Thursday, January 29, 2015

Mae West: British Visitor

MAE WEST was photographed by Cecil Beaton in January 1970.
• • He wrote an exceedingly detailed diary entry about this and it was printed in the book "The Unexpurgated Beaton: The Cecil Beaton Diaries as He Wrote Them, 1970—1980."
• • While he was waiting for Mae to finish dressing and primping, Beaton prowled around, examining her furnishings, opening doors to see if unused items (such as an old massage table) were dusty. They were. So what?  Scrutinizing a "huge yellow china vase" holding one flower, Beaton realized the poesy was there to disguise a crack. The lengthy recollection he committed to paper — — describing one member of her entourage as "a fag" — — is often nasty, revealing more about the British photographer than about Mae. Here's a mild excerpt.
• • Cecil Beaton wrote: [Mae] gurgled at the compliments. She seemed shy and nice and sympathetic.  When I told her that Lady Cunard had said she was dressed at a Sitwell party all in white like a vestal virgin, she pretended to be shocked. She moved very slowly into the living room   . . .
• • Cecil Beaton noted: I told her Prince Charles had thought her "Chickadee" was the funniest thing he'd ever seen.  "What a pity he saw me with W.C. Fields. I wish he's seen me in something else." . . .
• • Source:  "The Unexpurgated Beaton: The Cecil Beaton Diaries as He Wrote Them, 1970—1980" [NY: Knopf Doubleday, 2007].
• • Happy Birthday on the 29th of January • •
• • Happy Birthday to actress Ann Jillian (born on Sunday, 29 January 1950), who portrayed Mae West in the 1982 TV bio-pic of the same name. Jillian was 32 when she starred in "Mae West" on the small screen.
• • Happy Birthday to actor Tom Selleck (born on Monday, 29 January 1945). It's been said by a few people that Mae West first noticed Tom Selleck in a Pepsi commercial. She was responsible for getting Selleck cast as The Stud in "Myra Breckenridge" [1970] when he was 25 years old.
• • On Monday, 29 January 1917 in Brooklyn • •
• • Mae West was a witness at her younger sister's wedding, which took place on a weekday, Monday, 29 January 1917 in Brooklyn City Hall, not far from the West family's Brooklyn residence.
• • On Sunday, 29 January 1978 in Sunday Express • •
• • Since "Sextette" had a British director, articles discussing what happened on the set in Hollywood popped up in the British tabloids. An article discussing a scene filmed in a mock elevator appeared in Sunday Express on 29 January 1978.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • In an interview, D.W. Griffth named Mae West as one of the ten most interesting persons in America.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "I'm much too busy to worry about gossip and trivial matters. If they don't like me, that's their business. Ive's got to keep busy turning out good pictures.  Now that — — that's my business."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Billboard mentioned Mae West.
• • "Diamond Lil" with Mae West (Royal Alexandra Theatre) Toronto, Canada.
• • Source: Item in Billboard; published on Saturday, 22 January 1949 
• • 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 1,430 visitors. We reached a milestone this week: 3,100 posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3103rd 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 • by Cecil Beaton in 1970

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  1. Hi... can you tell me what other famous people came up to see Mae West in the Ravenswood? Thanks...

  2. • • Mae West entertained her friends at home (first at the Ravenswood, then at her beach house, purchased in the 1950s) -- for instance, actors such as George Raft to prizefighters to musclemen to Hollywood directors.
    • • Thank you for your visit.
    • • Our next Mae West event is on August 17th, 2016.

    1. Thank you for your reply!! In addition to George Raft, what other actors and directors came to her apartment?

  3. • • Mae West's visitors included Joan Collins, Bette Davis, Anjelica Huston, Raquel Welch, George Cukor, Ross Hunter, John Huston, Jack LaRue, John Phillips (in bare feet, which annoyed her), Victor McLagen, Adolph Zukor, Robert Wise, etc.
    • • For more information, there are very good biographies of Mae West written by Emily Wortis Leider and Jill Watts. There are other books on Mae -- but I recommend those two.