Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Mae West: Joan Collins

In 1978, film producer Ross Hunter asked Joan Collins [born in London on 23 May 1933] if she would like to meet MAE WEST on the set of "Sextette" — — and off they went.
• • At the age of 30, the much-married bride had walked down the aisle in 1963 with performer Anthony Newley [1931 — 1999], who said this about his mate: "To the unwashed public, Joan Collins is a star. But to those who know her, she's a commodity who would sell her own bowel movement."
• • "with an unbridled lust Mae West would have deemed excessive" • •
• • Film critic Steven H. Scheuer had reviewed a movie starring Joan Collins, "The Bitch" [1979]. He stated: "A tasteless farrago in which Collins treats every line, even 'Hello!,'  as an innuendo, and stares at every available male with an unbridled lust Mae West would have deemed excessive. Only for campaholics who delight in the misfortunes of aging actresses."
• • OK, back to the year 1978. Ross Hunter and Joan Collins, then 45 years old, have just arrived at the studio, where the filming of "Sextette" is in progress.  Ross introduces the two actresses, who begin to chat.
• • The rest of this narrative is patched together from "Second Act," Joan Collins' memoir.
• • Then Mae West turns to ask her bodyguard Paul Novak, "Where is Timothy? Bring him round here."  Joan explains to her readers that Mae has an odd accent, half grande dame and half die-hard Brooklynite. Paul whispers to a go-fer, who fetches Timothy Dalton and brings him to the ladies. He seems shy or embarrassed when his leading lady grabs his arm to introduce him to Ross Hunter.
• • Smiling happily, Mae West proudly announces, "This is Timothy Dalton, my new discovery. He is as good an actor as Sir Larry Olivier, and maybe even better. When he plays with me in 'Sextette,' he will become one of the most known actors in the world."  As Mae is speaking to Timothy and Ross, she is blinking her eyes, heavily fringed with dark artificial lashes and movie make-up, recalls Joan Collins.
• • Joan reveals to her readers that 34-year-old Timothy Dalton [born 1944] looked at her sheepishly. According to Joan, it was hard to believe that this 30 years old actor [sic] is to play the role of a man in love with a woman who's nearly 80. "I wanted to ask him why he would do it but I didn't have the occasion."
• • Joan Collins and Timothy Dalton • •
• • Joan claims she got her answer some eight years later, when she and the Welch actor were cast together in "Sins" [1986], a TV Mini-Series co-starring Marisa Berenson. 
• • Timothy Dalton: "I needed money" • •
• • "Of course, I needed money," Timothy explained to Joan. "And my agents, you know how they are!  They told me there is nothing better for me. Better! The film nearly did for me!" Timothy sadly admitted. "It took years before I got another role."   . . .
• • Information culled from the autobiography of Joan Collins, "Second Act" [London: MacMillan Publishers Ltd., 1996].
• • On Monday, 7 May 1934 • •
• • On Monday, 7 May 1934 Mae West recorded "Troubled Waters."  This collaboration between New York City lyricist Sam Coslow and composer Arthur Johnson was created expressly for the motion picture "Belle of the Nineties." Backed by Duke Ellington and his Orchestra, Mae archived her performance in the recording studio.
• • On Tuesday, 7 May 1935 • •
• • An article "Actor Says He Wed Mae West" was published overseas on Tuesday, 7 May 1935 in The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser.
• • On Thursday, 7 May 1936 • •
• • "R.U.R." is a 1920 science fiction play in the Czech language by Karel ńĆapek. "R.U.R."  premiered on Tuesday, 25 January 1921 and introduced the word "robot" to the English language. On Thursday, 7 May 1936 "George Robot Is In Love" was printed in Perth, Australia. And George Robot seemed to be in love with Mae West!
• • "Who is she?" George looked even more hopelessly despondent than ever. A robot in the dumps is indeed a miserable spectacle. "Mae West," he croaked with a creak.
• • "Then you know all the latest stories," we put in eagerly.
• • George ignored us. "I'm not cast iron," he complained. "I'm malleable — when it comes to Mae." We couldn't do anything for him. We knew what it was like. We'd been in love with Mae West ourselves.   . . .
• • Source:  excerpt from "George Robot Is in Love" — Nonsense column written by  Eddie Dunstan for The Daily News (Perth); published on Thursday, 7 May 1936.
• • On Friday, 7 May 1943 • •
• • Matrimony and mayhaps!  Mae West moved on from her marital missteps with vaudevillian Frank Wallace in 1911.  However, the final divorce decree took much longer. The marriage was legally dissolved on Friday, 7 May 1943.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West has reduced 64 pounds.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "If I need an idea for a picture, I say, ‘Forces, Forces, I need some good dialogue so please help me out here.'"
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The United Feature Syndicate discussed Mae West.
• • "Mae Sees Ghosts" • •
• • Hollywood — James Bacon wrote: Spent an afternoon with one of my favorite living legends Mae West. First time I ever visited Mae that we didn't conduct the interview in her bedroom with the mirrored ceilings and walls. It's not that we're both getting older. Her sister Beverly just happened to be in there, reading a book.
• • James Bacon continued: Mae is ageless.  She looks as if she invented sex yesterday, not in the 1920s. It was Mae who once observed that she was pure as the driven snow, but added "Then I drifted."  ...
• • James Bacon continued: Mae told me she had friends, long dead, come to visit her right in her bedroom. She said, "I believe there is a hereafter."  ...
• • Source:  syndicated Hollywood column written by James Bacon rpt in The Milwaukee Journal; published on Saturday, 28 April 1973
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2908th 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: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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• • Mae West co-star Timothy Dalton in 1986

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