In 1932, when MAE WEST was robbed at gunpoint in Los Angeles, the crime made news around the world, arousing sympathy for the petite Tinseltown tyro.
• • Here's a re-cap. During mid-October in 1932, Mae's jewel robbery was on the front page. One headline "Diamond Lil Robbed of Jewels" ran in the Omaha-Bee News on Thursday, 13 October 1932. This terrifying stick-up occurred just months after Mae had relocated to Los Angeles, California to be in the speakeasy film "Night After Night" with George Raft.
• • On Friday, 9 April 1948 • •
• • "Mae West Robbed in England" • •
• • Singapore's leading newspaper splashed this Associated Press headline across page 2.
• • LONDON. Thursday. Thieves went up to Mae West's dressing room in a London theatre and walked out with jewellery valued at between £2,000 and £3,000. Miss West Is appearing in London in her own production of "Diamond Lil." She said the robbery occurred just before the evening. . . .
• • Source: "Mae West Robbed" rpt in The Straits Times (Singapore); published on Friday, 9 April 1948.
• • Don't get out your handkerchiefs for Mae West just yet. There might be a twist here.
• • "Jewel Robberies — Standard Publicity Stunts Succeed" • •
• • Jewellery worth several thousands of pounds was stolen recently from Mae West's dressing room, at the Prince of Wales Theatre, London. The thieves, as generally happens, missed the most valuable portion of the collection.
• • "If a show was doing badly ..." • •
• • Miss West's loss recalls the fact that in the early days of Press agentry, when theatrical publicity men were eager to do almost anything to secure newspaper space of their charges, jewel "robberies" were a popular method of attracting attention.
• • If a show was doing badly, it was not unusual for a sensational jewel robbery to take place. The jewels always belonged to the beautiful star, .....
• • Source: Gippsland Times (Victoria); published on Thursday, 6 May 1948.
• • "I always knew you could be had!" • •
• • It is quite fascinating that April 1948's brazen burglary in Britain attracted no further media attention nor any sympathy for Mae West. It seems that some roving reporters wised up to this unoriginal publicity stunt at the Prince of Wales Theatre. Tsk, tsk.
• • On Sunday, 9 April 1916 in Pittsburgh • •
• • The Pittsburgh Leader announced that Mae West would be appearing at Pittsburgh's Victoria Theatre. Biographer Jill Watts noted: "Without Frank Bohm's careful attention, she had, in one year, gone from being a headliner in big-time vaudeville to performing in cheap, third-rate burlesque."
• • On Monday, 9 April 1928 on Broadway • •
• • "Diamond Lil" written by and starring Mae West opened at the Royale Theatre in NYC on Monday, 9 April 1928. It would be her defining role.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Comforted by the support of the kiddies, Mae West apparently is facing the future with confidence. She recently purchased a $30,000 car with special body to fit curves of same. Her apartment has been "done" in white satin and bright gold of Louis XV. Asked if she employed an interior decorator, Mae said: "Hunh? Oh, yeah, one of those birds that messes up hotel lobbies and things, y'mean?"
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Diamonds is my career."
• • Mae West said: "I always knew you could be had!"
• • Mae West said: "Old Father Time will turn you into a hag unless you show him who's the boss."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Boulevardier mentioned Mae West
• • The Boulevardier wrote: While adults were boycotting films deemed unfit for children, Los Angeles kiddies were boycotting the fit. Special children's matinees had to be terminated for want of attendance. Students of John Burroughs Junior High militantly voted Mae West their favorite and notified her officially. The Brat Movement! . . .
• • Source: Hollywood column in The New Movie Magazine; published in November 1934
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2888th blog post.
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • in 1948 • •
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