MAE WEST worked with a Russian actor who died on May 22nd.
• • Leo Mostovoy [22 November 1908 — 22 May 1967] • •
• • He was born in Russia on Sunday, 22 November 1908 as Joseph R. Mostovoy. Thirty-one years later, he was in Hollywood, playing a slot machine victim in "Paris Honeymoon."
• • His foreign accent limited the roles he was eligible for. Invariably, the casting agents used him when a scene called for a bandmaster, barber, chef, chess player, concierge, doctor, gambler, pawnbroker, shopkeeper, stranger, or a waiter along with some minor characters meant to be Polish, French, or Russian — — such as Fydor in "Casablanca" .
• • In 1943, he had the privilege of being cast in the Mae West movie "The Heat's On"; he was seen as Mac the headwaiter.
• • In 1957, when he was cast as a reporter in the rom-com "Ten Thousand Bedrooms," Leo Mostovoy got to work with Franco Corsaro, who worked with Mae West in "Goin' to Town" .
• • From 1939 — 1963 the bit parts player was seen in 48 motion pictures and in one TV series.
• • Leo Mostovoy died in Los Angeles, California on Monday, 22 May 1967. He was 58.
• • On Friday, 22 May 1936 • •
• • Graham Greene reviewed "Klondike Annie" for London's publication The Spectator, printed on Friday, 22 May 1936.
• • Unlike so many critics, Greene praised Mae's satire on the revivalists, astutely noting that "it never occurred to me that Miss West's conversion was to be taken seriously." He wrote: "I am completely uncritical of Mae West. I enjoy every one of her films . . . ."
• • On Monday, 22 May 1978 in Time • •
• • In May 1978, Time Magazine printed these felicitous remarks by resident movie critic Gerald Clarke: And her new movie, Sextette, is so bad it's good. . . . Sixty years ago Mae West looked in the mirror and ordered the clock stopped. So far as she is concerned, it has never dared to start again ....
• • [Source: "Show Business: At 84 Mae West Is Still Mae West" by Gerald Clarke, Time Magazine, issue dated for the week of 22 May 1978].
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West's first two films grossed over seven million dollars at the height of the Great Depression. But in an unfortunate back-lash, do-gooders all over the country rose in their wrath. The Legion of Decency was formed and forced the Hays Office (Hollywood's self-censoring body) to tighten up its rules.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "If I hadn't started writing plays when I did, I think I could have gone the other way and wasted my whole life on sex. I don't ever remember not feeling sexy. I used to get tired of feeling that way. I used to exercise, thinking that would stop it."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Australian Women's Weekly discussed Mae West.
• • Grahame Willis wrote: Mae told director Mike Same, "The script doesn't grab me" and proceeded to re-write all her dialogue. "I already knew all the words," she said. "This was the first time I could use them. Still, I don't use any four letter words — — I don't need 'em!"
• • She told another interviewer: "Oh, I'm never dirty, dear. I'm interesting without bein' vulgar. I have taste."
• • Source: Article: "Dash, splash but never trash" written by Grahame Willis for The Australian Women's Weekly; published on Wednesday, 17 December 1980
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2919th blog post.
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • in "The Heat's On" 1943 • •
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