in a minor key in which Mae tells us she has reformed.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Anybody who needs a dirty play ought to call on Mr. Wallace for suggestions."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Washington Post mentioned Mae West.
• • "Mae West Facing Trial in New York” read one headline.
• • Source: Washington Post; published on Tuesday, 18 March 1930
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2874th blog post.
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • 1930 • •
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