Thursday, March 31, 2016

Mae West: Extortioner

On Wednesday, 31 March 1943, Australians were reading about an extortion plot that targeted MAE WEST and Betty Grable. The criminal (who turned out to be star-struck teen) demanded  $100,000  from Miss West. There was an investigation and he got caught instead.
• • "Blonde Poses as Actress" • •
• • "Teenage 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 Alexanderson, l8, 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."
• • Alexanderson demanded $100,000 dollars from Miss West.
• • The blonde kept an appointment with Alexanderson, and the police closed in on him.
• • The Judge postponed sentence until April 5th.
• • Article rpt in The Sydney Morning Herald; published on Wednesday, 31 March 1943.
• • On Sunday, 31 March 1912 • •
• • The end of March signaled the beginning of excitement down at "The Corner" [Seventh Avenue and 42nd Street]. The New York Times announced on Sunday, 31 March 1912 that "Mae West and Her Boys" would take the stage at Hammerstein's Victoria.
• • On Thursday, 31 March 1927 • •
• • On Thursday, 31 March 1927 it was reported in The New York Times that Sergeant Patrick Keneally of the Midtown Vice Squad, whose testimony was heavily flavored with a thick Irish brogue, quoted long passages from Mae's play "Sex" from memory. Moreover, "frequently, under the instructions of the Prosecutor," explained The Times, "assuming poses to demonstrate the manner in which members of the cast delivered their lines," Sgt Keneally gave the jury box quite a show.
• • On Monday, 31 March 1930 in The N.Y. Times • •
• • The N.Y. Times ran this headline to keep readers up to date on the "Pleasure Man" trial at the end of March 1930: CLASH MARKS MOVE TO FREE MAE WEST; Nathan Burkan Demands Details in Play Indictment — — Wallace Calls Motion Ridiculous. TWELFTH JUROR CHOSEN Then Panel Is Excused as Counsel Argue Over Terming Actress "Star of Case." Sales Manager Picked as Juror. Wants All Indecency Specified.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • In due time, Mae is moving to a beach house she recently purchased to escape the smog.  We sit in this room and Mae answers my questions about how she keeps her figure: yoga exercises, Iong walks, specially prepared fat-less foods.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Many of our famous lawyers, doctors, bankers, and judges are homosexualists."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A WW2 site mentioned the Marines and a Mae West movie poster.
• • Marines pose in front of marquee posters in Bremerton, Washington circa 1934. The films showing are Lucky Devils (1933) and She Done Him Wrong (1933) starring Mae West and a young Cary Grant.
• • This image is a wonderful example of Sam Schutt's ability to capture the era in his photographs.  . . . 
• • Image:  courtesy of Steve Schutt
• • Source: Item on http://www.ussastoria.org; posted on unknown date
• • 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 3,400 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3410th 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: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
________

Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xmlAdd to Google

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • in 1933 or 1934

• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
  Mae West

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Mae West: Bunny Austin

Printed in Australia's paper Barrier Miner on Saturday, 30 Mar 1940, was an article linking the name MAE WEST to Frank Buchman. The story shot around the globe, faster than a bad movie review.
• • "Mae Weft Re-Arms --- Morally" • •
• • Mae West, voluptuous "come-up-and-see-me-sometime" fílm star, has become morally rearmed. She gives credit to the campaign of Doctor Buchman and tennis star, Bunny Austin, explained the editors of Barrier Miner.
• • Frank Buchman enjoyed his habit of collecting trophies, i.e., bold-faced named converts who were former atheists, socialists, Communists, labor union members, and so on. Frank Buchman loved to stage publicity photos with people like Mae. And one of the "moral rearmament "converts" Frank Buchman routinely showed off was  Bunny Austin, former Davis Cup tennis player.
• • Bunny Austin  [20 August 1906 — 20 August 2000] • •
• • Born in  South Norwood, London, Henry Wilfred "Bunny" Austin was a British tennis player from England. For 74 years, he was the last Briton to reach the final of the gentlemen's singles at Wimbledon, until Andy Murray did so in 2012.
• • It's not recorded that Bunny Austin and Mae West ever met. But if you decide to Google their names together, you will find much to surprise you. We'll leave it there for your consideration.
• • Ned Wayburn [30 March 1874 — 2 September 1942] • •
• • Born in Pennsylvania at the end of March — — on 30 March 1874 — — Ned Wayburn was a choreographer and a producer. His promotional campaigns pictured some of his most successful dance pupils — — and though Mae was not featured on those testimonials, Ned taught her to dance and cast her in several shows, adding heft to her resume and stage career.
• • On Wednesday, 30 March 1927 • •
• • By Wednesday, 30 March 1927, twelve male jurors had been selected for Mae West's "Sex" trial set for Jefferson Market Court on Sixth Avenue in Greenwich Village. Mae hired four attorneys to represent her. Her defense team was headed by Harold Spielberg, Herman "Beansie" Rosenthal's former associate. Trial coverage appeared in the N.Y. Herald Tribune, The N.Y. Times, Variety, and elsewhere.
• • The stage play "Courting Mae West" covers these two obscenity trials and Mae's actions before and after. This play is based on true events between 1926 1932.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Bob Dylan is covered by many others including Mae West, Jimi Hendrix, and John Corigliano.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "And when it comes in sex portrayals, I know my onions. My play is true to life. And how can anyone suppress truth?"
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An Arkansas site mentioned Mae West.
• • Effigies of former President Jimmy Carter, Clark Gable and Mae West pose on a disused escalator at Josephine Tussaud Wax Museum in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  ...
• • Source: Item in Arkansas Online; posted on Thursday, 17 March 2016
• • 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 3,400 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3409th 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: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
________

Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xmlAdd to Google

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • in Jefferson Market Court, March 1927

• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
  Mae West

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Mae West: Crescent Theatre

On Friday, 29 March 1935 Australians were reading about the latest motion picture starring   MAE WEST.
• • "Movie Gossip" • •
• • "Mae West in Story of Gay Nineties" • •
• • Mae West returns to the gay naughty nineties in her latest starring picture for Paramount, "Belle of the Nineties," coming next Wednesday and Friday to the Crescent Theatre, Fairfield. "Belle of the Nineties" presents Mae West as a colorful burlesque queen who leaves St. Louis for New Orleans when the man she loves walks out on her. The star introduces several new typically Western songs written for her by Sam Coslow and Arthur Johnston.
• • Source: Item  in The Biz (Fairfield, NSW); published on  Friday,  29 March 1935.
• • On Saturday, 29 March 1930 • •
• • As reported by The N.Y. Times on Saturday, 29 March 1930, the "Pleasure Man" trial presided over by Justice Amedeo Bertini was not without its own impromptu entertainment value. Called to the stand by Nathan Burkan, cast member Chuck Connors II sang the controversial "She's the Queen of the Beaches" for Judge Bertini and the jurors. Though somber and bereaved, Mae West had to stuff a black handkerchief in her mouth to keep from laughing as Chuck Connors, "clasping his hands together, crooned the song."
• • Prosecutor James Wallace insisted the title really was "I'm the Queen of the Bitches" — — and the lyrics to that and another number "Cruising for the Moon" were rife with homosexual argot and innuendo. Wallace had explained to the jury that Police Captain Coy was an expert on the swishy vernacular of gents given to female impersonation off, as well as on, the stage.
• • The defense counsel had no luck rattling the two police witnesses, the theatrical Captain Coy, who delighted in mimicking the girlish soprano "whoops" of the brassiere-wearing drag queens, and the much more somber police stenographer, the dour Mr. Powers.
• • Chuck Connors also testified for the defense that he and his co-star Ed Hearn (who had also been his vaudeville partner), performed traditional gags and routines in "Pleasure Man," skits that had been used in variety for decades and seen by thousands of people.
• • Mae did get a bit of relief in mid-March when the court ruled out the count of "public nuisance" from the indictment.
• • On Sunday, 29 March 1936 • •
• • "Has Mae West Done Herself Wrong?" was the intriguing headline teasing readers of the Atlanta Journal Magazine in their issue dated for Sunday, 29 March 1936. The byline went to Frank Daniel. Congressional hearings being conducted in February and March 1936 by the U.S. Senate were peppered with the name of Mae West, whose new motion picture "Klondike Annie" caused a lot of concern on Capitol Hill. Ramona Curry has written well-researched articles on this topic of how censorship tightened its noose around Mae's neck.
• • On Saturday, 29 March 2008 in NYC • •
• • Offered for free in the Times Square area on Saturday afternoon, 29 March 2008 was a commemorative reading of the stage play "Courting Mae West" at The Producer's Club [358 West 44th Street, NYC]. Louis Lopardi directed the cast. Based on true events 1926 — 1932, the play dramatizes moments from both of the obscenity trials.
• • On Monday, 29 March 2010 • •
• • During the month of March in 1970, there were rumors about a feud between Raquel Welch and her co-star Mae West during the filming of "Myra Breckenridge." Quarreling over the gowns and costumes had started. Raquel also said a few “very unflattering things” about the director, Michael Sarne.
• • On Monday, 29 March 2010, Raquel Welch's autobiography, Raquel: Beyond the Cleavage, was released. Thanks to this book being published, the plastic surgery poster child found the need to include disparaging remarks about her (now deceased) co-star Mae West. Though there is no reference to the sales figures, this pastiche of random thoughts on aging, hairstyles, and make-up has never been called "a bestseller" by anyone of significance. 
• • Silicone can make little things look bigger, Raquel, but a small mean-spirited mind keeps its shape, isn't that correct?
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • The crowds at the Brooklyn Fox reflected not only their fascination with La West but also how she says it and the way she does it.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "A man has one hundred dollars and you leave him with two dollars. That's subtraction."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Hollywood Reporter mentioned Mae West.
• • Ray Arnett, Choreographer and Stage Director, Dies at 97 • •
• • Choreographer Ray Arnett performed stage shows with actress Mae West earlier in his career and served as the stage director and producer for Liberace's many sold-out performances beginning in the 1950s. He is known for introducing Liberace to former partner Scott Thorson.  . . .
• • Source: Obit in Hollywood Reporter; published on Thursday, 26 March 2015 
• • 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 3,400 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3408th 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: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
________

Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xmlAdd to Google

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • in 1970

• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
  Mae West

Monday, March 28, 2016

Mae West: A Breezy Story

On Saturday, 28 March 1936 MAE WEST was delighting her fans in New England.
• • Central Square Theatre • •
• • “Mae Day” comes early this year, but we are referring to Mae West’s days which start on  Saturday. The days are 4 in number and the occasion is “Klondike Annie” with Victor McLaglen as the conqueror of the “West," in a breezy story of San Francisco’s Barbary Coast and the fabulous Alaskan Gold Rush.
• • On the same program is the latest Zane Grey story, “Nevada” with Larry “Buster” Crabbe, Kathleen Burke, Monte Blue, and Raymond Hatton. . . .
• • Cambridge Sentinel (Massachusetts); published on Saturday, 28 March 1936.
• • On Wednesday, 28 March 1927 • •
• • In March 1927, in reaction to the Broadway aspirations of Mae West's play "The Drag," the New York State Legislature passed a law banning all depictions of homosexuality on the stage.
• • "Sex" had already run for 339 performances • •
• • After the Grand Jury's indictments ended, the courtroom trial began in earnest on Wednesday, 28 March 1927. First on the agenda was jury selection.
• • A few days later, Norman Schloss would open the case for the defense, pointing out the most obvious details: that "Sex" had already run for 339 performances, and it had been seen by more than 325,000 patrons, including members of the police department and their wives, by judges of the criminal courts, by seven members of the district attorneys’ staffs, and by citizens of the city who showed no moral impairment. A Broadway “play jury” had previewed the show, and belated prosecution was unreasonable.
• • The prosecutor would argue that the play "Sex" was obscene and he would be calling a series of detectives who became courtroom actors.
• • Sergeant Patrick Keneally of the Midtown Vice Squad seemed to relish reciting the more ribald lines from "The Drag," and imitating the walk and gestures of "the fairies" on stage.
• • The full-length stage play "Courting Mae West" dramatizes the trial and other matters leading up to it — — and, of course, the colorful aftermath.
• • On Thursday, 28 March 1935 • •
• • Mae West was invited to party with the King of England during his jubilee in 1935.
• • The newspapers followed this story, announcing a few times that Mae West would definitely attend the party in London. However, it was not to be — — and the busy performer would not sail for Great Britain until after World War II when she toured in "Diamond Lil."
• • "Lord Byng Talks with Mae West" • •
• • According to The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser:  In 1935, Mae West was invited to the jubilee celebration of King George V in London, over the teacups at Paramount studio in Hollywood today by Lord Byng, British hero of Vimy Ridge. The actress entertained Lord and Lady Byng at tea on the set of her picture, and was in her usual good form saying, "Have another cup, dearie" to his lordship and "Two lumps, darling" to her ladyship. ...
• • Source: Article:  "Lord Byng Talks with Mae West" in The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser; published on Thursday, 28 March 1935.
• • Note: Julian Byng, 1st Viscount Byng of Vimy Ridge, died one month after the royal festivities on 6 June 1935.
• • On Saturday, 28 March 1936 • •
• • It was a jolly weekend in Princeton, NJ. The Arcade Theatre announced (on page 3) that it would be offering "Klondike Annie" starring Mae West today, Saturday, 28 March 1936.
• • Source: The Daily Princetonian; published on Saturday, 28 March 1936.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Hattie McDaniel also co-starred with Mae West in "I’m No Angel," with Shirley Temple and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson in "The Little Colonel," and with Paul Robeson in "Showboat."
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "I was Snow White but I drifted."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • There was a lovely display ad in a Palm Springs paper for a show starring Mae West.
• • At the Hotel Sahara in Las Vegas — —Now Playing in The Conga Room,  Mae West and Company — — for reservations see your local travel agent!
• • Source: Item in Desert Sun; published on Saturday, 28 March 1959 
• • 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 3,400 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3407th 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: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
________

Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xmlAdd to Google

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • in 1959

• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
  Mae West

Friday, March 25, 2016

Mae West: Unspecified Year

There's a lot of hooey in this news item (below) about MAE WEST, a short article that appeared on Saturday, 25 March 1933 and carried no byline. All the Mae-mavens who read this column will recognize traces of the silly and the willy nilly scribblings.
• • "Mae West Teaches Proper Appreciation of Mae West" • •
• • Mae West’s childhood was spent In training for the stage and her later life In training the stage and screen-goers to a proper appreciation of Mae West.
• • Her parents were theatrical people and Miss West, who was born in Brooklyn on August 17 of an unspecified year, made her professional debut at the age of five. After several years In vaudeville, she made her Broadway debut In the “Follies Bergere,” then played in “A la Broadway.” “Vera Violetta" and “A Winsome Widow.” After these successes she returned to vaudeville for five years, specializing in imitations of George M. Cohan and Eddie Foy.
• • She returned to New York to appear In New Wayburn’s “Demitasse Revue” and “The Mimic World.” It was at this time that she wrote her first play, "Sex.” This sensational production ran two years with Miss West as the star.
• • Her greatest success "Diamond LiI” followed.
• • Source:  Cambridge Sentinel (Massachusetts); published on Saturday, 25 March 1933.
• • On Tuesday, 25 March 1924 in Texas • •
• • On Tuesday, 25 March 1924 Mae West appeared on a vaudeville program at the Majestic Theatre in San Antonio, Texas.
• • On Wednesday, 25 March 1959 in Variety • •
• • Variety seemed to delight in sending a critic out-of-town to see Mae West, even when she was billed at the Chi Chi in Palm Springs, and then cutting her down. Variety had some nice words for "the quartet in tails and top hats" that accompanied the Hollywood icon. However, Variety could not resist sniping, "She looks tired."
• • When Variety ran this coverage on Wednesday, 25 March 1959, Mae West was then 65 1/2 years old and still performing to huge crowds of older Mae-mavens along with her new fans.
• • On Friday, 25 March 1977 • •
• • From Monday, 6 December 1976 until Friday, 25 March 1977 — — this was the shooting schedule in Hollywood for "Sextette," starring eighty-three-year-old movie star, Mae West in her final screen role [citation from the book "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere: The Complete Chronicle of the Who 1958 — 1978" written by Andrew Neill, Matthew Kent, Roger Daltrey, Chris Stamp].
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West never tries, never strives. With every word, every move she indicates that she knows she has it all.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  “Sometimes I think I'm a narrow-minded woman."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A campus newspaper mentioned Mae West.
• • "Candid Photo Contest Won by Harwood Simmons" • •
• • Picture of Bateman In Mae West Garb Acclaimed Best • •
• • Mr. Simmons' shot of John Bateman (Class of 193B), garbed as Mae West and displaying his charms before an avid group of ballet chorines, will win for him a $15 exposure meter, contributed by the Abe Cohen Camera Exchange.  . . .
• • Source: Item in Columbia Daily Spectator; published on Thursday,  24 March 1938
• • 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 3,400 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3406th 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: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
________

Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xmlAdd to Google

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • in 1978

• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
  Mae West