Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Mae West: Leslie Caron

MAE WEST met Leslie Caron, briefly, backstage when the Brooklyn bombshell was performing on The Great White Way in her iconic role as Diamond Lil.  Let's hear the petite French actress [born on 1 July 1931] tell us all about the memorable encounter.
• • Leslie Caron said: That was in 1950 and it was quite scary.  I was only 18 and didn’t speak English very well, but being in Hollywood was thrilling.  . . .  It was around this time that I first met Cary Grant. MGM would organise fabulous evenings and I remember Cary and his wife Betsy Drake [born on 11 September 1923] being so friendly.
• • Leslie Caron said: We all went to see Mae West on stage in "Diamond Lil," which was a bit raunchy for me, considering the fact I was educated at a convent, but a lot of fun. Cary Grant knew Mae, so we went backstage after the show. She was tiny, no more than 5-feet tall, but she wore platform shoes and stood on stage with two pink spotlights trained on her.
• • Leslie Caron said:  Mae wished me luck with my acting career and she had such a warm and friendly voice, even though she was stood there [sic] like a femme fatale.  . . .
• • Source: Article: "Leslie Caron" from the Sunday Express; published on Tuesday, 2 February  2010.
• • On Sunday, 19 August 1934 • •
• • Motion Picture Daily published this picture preview on Sunday, 19 August 1934.
• • Hollywood, 19 August 1934 — With shock-proof punches but with haymakers nevertheless, Mae West uncorks a flashy, melodramatic entertainment of the Nineties, trippingly gay and gaudy for the most part but lingering in spots.
• • As with all the Mae West films, her showmanship personality dominates the scene. Her story assembles herself as the American Beauty, a headline actress; Prizefighter Roger Pryor, Villainous Promoter John Miljan and his girl friend, Katherine de Mille, sets them in pleasure-loving New Orleans and lets music, gambling, stolen jewels and prizefight knockout drops work its dire drama, making it clear at the same time that no man outsmarts Mae and gets away with it.   ...
• • Source: Article: "Hollywood Preview: "Belle of the Nineties'' by Paramount written by Motion Picture Daily; printed on Sunday, 19 August 1934.
• • On Saturday, 19 August 1939 • •
• • When it seemed that Mae's Catherine the Great project was on the back burner, an Australian newspaper ran this tidbit.  The Advertiser wrote: It is rather difficult to see what Miss West or her advisers could detect in the famous Russian Empress which made her suitable for a Western impersonation. It is true that she was no angel and had a habit of inviting her male favorite for the time being "to come up and see her sometime." Any how, whatever the attraction or illusion may have been, Miss West seems to have abandoned the project. The latest news about her is that Universal are proposing to co-star her with W. C. Fields.   . . .
• • Source: Article: "News of Mae West" rpt in The Advertiser (Adelaide); published on Saturday, 19 August 1939.
• • On Monday, 17 August 2015 • •
• • Here are two pictures taken in New York City that were part of the annual celebration of Mae West's birthday.  
• • 6 o'clock "pre-show" • •
• • During the 6 o'clock "pre-show" portion, the silent films of Texas Guinan were onscreen for the audience to enjoy as they nibbled on cheese and veggies; sampled a variety of bagels, crackers, and cookies; and met their seat-mates. 
• • Then the event itself began promptly at 6:30 pm at Jefferson Market Library. Don't you love a pre-show starring Texas Guinan and her derring-do?  We do.
• • 8 o'clock "post-event" • •
• • Cabaret songstress Topaz Lennard left the event and went home like royalty — — in a brand new chauffeur-driven limousine, courtesy of Bill's Limo. This prize was donated to the event by  the company's CEO, William Dossena. We know that Texas Guinan and Mae West would have approved. Ms. Lennard was all smiles.   
• • More August 17th photos will be posted soon.
• • Find out more about this year's event:
• • Here's the NYPL link — 
• • Here's a fascinating article on speakeasy queen Texas Guinan written by syndicated columnist Lenore Skenazy — New York's Night Club Queen Was as Big as Texas
• • Here's an interview with Mae-maven LindaAnn Loschiavo — A Conversation with NYC Playwright LindaAnn Loschiavo
A Conversation with NYC Playwright LindaAnn Loschiavo 
• • The weekly events magazine Time Out New York recommended this event:
Time Out New York recommends "Onstage Outlaws Mae West and Texas Guinan"
• • Details — — Mae West Tribute: Triple Treat in 2015 
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West is planning to back a stock company on the coast.  Her sister, Beverly, and her manager, James Timony, will head the enterprise.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "I'm not a phony, and I'm not a girl who's just made good. I've had some success before; I've had some publicity. And I've made some money before I ever came to Hollywood."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article in paper discussed Mae West.
• • "Mae West Becomes a Convert!" • •
• • Mae West is all for moral rearmament and is ready to join the Oxford Group. It would be a good thine for W. C. Fields, she told Dr. Frank Buchman, leader of the Moral Rearmament Movement, today.
• • Miss West and Dr. Buchman had quite a tete-a-tete in her apartment. "It's a wonderful work," she said of the movement.  ...
• • Source: Article rpt in The Mail (Adelaide); published on Saturday, 19 August 1939
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 11th anniversary • •    
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past eleven years. The other day we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 3,200 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3248th 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 • at Mae's tribute on 17 August 2015, NYC

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