Monday, June 02, 2014

Mae West: Suitors and Swan Beds

The spectacular swan bed purchased by MAE WEST had originally been the property of the Broadway actress Amelia Swilley Bingham [20 March 1869 — 1 September 1927].
• • After her husband Lloyd Bingham died in 1915, the actress continued to reside in their grand lodgings at 103 Riverside Drive in Manhattan; the house had once belonged to the successful stage star Joseph Jefferson. Amelia Swilley Bingham was 58 years old when she died of heart disease complicated by pneumonia in September 1927. 
• • At some point, Amelia's golden swan bed had been sold to Diamond Jim Brady [12 August 1856 — 13 April 1917].
• • Meanwhile, let's continue with another thrilling installment of Mae West in "Roads of Romance," so charmingly illustrated and scripted by Harry Lee and Winfield Meggs in 1934. (The pen and ink drawings were so striking that they made this week-long series even more extraordinary.)
• • Harry Lee and Winfield Meggs wrote:  Miss West doesn't tempt fate by walking under ladders and believes 1 and 7 to be her lucky numbers.  But she credits her success to work, and hard wallops she's taken and handed back. Now that she was in the money, she was besieged by people wanting money for a thousand causes, wanting jobs, wanting to marry her. One of the funniest of her suitors was a giant prospector from Alaska, who cama to the show every night for weeks, and haunted the stage door after the performance was over. She christened him "Dangerous Dan McGrew" and had to threaten to shoot him to shake him!
• • "A swell guy, too!" she says.
• • Mae's incredlbly gorgeous Swan Bed • •
• • Mae's incredlbly gorgeous Swan Bed had once been the property of Amelia Bingham and later of Diamond Jim Brady, which made it eminently fitting that it should descend to Diamond Lil's boudoir.
• • Its graceful neck arched over her blonde head. Its beak caught back the silken curtain. Its fleecy wings enfolded her and its pert tall curled up Into the most engaging bedroom furniture that ever delighted a stage queen. Huge mirrors reflected her from many angles and jewels and tlnselly things made her boudoir glitter like a room In the picture books about Aladdin. Mae West enjoyed it all to the limit.  "Sure am sittin' pretty!" she thought.
• • Mae was in magnificent health as she is today, never having known illness. Her days began, as they begin now, at noon, with what her maid calls a man-size breakfast. She is crazy about sweets, thick juicy steaks, and homemade pastries — — and she gormandizes to a degree which would make any other young lady eligible as a sideshow fat girl. She neither drinks nor smokes.  She had conquered Broadway and now visions of Hollywood begun to dance before her. She had entertained thousands. Why not millions? She began laying her plans well ahead of time. "They can be had!" she said.
• • See what happens tomorrow.
• • Source: Article:  "Mae West in Roads of Romance" by Harry Lee and Winfield Meggs, Side Glances columnists and illustrators for The Winnipeg Evening Tribune; published on Friday, 1 June 1934   
• • On Friday, 2 June 1916 in Variety • •
• • On 2 June 1916, Variety printed a list of names who had volunteered to go to jail — — as guests of the Mutual Welfare League — — to entertain the inmates of Sing-Sing on Decoration Day. Mae West, age 22, was in that number.
• • Sources have said this is the occasion when she met Owney Madden. 
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Some theaters are offering the old product in groups of a week of old favorites, while others group them according to "Ten Best" rating or by stars.
• • Pete Barnes of the Angelus Theater, San Angelo, Texas, held a "Mae West Week," playing three of the Paramount star's pictures for two days each, with business 30 per cent above average.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Love means one thing to one person and something else to another. It's a more or less powerful emotion beyond ordinary human control. Try it yourself, sometime, and you'll get what I mean."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Forbes Magazine mentioned Mae West.
• • Seth Porges wrote: Let’s back up: The Civic is a performance palace based smack in the center of the city’s Central Business District, mere blocks from the frenzied French Quarter. It first opened its doors in 1906 as the work of the Shubert brothers, those theatrical pioneers who are credited with establishing New York’s Broadway theater district. Back then, the Civic was known as The Shubert, and was the brothers’ first venue outside of New York. Over the years, the space went through a revolving door of names and functions. It morphed into the Star, the Lafayette, the Poché, the Civic. It hosted plays, vaudeville, burlesque, film. Cecil B. DeMille put on a production, and performers such as Mae West graced its stage. ...
• • Source: Article: "The True Story of How New Orleans' Oldest Theater Was Saved" by Seth Porges for Forbes; published on Tuesday, 27 May 2014
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2926th 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 in 1932

• • Feed — —
  Mae West


  1. Thanks for the blog, very entertaining. I would like to know why tony Randall was the only person allowed go see mae before her funeral.

  2. Tony Randall?? What????

  3. Yes I know it sound weird but apparently tony randall dressed her body in the morgue!

  4. It certainly sounds bizarre.
    What is your source for this information, please?

  5. Wish I could remember but I will keep checking. I remember the info because it was so bizarre. But in this article it stated that for her funrral tony randall dresses the body. After she died I believe a property she had on the coast was left to ruin with all kinds of memorabilia left to rot.. agsin I thought was odd because of her live in man. I thought he would have looked after it...don't know, seems odd that she did not have a nephew, cousin or aunt, uncle to leave stuff to.

  6. • • Mae West was never associated with Tony Randall; he was never one of her close friends -- nor did he work in a morgue.
    • • NO information on Tony Randall (as her buddy nor as her morgue attendant) appears in any well-regarded biographies of the actress.
    • • Mae West had one nephew, her brother John's son.
    • • Mae left one-third of her Estate to Actors Equity, however, they never received one penny.
    • • Very good Mae West biographies are available. You can consult these books if you wish to learn more about the legendary performer.
    • • Thank you for visiting the Mae West Blog.