Friday, September 02, 2016

Mae West: Gladys Lewis Bush

In 1974, MAE WEST gave a long interview to Anjelica Huston and Peter Lester. This is Part 5. 
• • Mae West: the Queen at Home in Hollywood • •
• • Written by Anjelica Huston and Peter Lester  (Interview Magazine) • •
• • MAE WEST:  And muscles, yeah. (A suggestion of a blush, eyes down and laughing.)
• • HUSTON AND LESTER:  Those alabaster statues are very beautiful.
• • Editor's Note: Alabaster statues of Mae West were created in 1935 by American sculptress Gladys Lewis Bush [1889 — 1954].  The "Sex" painting was by Florence A. Kosell.
• • WEST: Yes, they're nice, aren't they? My manager wouldn't let me pose for a man. My manager was in love with me. So they found a woman artist. You see the picture behind you?(An oil painting of a flaxen voluptuary on a canopied chaise, gazing at a bewitched monkey hanging from the bedpost by one hairy arm. The words "Sex" and in smaller print, "Mae West" are written underneath.)
• • See that? Well, this artist, Florence Kosell was her name, she was here one day and she walked through the bedroom and I was lying there on my bed, so she said, "I must paint you like that." She wanted it full face at first, but I thought it was kind of brazen, so I say how long will it take to do? She tells me and it's a long time. So I say, well how long will it take to do it in profile? She says half the time, so that's how we did it. It turned out good, don't you think? Maybe the forces wanted it that way.
• • HUSTON AND LESTER: When was it painted?
• • WEST: Around the time I did this play, "Sex." I was the first one ever to say "sex" on stage. The director was called Edward Elsner, he'd directed all these actresses... Pauline Fredrick, Julia Marlow, that girl—Ziegfield's wife—what's her name? You know the one... very fluttery. Well, anyway, I bring him this play, but he doesn't have his glasses with him. I said shall I read it to you? He says sure. It was called "Follow the Fleet," a dramatic play with a jazz band in it. Well, I started reading it and suddenly he says, Oh my God, this is sexy!  . . .
• • This has been Part 5 of the interview written by Anjelica Huston and Peter Lester. Part 6 will continue on Monday.
• • On Monday, 2 September 1911 in The Clipper • •
• • Two items in The Clipper, on 3 June 1911 and on 2 September 1911, covered "A Florida Enchantment." This touring show featured "a little French adventuress" played by Mae West and "young Goldberg" played by Frank Wallace, who became her husband in April 1911.
• • On Saturday, 2 September 1950 • •
• • It was on Saturday, 2 September 1950 when Mae West returned to New York City.  The originator of the quirky 1890s characters drinking and scheming at Gus Jordan's Bowery saloon had arrived via the modern train called "The 20th Century" at Grand Central Station. 
• • Mae would soon be starting her rehearsals of "Diamond Lil" with a new cast.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Ned Wayburn taught Mae West to do the Grizzly Bear.  Wayburn's ads named all the successful students he taught to dance such as Fanny Brice, Gilda Gray, Ann Pennington.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:   "Sex is an emotion in motion."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The BBC Radio mentioned Mae West.
• • "When I'm Bad I'm Better" • •
• • Christopher Cook talks to cinema star Kathleen Turner, TV actress Julie T. Wallace, and comedian Lily Savage about Mae West and her legacy to today's bad girls.
• • Heard on BBC Radio 4 FM,  Friday, 2 September 1994
• • 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 3522nd 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:


• • Photo:
• • Mae West • statuette by Gladys Lewis Bush

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