Friday, May 26, 2017

Mae West: Neglected Tongues

It was 1970 and MAE WEST, starring in "Myra B.," was doing the familiar publicity rounds to promote the picture.  The screen queen sat down with reporter Lee Mueller. Let's enjoy the interview all over again.
• • "Now Mae West Forgets to Pucker" • •
• • "Mae West, 1970 Vintage, Still Comes on Strong, But She Forgot to Pucker" • •
• • New York, NY — — Lee Mueller wrote:  This is going to hurt a little, so perhaps the best way to begin is from the beginning. (Things don't hurt so much in the beginning.) Mae West, who will — — it is said — — be 77 in August, moved through several of the outer lobbies of a large New York hotel immersed in a gliding pond of bodyguards and pawing public, flashbulb sunbursts, and neglected tongues and trailed by an exhaust of grunting photographers, toppled bodies, and gawking bystanders. A mass of bobbing platinum hair and an occasional glint of light from diamond clustered knuckles were all of Mae West that the onlookers (such as, for instance, two old ladies standing against the wall) could see.
• • Lee Mueller continued:  One of these women, named Elsie, said she worked in that hotel as a cleaning maid and lived over in Brooklyn's Bushwick section where Miss West was born. "When I was a girl growing up, Mae West was somethin'," she said. "I heard about her when she was in vaudeville, you know. I remember I told my mother I wanted to grow up to be like Mae West and she slapped me. . ."
• • Lee Mueller noted: Elsie is 70 years old — — nearly seven years younger than her girlhood idol. Her hair is short and dusty gray. The lines in her face are as deep as the convolutions in Mae West's brain. ...
• • Watching Mae West exit in a cloud of clamor, Elsie blinked and shook her head. “How’s she do it?” she asked.  "I'm an old woman. Seventy-one next month. Look at her! You’d think she was Marilyn Monroe.” Mae West, of course, is only Mae West and certainly nobody is sure how she does it. After 60 years as America’s archetype sex symbol, she still is.
• • Source: Syndicated feature written by Lee Mueller, NBA, rpt in  Wichita Falls Times (Texas); published on Sunday,  12 July 1970.
• • On Wednesday, 26 May 1999 • •
• • Wednesday, 26 May 1999, TV viewers and Mae mavens were able to watch  Intimate Portrait, Season 5, Episode 28: "Mae West." This was the original air date and it was shown on LIFE.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Film Daily Production Hall of Fame [1933 — 1934] award goes to Mae West, for her spectacular draw at the box-office.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "Love means one thing to one person and something else to another."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Radio station WFMU mentioned Mae West.
• • How could anyone let alone an entire sibling clan be so stupid, so dense, so blind to such overwhelming public derision? This is the question Jack El-Hai addressed in "The Mystery of the Cherry Sisters," published in the Summer 1996 issue of Tractor, an Iowa arts and culture zine.  . . .
• • "The Cherry Sisters hated women performers who made the most of sex appeal," Jack El-Hai explained, "especially Mae West, who included a disparaging line about the Cherry Sisters in one of her films."  ...
• • Note: The line appeared in the prison visit scene in "She Done Him Wrong."
• • Source: Interview by WFMU "Cherry Bomb";  date unknown    
• • 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 3,700 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3712th
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 1932

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