In 1943, a teenager from Nebraska tried to extort $100,000 from MAE WEST under the code name of "Snowy Baker."
• • Though many Mae-mavens are aware of the troubles Mae had during the mid-1930s, when different thugs either robbed her or threatened to throw acid in her face unless she paid a sizable ransom, the 1943 case is much less known (but no less disturbing).
• • It was April 1943 when many newspapers printed a front page scoop about Russell Alex- anderson, 18, Omaha, Nebraska. The foolish farm boy, about to be inducted into the Army, was wearing a uniform all right — — prison stripes — — as he sat glumly in his cell at the county jail and admitted he sent extortion notes to Mae West and Betty Grable because he wanted to hob-nob with movie stars.
• • "Blonde Poses as Actress — — Extortioner Trapped" • •
• • NEW YORK, March 30 (A.A.P.) — — How a blonde impersonating the film actress Betty Grable was engaged to trap a would-be extortioner was described in the Hollywood Federal Court when Russell Alex-anderson, 18, pleaded guilty to a charge of having demanded 130,000 dollars (£40,625) from Miss Grable and the actress Mae West.
• • Attorneys said that Miss Grable received two notes, one demanding 25,000 dollars in uncut diamonds and the other 5,000 dollars in cash under the threat of death. The notes were signed "The Leopard" and "Snowy Baker."
• • "He demanded $100,000 dollars from Mae West" • •
• • Alex-anderson demanded $100,000 dollars from Miss West.
• • The blonde kept an appointment with Alex-anderson, and the police closed in on him. The Judge postponed sentencing until April 5.
• • Source: Article rpt in The Sydney Morning Herald; published on Wednesday, 31 March 1943.
• • On Friday, 15 April 1927 • •
• • Taking advantage of the legal woes of his sister-in-law Mae West and the scene his wife made at the Arcade Hotel, Beverly's Russian husband Sergei Treshatny obtained a divorce on Friday, 15 April 1927. Well, somebody had a nice weekend, eh?
• • The play "Courting Mae West" dramatizes aspects of Beverly's relationship with Sergei, her divorce, and her hot — cold bond with her older sister Mae.
• • On Tuesday, 15 April 2003 • •
• • On Tuesday, 15 April 2003, a paperback edition was published of this popular biography: "Mae West: An Icon in Black and White" by Jill Watts. This is a must-have title for any Mae maven. The scholarship done by Prof. Watts is masterful (even though she never successfully proves her thesis that Mae West had black ancestry via her grandfather).
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • During the 1920s, a common real estate ploy to increase land values and publicize the area was the community sponsored beauty contest.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: “[The gay community] are crazy about me ’cause I give ‘em a chance to play."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A book on vaudeville stars mentioned Mae West.
• • Edward Watz wrote: Paramount would likely have been the ideal showcase for Bert Wheeler and Bob Woolsey's talents, since they were the one movie lot specializing in comedy, with the Marx Brothers, W.C. Fields, Mae West, Maurice Chevalier, Burns and Allen, Jack Oakie, Charlie Ruggles, and Mary Boland parading before the camera at that time. ...
• • Source: Page in this book "Wheeler and Woolsey: The Vaudeville Comic Duo and Their Films, 1929—1937" written by Edward Watz; published in April 2001
• • 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 3157th blog post.
Unlike many blogs, which draw
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • diamonds Mae offered to the WW2 defense effort, 1943 • •
• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
NYC Mae West