Thursday, June 29, 2017

Mae West: Cheeky, Not Lewd

On Thursday, 8 November 1978, when MAE WEST was 80 years old, syndicated columnist Nancy Anderson's interview with the screen legend ran. Rattled off from Mae's point-of-view and with no fact-checking, the text is rather cheeky. Let's enjoy it together.  This is Part 3. 
• • "Mae West Hasn't Aged A Day Since She Was 30 Years Old" • •
• • Written by Nancy Anderson — — Copley News Service
• • Mother made a suggestion • •
• • Nancy Anderson added:  Finally her mother suggested, “Mae, I think you can write a play that would be right for you!”  Whereupon the versatile daughter did just that. As Miss West remembers her work, it was provocative but not vulgar, suggestive, but not lewd. It was also, she says, quite novel. There’d never been anything like it on Broadway.
• • The director who was to guide the production had previously worked only with top dramatic actresses and had never so much as seen his new star, a product of vaudeville and revues. But when he met her and watched her rehearse, he concluded she was quite novel, too.
• • "I have never seen anyone with the quality you’ve got,” lie told her repeatedly, until finally Mae, overcome with curiosity, demanded. “Just what is it I’ve got?”
• • “Sex,” the director informed the actress. “Sex!”
• • "Sex" • •  . . .
• • This was Part 3. We will continue tomorrow with Part 4.
• • Source: Article written by Nancy Anderson for Copley News Service; syndicated on Thursday, 8 November 1978.
• • On Friday, 29 June 1934 • •
• • Mae heard more than enough objections about "It's No Sin" from Joe Breen, Catholic priests, and the censors in New York State.  "If they think it's too warm, I'll cool it off," Mae told a Newsweek reporter.  On Friday, 29 June 1934 an article appeared in The Los Angeles Herald.  Mae assured the paper that she wanted to satisfy the censors.  "You can never say," emphasized Mae, "I refused to meet somebody half way." 
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Paramount liaison John Hammell wrote diplomatic letters to Will Hays but his skills were sorely tested by the "Klondike Annie" project.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:   "If a picture of mine didn't get an X rating, I'd be insulted."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An author mentioned Mae West.
• • This excerpt is from Carl Van Vechten's journal entry for Tuesday, 29 June 1926.
• • Carl Van Vechten wrote:   Dinner in with [Fania] Marinoff and then to see Mae West in "Sex" at 63rd Street Theatre. After we came home, we made 8 quarts of raspberry brandy. In bed about 1 . . .
• • Source: entry in "The Splendid Drunken Twenties: Selections from the Daybooks, 1922 — 1930" written by Carl Van Vechten; published in May 2007
• • 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 12 years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3736th
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 1926

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