Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Mae West: Freeman Bernstein

MAE WEST loved sparklers — — but Diamond Lil was no fool who could be duped by fakes.
• • "The Jewish Con Man Who Swindled Hitler and Tried to Fleece Mae West" • •
• • Avishay Artsy wrote:   Years after briefly landing in jail for the Hitler hustle, Freeman Bernstein was at it again, this time selling phony diamonds to his old friend, actress Mae West at her Hollywood apartment in 1937. But West was no stranger to fancy jewelry, real or fake. After pulling out her jeweler’s scale, she bought the rubies and sapphires but handed back the cheap zircon.
• • Avishay Artsy wrote:  Freeman Bernstein’s reputation for jewelry imports had earned him the nickname “The Jade King of China,” and as West recounts in her own autobiography, Bernstein smuggled the jewels into the country by feeding them to his dog just before arriving at port, and retrieved them hours later — you can guess how. It seems Bernstein himself paid the price for that trick. ...
• • Article written by Avishay Artsy for Jewniverse; posted on Tuesday, 16 August 2016.
• • On Wednesday, 24 August 1921 • •
• • With "The Mimic World of 1921," the Shuberts had hoped for a big hit and especially since this revue was inaugurating the family's new roof theatre that featured a restaurant and a promenade overlooking Central Park.
• • Mae West wore a daring black velvet dress onstage, "cut at either side to display her bare hips," wrote Women's Wear [Wednesday, 24 August 1921], quaking under such a sartorial shock. Jack Dempsey must have liked what he saw because he went to Mae's dressing room on opening night — — and the two hit it off big-time.
• • On Monday, 24 August 1931 • •
• • When Mae West brought her play "The Constant Sinner" to Atlantic City for a try-out in August 1931, the crowds lined up for tickets, noted The New York Times: "With two rows of standees and chairs in the aisles for extra celebrants, last Monday night saw Mae West run through her latest daisy chain, "The Constant Sinner," at the Apollo Theatre in Atlantic City. . ." [NY Times on 30 August 1931].
• • The play opened out of town in New Jersey's resort town at the Apollo Theatre on Monday, 24 August 1931.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Billboard wrote: Mae West will be the opener for the Shubert, coming September 2nd for a 3-week stay in "Come On Up."
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "I am my severest critic. Don't forget that!"
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A New England paper mentioned Mae West.
• • "A Word for the Plump" • •
• • In the early nineties in this country the plump Lillian Russell type was In great demand. And Mae West — she may be the style of tomorrow.  The anemic, slender, underweight girl will develop into a plump young woman if she eats the proper food.  ...
• • Source: Item in Cambridge Sentinel (Massachusetts); published on Saturday, 24 August 1935
• • 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 3,500 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started twelve years ago in July 2004.
You are reading the 3515th 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.

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• • Mae West • in 1935

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