Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Mae West: Steamy Scenes

"How MAE WEST Changed How Sex Is Shown on the Big Screen" was aired on ABC News on Thursday, 19 February 2015. A similar article appeared on their web site recently.
• • ABC News wrote:  The sultry Mae West was considered a sex symbol in Hollywood for her steamy scenes with male actors. But the blonde bombshell's 1933 film “I’m No Angel” with Cary Grant set off a firestorm that changed how sex was portrayed in movies for decades.
• • ABC News wrote:  The year after “I’m No Angel” was a box office smash, the production code, which included “do’s and don’ts” and “be careful’s” for actors and filmmakers, became mandatory in Hollywood as a way to censor films.
• • Paul Novak [24 February 1923 — 14 July 1999] • •
• • Born Chester Rybinsky in Baltimore on 24 February 1923, Mae West's live-in lover was thirty years her junior.
• • They met and became acquainted when Charles Krauser, George Eiferman, Irvin "Zabo" Koszewski, Dick DuBois, Dominic Juliano, Joe Gold, Armand Tanny, Gordon Mitchell, and Mickey Hargitay were among the star bodybuilders in West's chorus for all — — or part — — of the show's three-year run.
• • Chuck Krauser changed his name again, becoming Paul Novak — — Mae's main man for the next 24 years. In a rare statement to the press, he once said: "How did she ever pick me — — just a wrestler and roustabout?"
• • Enjoying Novak's companionship and constant concern for her diet and welfare, Mae West survived until the age of 87, when she had a series of strokes. On 22 November 1980 she died in her sleep, with Novak, age 57, at her bedside.
• • Afterwards, Paul Novak quietly married. He lived in Santa Monica, California with his wife and died at 76 years old.
• • On Saturday, 24 February 1912 at the Winter Garden • •
• • Ambitious, bold, and 18 years old, Mae West, unfortunately, got on the wrong side of Gaby Deslys by trying to upstage her. Uh-oh! The 30-year-old diva got the teenage upstart fired before opening night in Manhattan..
• • "Vera Violetta" opened on 20 November 1911 at the Winter Garden Theatre.
• • Offered in repertory with "Undine," the musical remained on Broadway through the Christmas holidays, closing on the last weekend in February on 24 February 1912.
• • On Saturday, 24 February 1934 in Calgary Daily Herald • •
• • The legal battles Mae West fought made headlines all over.
• • After facing down the man who robbed her in Hollywood on 18 September 1932 in a courtroom, Mae was shocked and horrified to learn that stick-up-artist Harry Voiler [1891 — 1974] was released on bail in Miami during February 1934.
• • There was indignation in the interviews she gave. Mae told the news media: "It's time someone in Hollywood — — speaking very frankly — — showed what is known as intestinal fortitude. They threaten us in the picture colony under penalty of having acid thrown in our face. And they don't stop at acid threats either. They threaten to kill. It's time someone called their hand. And if it has to be me, I'll do it."
• • Source: Article in the Calgary Daily Herald; published on Saturday, 24 February 1934.
• • On Saturday, 24 February 1945 • •
• • Archives of the National Theatre in D.C. mentioned that Mae West performed there.
• • From Monday, 19 February 1945 through Saturday, 24 February 1945 "Catherine Was Great" was onstage there. This comedy by and starring Mae West had billed the star in their Program as "Diamond Lil of all Russia.” Mae brought "Come On Up" to this venue on 23 September 1946 for a week-long engagement.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Oscar winner Hattie McDaniel starred in dozens of films, appearing alongside Marlene Dietrich and Mae West, and was also the first black woman to sing on the radio.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "Keep a diary and one day it'll keep you."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The New Jersey Morning Telegraph discussed Mae West.
• • "Show Girl Heard Smacks in Newark, N.J." • •
• • A New Jersey reporter wrote: May (sic) West, a former show girl, now a detective, figured prominently as a witness in the hearing today before Vice-Chancellor Stevens in the cross-suits for divorce brought by George M. Rusling and Nettie R. Rusling. The husband alleges infidelity and the wife charges abandonment. Rusling names A.D. Tooley, a Brooklyn restaurant keeper, as correspondent.
• • According to Miss West's testimony last March, she was called upon to don her gum-shoes and solve a deep mystery. She was employed in the Rusling home (58 South 13th St.), as a maid. Mrs. Rusling, according to the testimony, did not know that Miss West was a sleuth or she would have fired her in a minute.
• • Well, Miss West kept her ears open and, she said, heard loud smacks on several occasions. ...
• • Source: New Jersey Morning Telegraph; published on Saturday, 24 February 1912
• • 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 3121st 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 • in 1954 with a bodybuilder she renamed Paul Novak

• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
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