Monday, July 25, 2016

Mae West: Rare Access

MAE WEST had visits from a member of the Nassour family. This remembrance continues from Friday, when Part 2 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 3. 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 noted:  Mae West still loved to make an entrance.  There was a signal when she was ready for her close-up, because suddenly Paul would excuse himself and go to Mae's bedroom.  Then, on his arms, she would saunter in — — all 5' 2" [sic] of her, a fact she always obscured by wearing five-inch platform shoes draped by a long gown.
• • Ellis Nassour recalled:  It's impossible to forget her greeting of "Hi, ya," a throwback to her Brooklyn days.  Of course, you stood.  She was a lady and you were in the presence of royalty. Her handshake was ever firm and you were mesmerized by her sparkling baby blue eyes.  She smiled widely to assure you that the teeth were all hers. "Sit down, dear," she uttered in a gentle, loud whisper, as she glided to her armchair. Paul pointed to the end of the brocaded couch, right next to her. Another fascinating conversation followed.
• • Ellis Nassour explained: The "Sex Empress of the Silver Screen" was only seven going on eight when she made her first public stage appearance, billed as Baby Mae and vamped her way to First Prize in an Elks Club show at Brooklyn's Fulton Street Royal Theatre. That was the beginning of the career of the scintillating, flamboyant Mae West that only continued to grow and become exaggerated over the years — — mainly by herself.
• • Ellis Nassour added: By the time she made her film debut in 1932 at the age of 45 (she claimed 40) in "Night After Night"  — — delivering her famous "Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie" line as a retort on a compliment from a hat check girl about her diamonds — — her P.T. Barnumish showmanship was fabled.
• • Note: Born in August 1893, Mae filmed "Night After Night" when she was 39 years old.
• • Ellis Nassour went on:  Ms. West introduced the shimmy dance in Chicago . . . 
• • This has been Part 3. Part 4 will continue tomorrow.  [Ellis Nassour © 1985; all rights reserved; used with permission].
• • On Sunday, 25 July 1926 in NYC • •
• • On Sunday, 25 July 1926, Mae met Valentino at Tommy Guinan's speakeasy. Larger than the average ginmill, The Playground was on West 52nd Street (east of Broadway).  James R. Quirk, editor-publisher of Photoplay, hosted a Reception in honor of Valentino's new silent movie "Son of the Sheik" there.  Mae West and Texas Guinan were there to greet the Apulian heartthrob.
• • On Thursday, 25 July 1946 • •
• • The famous photo of Mae West with her hand on bodybuilder John Farbotnik's flexed upper arm was taken on Thursday, 25 July 1946 after the muscleman won the Mr. Chicago title.
• • 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 • •
• • Mae West wore the famous West diamonds, and made a late entrance very impressively.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "I can do more with my voice and eyes than another woman can do turning herself inside out.”
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A campus paper mentioned Mae West.
• • A take-off on Mae West is the comedy offering, and is fair, and if you are a golfer ...
• • Source: Item in The Stanford Daily; published on Tuesday, 25 July 1933 
• • 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 3493rd 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 1926

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