Thursday, November 17, 2016

Mae West: Blonde Background

In September 1934, MAE WEST sat down for a series of "Me and My Past" talks with the United Press syndicated reporter Leicester Wagner.  We will post excerpts from Chapter #4 in several installments.  This is Chapter 4, excerpt c-c.
• • "Me and My Past" by Mae West • •
• • As Told to Leicester Wagner, United Press Staff Correspondent • •
• • The Difference Between the Sexes • •
• • Ever since those days with the Hal Clarendon Company I realized there was a difference between the sexes. I found that I, as a little girl, could get my way easier with men than could little boys.
• • You can't classify the following affair as trickery, yet it shows how I was forced to use my head as well as my other attributes when I was coming up in the show world.
• • "The Baby Vamp" • • 
• • I had danced my way across Brooklyn Bridge into Broadway when most girls of my years were playing with dolls. I was a woman on the bill, but a child in fact. They called me the Baby Vamp then, around 1920, and I was just that. [Sic  — — in 1920, Mae was 27 years old and hardly a "baby."]
• • They shoved me on a bill with two of the sure-fire comedians of the day, Ed Wynn and Frank Tinney. I was considered blonde background for the act.
• • Well, Mae West never was blonde background for any act — — for long. I was just supposed to walk around while they got the attention and the laughs.
• • If all they'd let me do was walk — — I'd walk like nobody else.
• • My "free-wheeling" gait • •       . . .
• • This has been excerpt c-c.  Tomorrow's post will be d-d — —  the continuation of Chapter #4.
• • NOTE: This is the 4th chapter of Mae West's life story as told to Leicester Wagner, United Press.  This syndicated series was reprinted in American newspapers during September 1934.
• • On Friday, 17 November 1916 • •
• • On Friday, 17 November 1916, Mae West announced in the trade papers (such as Variety) that she had new plans.
• • "Mae West's New Name and Act" • •
• • An act written by Blanche Merrill will return Mae West to vaudeville under another name and as a male impersonator.
• • On Tuesday, 17 November 1936 • •
• • An article about favorite dishes of 1930s movie stars mentioned Mae West. On Tuesday, 17 November 1936, The Sydney Morning Herald stated: Mae West always has a salad, which has been named after her. 
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West's breakfast table is set with half a grapefruit and a low bowl of Cecile Brunner roses.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:   "I have given six life-stories but I can always give another."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Columbia Daily Spectator mentioned Mae West.
• • The editors wrote:  Anti-West Tulane University co-eds have rebelled against the Mae West trend. They prefer a slight streamlined figure, and have inaugurated a green vegetable diet to preserve it.  ...
• • Source: Item in Columbia Daily Spectator (NYC); published on Friday, 17 November 1933
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 12th 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 3,500 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3576th 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 • in 1936

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