Thursday, March 26, 2015

Mae West: Leonard McCombe

During the Oscar rehearsals in late March 1958, MAE WEST was caught by the candid camera of Life Magazine photographer Leonard McCombe.  He was a fly on the wall that year as stars from Mae West, Rock Hudson, Russ Tamblyn, Paul Newman, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and Kirk Douglas came by to rehearse for the big event.
• • Leonard McCombe [1923 — — ] • •
• • Born in 1923 on the Isle of Man, off the coast of England, Leonard McCombe was able to create provocative images naturally.  His abilities led him to become a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society at age 21.   Through World War II, his images preserved the struggles and triumphs of the day.   In 1945, at age 22, he began working for Life Magazine.  By 1948, McCombe’s role in the US was solidified as a photographer for LIFE.  In an article for Getty Images printed in 2006, McCombe was described as "now reclusive."
• • Photo [below and left]: Mae West and Rock Hudson playfully snuggle while rehearsing the flirty pop standard, "Baby, It's Cold Outside," as Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences  president George Seaton glances over.
• • Photo [above and centered]: Russ Tamblyn, 23-year-old Best Supporting Actor nominee for "Peyton Place," stands in a group with other actors. But to the lower right of the frame Mae West looks over the script with Rock Hudson. Notice the eyeglasses (prescription sunglasses) worn by Mae West. 
• • George Seaton [17 April 1911 — 28 July 1979] was an American screenwriter, playwright, film director and producer, and theatre director. In addition to his direct involvement in making movies, George Seaton was also very active within Hollywood organizations as President of the Screenwriter's Guild, President of the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences (1955 — 1958), and Vice President of the Motion Picture Relief Fund.
• • On Monday, 26 March 1934 • •
• • The soundtrack to the motion picture "Belle of the Nineties" was recorded at Hollywood Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. On Monday, 26 March 1934, Mae West did the vocals for "Hesitation Blues" backed by Duke Ellington and His Orchestra.
• • On Wednesday, 26 March 1958 • •
• • Rock Hudson, age 32, and Mae West performed the song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” together, in point style, at the 30th Annual Academy Awards on Wednesday, 26 March 1958.
• • The 1957 Academy Awards were presented at the RKO Pantages Theatre, Hollywood, California and broadcast on NBC-TV.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West is now working on her new contract by the terms of which she gets $100,000 a picture.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "It cheers you up. Every time you see yourself in one of those table mirrors you get the feeling you're in the money. Cute, isn't it?"
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Stanford Daily mentioned Mae West.
• • "Organizers for movie festival find surprises in hooker trends" • •
• • "We go to movies when we're young and we don't realize what formula we're being fed," said Lottie Da. "Sexually motivated women were usually shown as French or German. That was Hollywood's way of dealing with it. It was hard to show the all-American girl coming across." One of the featured films is a seldom-shown Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart classic, "Marked Woman." Lottie Da praised the film for showing women in a courageous role, but said that it minces by using the term "nightclub hostess" instead of prostitute.
• • "Klondike Annie" and "Susan Lenox: Her Fall and Rise," two other selections, present strong women characters, Da said, but they hedge on sexual realism. She said Mae West at the end of "Klondike Annie" is forced to say she's sorry for her life of sin and Miss Garbo at the end of Susan Lenox begs Clark Gable for forgiveness.  ...
• • Source: Article in The Stanford Daily; published on Tuesday, 29 March 1977
• • 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 recently when we completed 3,100 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3143rd 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 March 1958

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