Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Mae West: Give Hope

MAE WEST had visits from a member of the Nassour family. This remembrance continues from Tuesday, when Part 4 was posted.
• • "After knowing Ms. West for seven years through a family connection, I had the pleasure of working with her to promote a recording project of some of her famous movie lines," wrote Ellis Nassour in 1985.  Insisting he had "rare access," he self published this lengthy remembrance.  This is Part 5. The misspelt words have been corrected. Some of the more questionable recollections and inaccuracies have been marked by "sic."
• • Memorable Visits with "Aunt Mae" • •
• • Ellis Nassour recalled:  There wasn't much reality at Ravenswood.  "It's all in the body and mind," she said. "Keep your mind thinking young and keep your insides healthy and youthful. I've had a happy life. The happiness part is important. I pamper myself, but why shouldn't I? I love myself! If you can't do that, how can you expect someone to love you or to love someone else? I like Mae West best — — all of me. Look! Show me anyone who, at my age, can do what I'm doing* and look the way I do."  [* She was about to make the film "Sextette," which was fraught with difficulties.]
• • Ellis Nassour continued: Ms. West said that most women, when they reach 40, must start playing character parts, but that she only played leads. She stated that when she looked into the mirror, "I realize that I give others hope."
• • Ellis Nassour emphasized:  For a woman who became outraged at such stars as Bette Midler, Streisand [in the film "Hello, Dolly"] and Madonna for copying her, she could be guilty of at least one crime.  Her blonde tresses, which she claimed to be her natural hair and may have been — — if they were used to craft the obvious wig she was wearing (she wore wigs her entire career, carefully hiding the scalp line) was done in the style that Brigette Bardot made famous in the 1960s.
• • Ellis Nassour stated:  One of her closest friends, after her 1980 death from complications following a fall and stroke, put it best:  "For decades, like Narcissus, kneeling by his pool lost in self-adoration, Mae reclined on her satin-sheeted bed, gazing rapturously at her misty image reflected in her mirrored canopy.  Self-hypnotized, she believed so deeply in her youthful luminosity that she felt the public accepted her unchanged and unchangeable."  . . .
• • This has been Part 5.  Part 6 will continue tomorrow.  [Ellis Nassour © 1985; all rights reserved; used with permission].
• • On Tuesday, 27 July 1954 in Vegas • •
• • On Tuesday, 27 July 1954 Mae West opened at the Congo Room. This exotic night spot, inside the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas, offered patrons a full supper as they watched a live performance. If you were in the audience when "The Mae West Revue" was onstage in 1954, you might have selected Broiled Fresh Colorado Brook Trout, Maitre d'Hotel, for $5.25.
• • The Sahara knew that guests wanted to bring home special keepsakes, so they commissioned souvenir keys. The front side of the key was imprinted "Hotel Sahara Las Vegas, Nevada" while the reverse message was "Come up and see me sometime, Mae West."  
• • Save the Date: Wednesday, 17 August 2016 • •
• • Mae West: New Yorker, Vaudevillian, Upstart, and Jailbird — — a Birthday Celebration! • •
• • Link: Mae West event on August 17, 2016
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • While the motion picture "Myra Breckinridge" was not a hit, the media exposure engendered a "Mae West revival," explained The New York Post.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "I never loved another person the way I loved myself." 
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A California paper mentioned Mae West.
• • "Mae West is not, repeat NOT, on local stage" • •
• • Jeff Jouett wrote:   Mae West, the eternally seductive siren of the silver screen, dropped one of her blonde bombshells on Coronado Playhouse this week. Lawyers for mammoth MGM Studios in Hollywood contacted William R. Bruce, director of the 150-seat community theater, demanding Bruce change the name of the play, “Sextet,” now in its fifth week of an eight week run.
• • Jeff Jouett wrote: It seems MGM has produced a film it calls “Sextette,” which stars the venerable Miss West and the movie-makers are worried that audiences will confuse the play with the movie, despite totally different plots. "You must, repeat must, stop immediately using that  name (“Sextet”) or any variation.” MGM attorney Robert Layton wrote to William R. Bruce on Friday. “Your failure to do so immediately will result in immediate legal proceedings to halt your production."  . . .
• • Source: Article by Jeff Jouett  in Coronado Eagle and Journal (California); published on Thursday, 27 July 1978 
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 12th anniversary • •
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past twelve 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 twelve years ago in July 2004.
You are reading the 3495th 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:


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• • Mae West • in 1954

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