Monday, January 25, 2016

Mae West: Lillian Kilgannon

MAE WEST enjoyed working with Lillian Kilgannon on several pictures but the Irish-American beauty never received screen credit. The daughter of Jimmy Kilgannon, one of Paramount's studio policemen, she watched her father ascend through the ranks, first cast in bit parts (such as a bartender in a few films), then moving up to a "directorial post," and as a cast member in "The Preview Murder Mystery" [1936].
• • Perhaps Jimmy Kilgannon had  some natural acting ability. Lillian admitted she never got a chance even though Paramount executives called her "the gal with the million dollar legs" in one profile, using her shapely gams whenever a close-up was needed.
• • "The stars are all good to me," Lillian told a reporter in May 1935. "Miss West insisted that I stand in for her on her latest picture. She wouldn't have anyone else. And everyone is so generous with presents. I'm saving up for a trip to Ireland."
• • In February 1936, when Paramount released their screen book , Jimmy Kilgannon's daughter received a brief mention: "Lillian Kilgannon was until lately Mae West's stand in. Known as the 'girl with the million dollar legs,' Lillian is today a staid shopkeeper in Palm Springs. She also has a gift shop in Coronado. Jimmy's might proud of her."
• • Photo of Lillian Kilgannon in 1935 (below).
• • On Monday, 24 January 1938 • •
• • According to Time, Mae West's cinema earnings in 1936 were $323,000, about as much salary as Bethlehem Steel's president, Eugene G. Grace, and the chairman of its board, Charles M. Schwab.
• • Time Magazine published a review of Mae West's latest film "Every Day's A Holiday" (Paramount Pictures, 1938). Time's lily-livered critic had this to say:
• • In the peculiar idiom of show business, Mae West's art comes under the head of umph.  ...
• • On Saturday 24 January 1948 in London • •
• • "Diamond Lil" starring Mae West toured Manchester, Blackpool, Birmingham, and Glasgow before opening at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London on Saturday night, 24 January 1948.
• • On Tuesday, 24 January 1950 in the Baltimore Sun • •
• • Sculptor Louis Rosenthal was interviewed and photographed in a Maryland hotel suite right next to Mae West. The article was: "Mae West Unaltered in 19 Years, Sculptor Finds."
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
Lillian Kilgannon
• • "We are the shadows," Lillian Kilgannon, stand in for Marlene Dietrich said. "We stand in while the set is being lighted, sometimes for an hour or more, so that all my be in readiness for the star who may then do the scene in five minutes. ... We just step out. We are the shadows."
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  “You only live once but, if you do it right, once is enough.”
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Daily mentioned Mae West.
• • "Remember When — — January 25, 1936" • •
• • Rehearsals were under way for “Palm Springs Frolics of 1890,” a Little Theatre Guild production under the direction of Virginia Mitchell. Star of the three-act heart throb was Lillian Kilgannon. formerly a stand in for Mae West.  . .
• • Source: Item in Desert Sun; published on Tuesday, 25 January 1966
• • Note: In the motion picture "Limehouse Blues" [1934], Lillian Kilgannon was cast as the stand in for Jean Parker. She was also used as a stand in for Dietrich and Claudette Colbert.
• • 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 3,300 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3362nd 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 • her stand-in, 1935

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