Monday, January 19, 2015

Mae West: Applesauce Angst

MAE WEST, held responsible for Arch Obler's Garden of Eden skit, faced another mess when Jane Storm sued the actress. "Love and Applesauce" was a skit written by Miss Storm. Oh, my!
• • "Writer of 'Applesauce' Sues Mae West" • •
• • Los Angeles — Jan 18 [UP] —Mae West's "Adam and Eve" radio broadcast last December 12, which resulted in protests and led the National Broadcasting Co. to ban the use of the actress's name in broadcasts, had a new aftermath today — a copyright infringement suit.
• • United Press explained: Jane Storm, writer, filed suit in federal court here against Miss West, Don Ameche, the broadcasting company, and others, claiming they lifted act 1, scene 2 from her play "Love and Applesauce."  She asked damages in excess of $10,000 and an accounting of all profits.
• • United Press concluded: "Miss Storm thought she had a clean play until she heard it over the radio," said Ralph W. Smith, her lawyer.
• • Source: Article: "Writer Sues Mae West" printed by The Cornell Daily (Ithaca, NY); published on  Sunday, 19 January 1938.
• • Dated 19 January 1889 in the city of Brooklyn • •
• • It was Saturday, 19 January 1889, in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY, Battling Jack West and Tillie Delker took their wedding vows before a local minister with Jack's sister Julia West acting as maid of honor.
• • California biographer Emily Wortis Leider wrote: If they knew about it, Matilda's family almost certainly would have attempted to thwart her impetuous marriage at age eighteen to John "Battlin' Jack" West, a cigar-chomping, street-smart tough. The marriage certificate of Tillie Delker and John West, dated January 19, 1889, in the city of Brooklyn — — a separate city then, not yet a part of metropolitan New York — — lists the groom's age as twenty-two, his birthplace as New York City, and his occupation: "mechanic."
• • Emily Wortis Leider explained: His parents' names are entered in the appropriate slots: Father, also John West, a native of New York (the U.S. Census for 1920 contradicts this, naming Newfoundland as his father's birthplace); and Irish-born mother, Mary Cobley, a misspelling of Copley. Copley is also the name listed for one of the witnesses (E. Frances). The second witness was Julia West.
• • Emily Wortis Leider continued: The presence of two witnesses standing up for the groom and none from the bride's family supports the theory that while his family favored the marriage, hers did not. Perhaps the young couple's decision to marry had been made in such haste there wasn't time to arrange a full-tilt Event. Perhaps, fearing obstruction, Tillie didn't inform them of the wedding until afterward. Very likely, Tillie's father [Jacob Delker], a former chemical engineer at a sugar refinery in Germany, Mae claimed, who had a liquor business in 1892 and whose occupation in the 1900 census was given as "salesman — — coffee" disdained the modest earning capacity of a mechanic son-in-law. ...
• • Source: Chapter One of "Becoming Mae West" written by Emily Wortis Leider [NY: Farrar Straus Giroux] — — an excellent biography, highly recommended to all.
• • On Friday, 19 January 1973 • •
• • Released theatrically in the USA on Friday, 19 January 1973 was a frisky color cartoon starring Mae West — — "Kloot's Kounty." This Old West styled animated feature was written by John W. Dunn, who created the storyline: Mae West comes to visit Sheriff Kloot. It seems that her sheep are missing — — and she says Chief Crazywolf has taken them. Sheriff Kloot rockets into action but, by the end of the toon, he looks as if he has been hit by a rocket.
• • On Monday, 19 January 1981 in The N.Y. Times • •
• • Readers of The N.Y. Times opened their newspaper on Monday, 19 January 1981 and they read this startling headline: "Mae West Left Million, Mostly to Her Sister." A reporter based in California filed the story for Reuters, which was date-lined from Los Angeles.
• • Los Angeles, January 18 — Mae West, who died in November [1980] at the age of 87, left $1 million, according to her will filed in court here.
• • Paul Novak, a former ''muscleman'' in her stage act who was her constant companion for the last 25 years, was not mentioned in the will, filed on Friday in Santa Monica Superior Court.
• • A petition for probate estimated the value of Miss West's personal property at $1 million with an annual income of $50,000. She left the bulk of her estate, including her jewelry, to her sister, Mildred West. Other bequests included one for $3,500 to the Mae West Fan Club of Ontario.
• • Miss West, unlike the character she played on the screen, led a quiet private life and invested much of her money in property.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West, Don Ameche and the National Broadcasting Company today were named defendants in a $10,000 damage suit filed by Joan Storm, writer, who charged that Miss West's famous "Adam and Eve" broadcast on Dec. 12 was plagiarized from her play "Love and Applesauce."
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "My sister's husband is the kind of guy whose accent has an accent."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A rather boring book mentioned Mae West.  Yawn.
• • Brett L. Abrams wrote:  Actress Mae West twice tried to bring groups of “fairies” to the Broadway stage, drew condemnation and/or official repression.  . . .
• • Source: Section in the book "Hollywood Bohemians: Transgressive Sexuality and the Selling of the Movieland Dream" written by Brett L. Abrams [McFarland, 19 August 2008]
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 10th anniversary • •    
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during this past decade. Yesterday we entertained 1,430 visitors. 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3095th 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 with James Braddock in 1938

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