Thursday, October 09, 2014

Mae West: Correct Birthplace

Only a fool would question where MAE WEST was born. 
• • This letter to the editors of Times-Ledger was printed recently; the goal was to correct facts about the life of the Brooklyn bombshell, born in that borough on 17 August 1893.
• • "Get your information right on Mae West" • •
• • Since your newspaper has been serving Queens since 1919, I hope you will correct the factual errors in your recent article “Sex symbol Mae West spent her childhood in Woodhaven” written by The Greater Astoria Historical Society.
• • The society wrote, “Mary Jane West was born Aug. 17, 1893. Although sources debate where exactly she was born, she spent her early years in various neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Woodhaven.”
• • There is no debate. Mae West was born in Brooklyn on Bushwick Avenue. This information about her birthplace appears in well-regarded biographies of the iconic performer written by Emily Wortis Leider, Jill Watts, and Simon Louvish — — as well as in Mae West’s own memoir, “Goodness Had Nothing to Do with It.”
• • In my forthcoming book, “Mae West’s New York, 1890 — 1970,” I give the exact address.
• • Moreover, West did not spend her early years in Woodhaven. By the time her family moved there, Mae was an adult — close to 30 — and had been featured in Broadway shows.
• • Mae was never in Neir’s Tavern • •
• • Furthermore, West never set foot in Neir’s Tavern, at 87-48 78th St. in Woodhaven, an all-male bastion in those days — i.e., the Prohibition era and earlier. Neir's was a hang-out for the sweaty local factory workers and laborers, a dive bar that had no family entrance and only one restroom banked with urinals.
• • Kindly correct this information so your readers will have a better perspective on the history of Queens. The society ought to read at least one biography before submitting misinformation, especially about an entertainer whose memoir clearly states her birthplace.
• • LindaAnn Loschiavo, Manhattan
• • ©2014 Community News Group
• • Source: Letter in Times-Ledger (serving Queens since 1919); published on Monday, 15 September 2014.
• • On Friday, 9 October 1931 • •
• • It was Friday, 9 October 1931 when an intriguing item appeared in The Evening Herald. Hollywood news man W.E. Oliver had written: Mae West is writing another play for herself. She plans it for next season, but reveals nothing concerning its title or theme other than: It is a historical romance of the sixteenth century and these few hints have emerged.
• • “The Greeks knew their stuff.... Aristotle you know, laid down the dictum that plays should be written about kings and queens," said Mae West. "I go Aristotle one better and insist that she be a bad queen.... When I’m seen in New York in a new role, I will be seen wearing ermine.”
• • On Sunday, 9 October 1932 • •
• • Harry Warner of Warner Bros. heard industry gossip that made him cable Will Hays on Sunday, 9 October 1932.  Harry Warner wrote:  Please wire immediately whether I can believe my ears that Paramount has arranged to make "Diamond Lil" with Mae West. Recollect it was absolutely definite that "Diamond Lil" was not to be produced. ...
• • On Saturday, 9 October 1948 • •
• • If you were reading The Los Angeles Times on Saturday, 9 October 1948, then you would have seen this headline: "Writers Ask Retrial in $100,000 Suit Against Mae West."  
• • As Mae would have said of these two scribblers who challenged her in court, "The nerve of a brass monkey."
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • So far, the Stanford University men I have met seem to prefer the Mae West type to all others.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "Risque material is only offensive if badly done, without style and charm."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Straits Times discussed the health of Mae West.
• • "Mae West back in hospital" • •
• • UPI wrote: Hollywood, Friday — Actress Mae West, 72, who was discharged from Cedars of Lebanon Hospital last Wednesday after treatment for exhaustion, is back in hospital. A hospital spokesman said she returned yesterday for observation of the same illness. Her condition was listed as good. ...
• • Source: Article: "Mae West Back in Hospital" written by UPI and rpt by The Straits Times; published on Saturday, 10 October 1964
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 10th anniversary • •    
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during this past decade. The other day we entertained 1,223 visitors. 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3022nd 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 1959

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