Thursday, April 24, 2014

Mae West: Brooklyn's Bigamist

On Thursday, 25 April 1935, MAE WEST was not wiggling.  She was squirming.  In her heart, the Brooklyn bombshell knew perfectly well that she married Frank Wallace in 1911 but she had never formalized their separation legally.  Mae booked a job in another city and quietly walked out on her astonished bridegroom. 
• • Bigamy • •
• • Bigamy is the condition of having two husbands (or two wives) at the same time.
• • The screen star was a bigamist when she took a second man, Guido Deiro, for her lawful spouse in 1913. However, since the Italian accordionist had another songbird lined up for a walk down the aisle, their marriage was terminated legally.
• • On Wednesday, 14 July 1920, Mae West filed for a divorce from Guido Deiro [1886 — 1950], charging him with abandonment. Having moved back with her parents in Queens, Mae filed her petition at the local courthouse in Jamaica.
• • When their divorce became final on Tuesday, 9 November 1920, 34-year-old Guido quickly wed his third wife, singer Ruby Lang, 28 years old.
• • When confronted with her 1911 vows, Mae chose to deny it — — refuting the "rumors" for two years. Was anyone fooled?  Let's see.
• • Mae West Impatient as 'Marriages' List Grows • • 
• • HOLLYWOOD, April 24 (By United Press) — — Mae West, curvesome lady of the screen, today called for a showdown to settle the somewhat confusing question of her spinsterhood. "I've got a sense of humor," she said. "Nobody can say I haven't. But this thing is going too far."
• • Patience Is Worn Thin • •
• • Mae's patience became a little worn when she was interrupted while saying "no" to reports of her marriage to one Frank Wallace and asked to explain, if she could, a report that a Mae West married one R. A. Bud Burmester in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1924.
• • "It's a lousy publicity gag, that's what it is," said Miss West, "and I'm not getting anything out of it.  If this thing goes any further, I'll call for a real showdown."
• • Mae was not pleased by the persistent questions. "First there's a guy named Wallace, and then another guy named Wallace and now, what's his name — — Burmester? That makes nine this year." Miss West continued to deny reports that she married a Frank Wallace in Milwaukee in 1911 and she characterized the reported marriage to Burmester in Fort Worth in 1924 as "absurd."
• • "I was in a New York show then," she affirmed. 
• • Pressed for further explanation of her variously reported marriages, the actress sighed. "Who knows?" said Mae. "Maybe I was the original Dionne quintuplets."
• • Source: United Press interview rpt in San Bernardino Sun; published on Thursday, 25 April 1935.  
• • Tomorrow's post will feature yet another marriage license with Mae's name on it.
• • On Thursday, 24 April 2008 • •
• • Goldmine Magazine featured Mae West on Thursday, 24 April 2008.
• • Goldmine Magazine said: Mae West did it all, even 45s.  Mae West was sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll before there was sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.  After Mae West, the rest of us just tried to keep up.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Frank Wallace, a bald, middle-aged hoofer, admitted today that he was the original husband of one Mae West. He married her in Milwaukee back in 1911 (or was it 1909?)!
• • "Mae wasn't a blonde in those days," he said. "The Mae I married in Milwaukee was a classy little brunette."
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "I just have to see a guy and I know at once if I'm going to like him. It may not be immediately — — but once you get to know a man there's always a nice side of him somewhere."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A newspaper column in Singapore mentioned Mae West.
• • Singapore editor wrote: Have you ever done any humorous writing?
• • Horace replied: Not much but I know a really good Mae West story.
• • Singapore editor wrote: No, Horace. Mae West is much too dangerous material for an inexperienced writer like you to deal with. So you better leave her to me.  ...
• • Source: Humor column in The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser; published on Saturday, 25 April 1936 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2899th 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:

Source: to Google

• • Photo:
• • Mae West marriage in April 1911

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