Friday, April 25, 2014

Mae West: Bride of Burmester

It was early Spring 1924 when MAE WEST was touring in vaudeville. The 30-year-old performer met a charming local stringer for the magazine Variety:  Bud Burmester.  He interviewed her, then things heated up pretty quickly.
• • On Saturday, 22 March 1924, R.A. Bud Burmester, a 34-year-old resident of Harris County, Texas, applied for a marriage license in Texas for a forthcoming marriage to the actress. Nothing came of it. However, his name would re-surface eleven years later.  Pull up a chair. It's a long story.
• • "Fort Worth Man Declines To Affirm Marriage With Screendom's Mae West" • • 
• • United Press International wrote this: FORT WORTH. April 24 (UPI)— R. A. Burmester of Fort Worth, Texas declines to discuss in specific terms a marriage license he applied for.
• • Mae West bristled when told about the report that county clerk had on file at Houston, Texas a marriage license issued in 1924 bearing her name and that of R. A. Burmester. "That's the ninth man I'm supposed to have married this year," scoffed the actress.  "Will It never end? I was In a New York show at that time, so it must have been my marrying double."
• • The license [shown above] was issued at Houston in 1924, bearing his name and that of Mae West. "Yes!" was his answer to a query whether he had ever known the movie star.
• • "When, where, and how well?" he was asked.
• • This he would not answer.  Burmester was a newspaper reporter in Houston In 1924 when Miss West came there on a vaudeville tour.  He has been promoter, theater manager, boxer, and fight impresario. Now he is a publicity man. Theater men in Houston said the marriage authorized by the license — — which came to light there yesterday — — was never performed. The county clerk said no return ever was made on the document. Any minister or Justice of the Peace who performed a marriage ceremony would have been required to make the return.
• • While Burmester would not commit himself as to his personal connection with the license, he expressed decided opinions on Miss Mae West herself, and the license matter in general. "Mae West is a lady and an artist in the truest sense," he said.  "She worked hard to  raise her status to its present height. Her eminence In the theater and on the silver sheet were brought about entirely by her own efforts. She never got a break from anybody. She is entitled to the greatest admiration and respect."
• • Asked about the claims of Frank Wallace, Burmester said, "I consider it unsportsmanlike for these petty larceny grafters to attach themselves to her skirts and thus attempt to mine some publicity, saying they romanced her in Minnesota. They are after some reflected glory."  . . .
• • Source: Item in The Lubbock Morning Avalanche; published on Thursday, 25 April 1935.
• • On Wednesday, 25 April 1934 • •
• • Britain's publication Evening Standard had a "London after Dark" column. On Wednesday, 25 April 1934 they published this feature on page 9:  "I'm No Anna" Says Mae West.
• • On Thursday, 25 April 1935 • •
• • It was on a Thursday that Mae West's latest motion picture was released in the USA on 25 April 1935.
• • An enormous international cast was assembled to do justice to Mae West's ambitious screenplay "Now I'm a Lady" centered around the main character Cleo Borden, who wishes to be part of the tony horsey set. Script approval was granted, at last, by the Hays Commission on 1 April 1935. Produced by Emanuel Cohen Productions (as Major Pictures), the 74-minute comedy was released on 25 April 1935 under the new title "Goin' to Town."
• • On Thursday, 25 April 1935 in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune • •
• • "Mae West Still Denies Rumors" was the headline in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune [Florida].
• • HOLLYWOOD, Calif., April 25 — Associated Press — There may be a forgotten man  in Mae West's life, but Mae went right along denying it today. "When I get married," said Mae, a little weary over the hub-bub over a marriage she swears she never experienced, "I'll concentrate on it. And I'll be the first to announce it." ...
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West is coming back into the news. It is believed she has formed a new producing unit, and also that she contemplates impersonating the Russian Empress, Catherine the Great, on the screen. 
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "You mustn't think that I'm the terrible woman everyone makes out."
• • Mae West said:  "First there's a guy named Frank Wallace, and then another guy named Wallace and now, what's his name — — Burmester? That makes nine this year."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article from a British correspondent mentioned Mae West. Columnist Greville Bain's "Cinema Chronicle" discussed all of her up-coming motion pictures.
• • "Mae West to Play 'I'm a Saint'" • •
• • (By Air Mail From London) • •
• • Greville Bain wrote: Whatever one may think of Miss Mae West, every one must admit that she is irrepressible, although a little while ago there was a prediction that she had almost run her course, then the matter of years was raised against her. There were rumours of marriage a quarter of a century ago, but Miss West denied the marriage and repudiated the husband.   . . .
• • Source: Article printed in syndication and featured in The Queenslander (Brisbane); published on Thursday, 20 June 1935
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2900th 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 marriage license in April 1924

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