Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Mae West: Death Threats

In 1943 MAE WEST received frightening extortion notes and the police and the FBI got involved.
• • "Boy Held on Extortion Charge Says He Just Wanted to See Movie Stars" • •
• • Omaha Youth Arrested for Threatening Cinema Actresses • •
• • HOLLYWOOD, March 30 [U.P.]  — — Russell Alexanderson, 18, Omaha, Nebraska, sat glumly in his cell at the county jail today and said he sent extortion notes to Betty Grable and Mae West because he wanted to hobnob with movie stars.
• • The gangling youth, a farm boy who was to have been inducted into the Army tomorrow, pleaded guilty yesterday to threatening both Miss Grable and Miss West with death. Federal Judge Leon R. Yankwich said he would impose sentence on Monday.
• • "He demanded $100,000 dollars from Mae West" • •
• • Alexanderson's note to Miss West, revealed for the first time at his hearing yesterday, demanded $100,000  "under threat of your life or great bodily harm."
• • "Put it in a package," continued the note, "and bring it to 6233 Hollywood Boulevard, up to the sixth floor, Saturday, February 6th at 10:10 AM."  It was signed "The Leopard."
• • Federal agents said Miss West had ignored the note — — until Alexanderson's arrest in the Betty Grable case.
• • In letters signed "The Leopard" and "Snowy Baker," the youth demanded $25,000 in uncut diamonds and cash from Miss Grable on the pain of death.
• • Nabbed by FBI agents, who planted a blonde double for the actress on a Hollywood street corner, Alexanderson readily admitted sending the notes but explained that he only wanted to meet a movie star "face to face."  It is expected that he will be placed on probation for five years.
• • Source: Article by United Press rpt in The Mexia Weekly Herald (Mexia, Texas);  published on Friday, 2 April 1943.
• • On Saturday, 21 April 1934 • • 
• • Mae West on the front page of Picture Show Magazine thrilled her British fans.
• • What a beautiful cover of Picture Show Magazine with that celluloid couple, Mae and Cary Grant. This very collectible United Kingdom publication was dated for Saturday, 21 April 1934.  Mae was happy to promote her film "I'm No Angel" to the English movie-goers.
• • On Thursday, 21 April 1938 • •
• • SAINT LOUIS, April 21 (INS) — — Boys in their early teens prefer Mae West to Shirley Temple, but they would rather take part in some athletic event than to attend a movie.  ...
• • These were some of the conclusions drawn by officers of Optimist International, a service club with headquarters in St. Louis, on the basis of questionnaires answered by members of representative Junior Optimist Clubs in twenty-two cities scattered throughout the USA and Canada.
• • Source: Item on page 7 in The Kane Republican; published on Thursday, 21 April 1938.
• • On Monday, 21 April 1975 • •
• • Released in a hardcover edition on Monday, 21 April 1975 was "Mae West on Sex, Health and E.S.P." written by Mae West.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • As a child, Mae West sang popular songs and gave her imitations, being what was known on the vaudeville billboards as a "coon shouter."
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "The score never interested me, only the game."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A Singapore newspaper mentioned Mae West.
• • The Straits Times announced:  Tonight at the Capitol at 6:15 and 9:15 — Positively last night of "I'm No Angel" with Mae West — A Paramount Picture —together with Henry and His Show of Wonders.,
• • Capitol Restaurant — — Enjoy a fine dinner and then see "I'm No Angel"!
• • Source: Item on page 7 in The Straits Times; published on Saturday, 21 April 1934 
• • 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 3161st 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 1943

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