Friday, October 09, 2015

Mae West: Versailles Suite

MAE WEST did a very long interview with celebrity reporter Mike Connolly, a columnist for the Palm Springs chronicle Desert Sun.  Mae must have found Mike handsome. They had great rapport despite the fact that she had just filed a "cease-and-desist" against him.
• • This is Part 1 of 3 excerpts. Stay tuned because this material is simply fascinatin'.
• • "An Interview with Mae" — — written by Mike Connolly • •
• • Hollywood — — I arrived too late at Prentice-Hall's literary tea in the Beverly Hilton Hotel's Versailles Suite honoring the publishing house's distinguished new lady author Mae West and her book, "Goodness Had Nothing to Do with It."
• • Now it was 8:05 p.m. and the press party had been from 5-to-8. I was told that the guest-of-honor had departed. Knowing of Mae's predilection for always looking her best and figuring she must have reserved rooms at Mr. Hilton's inn to prepare for her press-conference-plus-cocktails-cotillion, I picked up the house phone and asked for her.
• • "C'mon up," she said.  Honest.
• • Mae was bodyguarded by Chuck Novak and Thad Prescott • •
• • Mae welcomed me to her suite like Helen of Troy admitting Paris to her boudoir. Except that Mae was bodyguarded in HER boudoir by Chuck Novak, one of the musclemen from her nightclub act, and Thad Prescott, her hair stylist. 
• • Note: In 1961, during the National Tour engagement of the stage comedy "Sextet" starring Mae West, the cast included Paul Novak and Thad Prescott.
• • "I always have somebody with me during interviews," Mae explained, "ever since that Mickey Hargitay mess. He and that Jayne Mansfield were getting all the good publicity.  I was getting roughed up. No more of that for Mae West."
• • She was tired but exhilarated, too. Most actresses are after a good performance. She started remembering all the things she had wanted to say at the press confab but couldn't because too many reporters kept asking her questions about things she didn't want to talk about.
• • Playing Tuesday Weld's mother • •
• • I confessed my guilt when she asked, “Are you the columnist who printed that story about Herman Hover writing a screenplay for me in which I would play Tuesday Weld's mother? Well. I just had my lawyer serve a cease-and-desist notice on him and I sent you a copy too. I'm not about to play anybody's mother.”
• • What Mae would prefer playing is herself in the movie version of her new autobiography. . . .
• • This concludes Part 1. Look for Part 2 on Monday, 12 October 2015.
• • Note: Actress Tuesday Weld was born 27 August 1943. In 1959, Miss Weld turned Sweet 16 and Miss West was 66.  It's a peculiar casting choice, at any rate.
• • Note: Herman Hover [1905 — 1996] took over the management of the nightspot Ciro's in 1942.  The club closed in 1957.  Clearly, this screenplay idea was meant to be a joke.
• •  Source:  "An Interview with Mae" written by Mike Connolly for Desert Sun; published on  Friday, 9 October 1959.
• • On Friday, 9 October 1931 • •
• • It was Friday, 9 October 1931 when an intriguing item appeared in The Evening Herald. Hollywood news man W.E. Oliver had written: Mae West is writing another play for herself. She plans it for next season, but reveals nothing concerning its title or theme other than: It is a historical romance of the sixteenth century and these few hints have emerged.
• • “The Greeks knew their stuff.... Aristotle you know, laid down the dictum that plays should be written about kings and queens," said Mae West. "I go Aristotle one better and insist that she be a bad queen.... When I’m seen in New York in a new role, I will be seen wearing ermine.”
• • On Sunday, 9 October 1932 • •
• • Harry Warner of Warner Bros. heard industry gossip that made him cable Will Hays on Sunday, 9 October 1932.  Harry Warner wrote:  Please wire immediately whether I can believe my ears that Paramount has arranged to make "Diamond Lil" with Mae West. Recollect it was absolutely definite that "Diamond Lil" was not to be produced. ...
• • On Saturday, 9 October 1948 • •
• • If you were reading The Los Angeles Times on Saturday, 9 October 1948, then you would have seen this headline: "Writers Ask Retrial in $100,000 Suit Against Mae West." 
• • As Mae would have said of these two scribblers who challenged her in court, "The nerve of a brass monkey."
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West has a section in the book "Great Lives" written by Karen Farrington, just published by BBC Books.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  “I’ve been things and seen places.”
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A newspaper in Ithaca, New York mentioned Mae West.
• • Mae West, Broadway star and playwright, is under indictment as author of indecent theatrical performance following closing of her latest play, "Pleasure Man," and arrest of members of the cast.
• • Source: Item in The Cornell Daily Sun;  published on Tuesday, 9 October 1928
• • 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 3285th 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 court, 1928

• • Feed — —
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