In 1978, MAE WEST wanted to work with Paul Williams, who was born on Thursday, 19 September 1940. Let's hear the story in the words of the musician himself.
• • Paul Williams’ encounters with showbiz legends alone could fill a book: “My manager called me, saying Mae West wants to talk to you about writing the songs for her movie, ‘Sextette.’ I went up to her great apartment, Ravenswood, with this kinda muscle guy she lived with. Everything was white, shag rug, and a copy of Life Magazine from the 1940s [sic] with her on the cover, like time travel."
• • Paul Williams continued: “After a while, she came out, fully made up, in a flowing negligee, and she must have been in her 80s then. She sat down and there was not a lot of conversation, so, finally, her friend said, ‘You know, Paul just wrote the songs for the new version of “A Star is Born.”’ ‘Oh!,’ she said, ‘I love that one!’ and sang, ‘The night is bitter…’
• • “I started to go, ‘No, it wasn’t…’ but she gave me this look, and I stopped, and to this day, I don’t know if she was putting me on. It will remain a mystery for my entire life — I think she was, but how hip to do that!"
• • "The man that got away" • •
• • Mae West sang: "The night is bitter, The stars have lost their glitter, ... The man that got away" . . .
• • The lyrics were by Ira Gershwin [6 December 1896 — 17 August 1983] and the melody was by the composer Harold Arlen [15 February 1905 — 23 April 1986].
• • Paul Williams seems to have been the man that got away because there is no music credit for him on "Sextette." Ah, well. But many other songs were used.
• • On Sunday, 18 September 1932 • •
• • After facing down the man who robbed her in Hollywood on mid-September 1932 in a Los Angeles 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.
• • Details about Mae's recent testimony had been published in several weekend editions across the USA on Sunday, 18 September 1932. Harry Voiler, parolee. Yikes.
• • On Thursday, 18 September 1980 • •
• • It was September when Mae West was in the hospital and not doing well. On Thursday, 18 September 1980, the Hollywood icon suffered a second stroke, and this left her right side paralyzed. Dreadful, simply awful.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • I call my girl Mae West, and not because of her eyes, either.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Sex without love doesn't mean much. Sex with love — — well, kings give up kingdoms for it. Sex is only a physical thing: the act is over, and then what? Where there's love, you have something maddening."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A Hollywood daily mentioned Mae West.
• • "Archie Mayo at Paramount" • •
• • Hollywood — Archie Mayo, Warner director, has been assigned by Paramount to direct George Raft, Nancy Carroll, Mae West, Alison Skipworth, and Wynne Gibson in "Night After Night," starting late this month. . . .
• • Source: Item in The Film Daily; published on Tuesday, 12 July 1932
• • Note: Mae West just had a handful of scenes in the first third of the film. Permitted to write her own dialogue, Mae amplified the part of Maudie Triplett, Joe Anton's feisty ex-girlfriend. Thus a minor part (made vibrant by Mae's personal touch) became the only thing memorable in this speakeasy film. There's Mae on the box, deceptively posing like a co-star. Ha-ha-ha! Triplett triumphant!
• • 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 3270th blog post.
Unlike many blogs, which draw
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • in 1932 • •
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