Friday, November 25, 2016

Mae West: I Was It

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 #6 in several installments.  This is Chapter 6, excerpt b-b.
• • "Me and My Past" by Mae West • •
• • As Told to Leicester Wagner, United Press Staff Correspondent • •
• • Then the play opened • •
• • The play opened in Daly's Theater in New York City — — farther uptown than most of the houses — — but it was a smash hit from the opening night.  It was the first taste America had of sex with a laugh. They came, they saw, went away and talked. But what was more, they paid their money to see it.
• • For two years "Sex" packed 'em in. Then Mayor James J. Walker took a vacation. Acting Mayor Joseph V. McKee ordered three shows raided — —  "The Captive," "A Virgin Man" and "Sex."  It was sort of a political gesture and someone had to be an example. 
• • I was it. Sentenced to pay a $500 fine and to serve 10 days in the workhouse on Welfare Island — — since revealed as a racketeering center, run by inmates and a blight on New York's good name — — I went to the Island through a conviction based on evidence which today seems exceedingly slight.
• • It's No Lark • • . . .
• • NOTE: This is the 6th 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.
• • This has been excerpt b-b.  The next  post will be c-c — —  the continuation of Chapter #6.
• • On Saturday, 25 November 1911 in Variety • •
• • The opening night cast of  "Vera Violetta" at the Winter Garden did not include the misbehaving  and Gaby-upstaging Mae West. Her antics during the out-of-town try-outs brought about her dismissal.
• • On Thursday, 25 November 1943 in NYC • •
• • Bouquets of praise did not shower Mae West after her film "The Heat Is On" was released right before Christmas in December 1943. Trading on The Big Apple's fondness for the Brooklyn bombshell, this ill-fated project had a special New York City premiere on Thursday, 25 November 1943.
• • On Tuesday, 25 November 1980 • •
• • A private service for Mae West was held in the Old North Church replica, in Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills, on Tuesday, 25 November 1980.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West once told a reporter that she almost married George Raft.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Of course, I had to have experiences to understand life.  I had to know all about life to give people what they wanted on the stage."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Stanford Daily mentioned Mae West.
• • "We were glad to see you, Mae" • •
• • Hollywood — Friends and admirers plan to bid a final farewell this week to sultry movie queen Mae West, whose sexy walk and sexy talk made her a Hollywood legend. West died Saturday at her home at age 87. She had spent the past three months in a hospital recuperating from a mild stroke.  . . .
• • Source: Obit in The Stanford Daily; published on Monday, 24 November 1980
• • 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 3582nd 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 1943

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