Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Mae West: June Fairchild

MAE WEST worked with actress June Fairchild, who died this month in Los Angeles.
• • June Fairchild  [1946 — 17 February 2015] • •
• • Born in Manhattan Beach, California in 1946 was a little sweet face named June Edna Wilson. She took the stage name of June Fairchild and snagged a few minor roles in "Drive, He Said" [1971], Michael Cimino’s "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot" [1974], and Cheech and Chong’s "Up in Smoke" [1978], where she played the Ajax lady.
• • The same year, June was seen as a reporter in the Mae West film "Sextette" —— the last appearance on the silver screen for both of them.
• • Drug abuse and a fondness for alcohol derailed her career in the 1970s. Her life unraveled and she became a homeless junkie.
• • After battling rough times, June Fairchild died of liver cancer at a convalescent home in Los Angeles on Tuesday, 17 February 2015.  She was 68.
• • In 2001, The Los Angeles Times sent a staff reporter Noaki Schwartz to interview June Fairchild, then living in Los Angeles on skid row. June spoke about her days with Mae West on the set.
• • "A Fallen Star" • •
• • Addiction: Former actress, now 54 and living on the streets, dreams of a movie comeback.
• • Noaki Schwartz wrote:  In her eyes, the Rosslyn Hotel is a glorious place. June Fairchild  doesn't see the bars shielding the concierge or the worn patches in the deep red carpet. At 54, she would rather remember what it looked like when she was a starlet in Hollywood during the 1970s. June would rather tell you how she visited actress Mae West in a Rosslyn room during the filming of the grande dame's last movie, "Sextette."
• • "I asked Mae West what the key to her success is," Fairchild says. "She said, 'I'm very boring in real life. I made up the walk and the talk.' "
• • Noaki Schwartz explained:  Nobody is going to ask June Fairchild that question. They might ask, instead, how she fell from a promising actress partying alongside film and rock 'n' roll legends to a middle-aged woman spending nights curled up in a cardboard box on skid row.
• • Noaki Schwartz continued: With childlike defiance, June says she believes her hardships are temporary. She knows this because years ago, while visiting Mae West, she had a psychic reading. Like any 30-year-old wondering about her future, Fairchild asked whether she would ever get married, have a child and make it as an actress. . . .
• • Source: Article on June Fairchild written by Noaki Schwartz, L.A. Times Staff Writer for The Los Angeles Times; published on Wednesday, 21 February 2001.

• • On Tuesday, 25 February 1913 • •
• • The announcement that "Mae West, the comedienne" was appearing at the Grand ran in the Atlantic Journal on Tuesday, 25 February 1913.
• • On Saturday, 25 February 1922 • •
• • One of Mae's vaudeville idols was Bert Williams [12 November 1874 — 4 March 1922]. The pre-eminent Black entertainer of his era (birthname Egbert Austin Williams), was born on the island of Antigua [West Indies]. In 1888 his family moved to Los Angeles. He began his entertainment career in 1892 in San Francisco.
• • Stricken with pneumonia, Bert Williams did not want to miss performances, aware that he was the only bright spot keeping an otherwise middling musical alive at the box office. After collapsing onstage in Detroit, on Saturday, 25 February 1922 while singing "Under The Bamboo Tree," Bert Williams initially fooled his Michigan audience, who thought he was clowning around. Escorted to his dressing room, Williams joked, "That's a nice way to die. They was laughing when I made my last exit."
• • Bert Williams returned to his home in New York City but his condition deteriorated and he died in a hospital on March 4th. He was 47 years old.
• • On Tuesday, 25 February 1936 • •
• • Motion Picture Herald ran a feature on "Klondike Annie" in their issue dated on Tuesday, 25 February 1936.
• • Citizen News did an article on "Klondike Annie" on Tuesday, 25 February 1936. Three days earlier, on 22 February 1936, gossip columnist Louella Parsons weighed in on Mae West's latest motion picture, too.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Popular Hollywood actors and actresses like Charlie Chaplin and Mae West had drinks named in their honor. The Mae West cocktail contains brandy, half an egg yolk, sugar, and cayenne pepper.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "You can see for yourself, a girl's just as old as she feels."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article about the Oscar ceremonies mentioned Mae West.
• • TheJournal.ie wrote: Rock Hudson and Mae West caused a stir with their ‘kingsize’ rendition of the song "Baby It’s Cold Outside" at the 1957 awards show. ...
• • Source: News: "Five of the biggest Oscar night controversies" written by TheJournal.ie;  published on Sunday, 26 February 2012 
• • 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 3122nd 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: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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• • Photo:
• • Mae West • actress June Fairchild in 1978

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