MAE WEST was making the daily newspapers even hotter back in the early August "dog days" of 1970. Entertainment reporters, who usually offered current cinema coverage, also re-capped her career perhaps to reacquaint a new audience with the Paramount Pictures star of the 1930s. Let's take a look at a brief excerpt from a page-long salute prepared by an Associated Press newsman.
• • "Mae West, Nearing Her 77th Birthday, Has Her First Film Role In 27 Years" • •
• • "It was never what Mae West said as much as how she said it" • •
• • "Mae West is that myth" • •
• • Mae West is that myth; she has become the character she created. Once a parody of sex morality, she Is now a parody of Mae West, a hip-swinging, lip-loose lady of the sex-inviting Come on up and see me innuendo. "Come up sometime," she teased Cary Gary in "She Done Him Wrong" back in 1933. "Come up sometime. I'll tell your fortune." . . .
• • "Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie," she purrs to the hatcheck girl who remarked, "Goodness, what beautiful diamonds," in "Night After Night," her first film.
• • "When I'm good, I'm very, very good," she drawled in "I'm No Angel" in 1933. "But when I'm bad, I'm better." It was never what Mae West said as much as how she said it. The promising pause before the line, while she "worked" her eyes, pursed her lips, jutted her hip. Good-humored vulgarity and honest sexuality. That's Mae West onscreen.
• • I come on up to see Mae West in the figurative flesh when she was In New York for the premiere of "Myra Breckinridge," a film which neither she nor the critics were reluctant to pan. In her hotel suite, Mae West played Mae West, right down to her muscle-men bodyguard, the floor-length white dressing gown, diamond bracelets, and rings on her fingers.
• • "I wore diamonds on every finger since 'She Done Him Wrong.' Now all the kids are doin' it." Upon entering the room, "How do you do?" was drawled upon do-o-o-o, and the Diamond Lil image was complete. A little heavier, of course, but generally a princess of preservation, appropriately surrounded by flowers, red roses and pink carnations. There was no smoking in the room; she neither smokes nor drinks. Her diet consists mainly of fresh fruits and vegetables: "It's the best thing for you."
• • Regally vain, she wouldn't answer questions while a photographer took her picture, lest he get a less than flattering shot. She kept a hand mirror close by to check the lighting on her face and worried about a full-length picture because she wasn't wearing her girdle. She sought sycophantic advice from her bodyguard, who Instructed, as she posed, "Dear, a step toward the right. That's it. Dear, a little forward now to get out of the shadow. Good."
• • "Good?" she exclaimed. "I have to look great!" . . .
• • Source: Associated Press article rpt in Anderson Daily Bulletin (Anderson, Indiana); published on Wednesday, 5 August 1970.
• • On Tuesday, 6 August 1912 • •
• • In 1912 a teenage Mae West was invited to perform again at Hammerstein's Victoria. The singing comedienne was booked for a week-long engagement that began on Tuesday, 6 August 1912.
• • Save the Date: Wednesday, August 13th • •
• • Wednesday, 13 August 2014 will be the next Mae West Tribute in Manhattan and the event will start at 6:30 pm at 425 Sixth Avenue. The theme will be: "Mae West in Bohemia — — Gin, Sin, Censorship, and Eugene O'Neill."
• • Details: August 13th event
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Seances are Mae West's new pastime.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "The man I don't like doesn't exist."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article in a newspaper discussed Mae West's divorce.
• • A.A.P. wrote: Los Angeles, August 5 ( A.A.P.) — The film star, Mae West, has divorced Frank Wallace, whom for years she had insisted she had never married. She later admitted that they were married in 1911.
• • Source: Article: "Mae West Divorced" written by A.A.P. for The Courier-Mail in Australia; published on Friday, 6 August 1943
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 10th anniversary • •
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during this past decade.
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2973rd blog post.
Unlike many blogs, which draw
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • in 1970 • •
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