Thursday, November 16, 2017

Mae West: Great Comedic Stars

MAE WEST was the primary topic of conversation when one of her leading men was interviewed.
• • Timothy Dalton on Penny Dreadful, serenading Mae West, being James Bond • •
• • How old was Mae West? • •
• • TD: Mae West was… well, nobody really knew how old she was then. I think they lied to the insurance company — — maybe they didn’t — — and said that she was 84. But other sources said, “No, no, she can’t be 84. She’s got to be at least 87!” And one very reputable source said, “All wrong: She’s 91!” I mean, this woman was one of the great comedic film stars of, what, the 1920s? The 1930s? How long did her career go? Into the 1940s? Probably! But she was one of the great stars.
• • TD: So I found myself talking to a woman who… [Hesitates.] Well, she couldn’t remember very much about now. That was hard. But she was pin sharp and crystal clear about life in New York in the 1890s! Now, when you’re talking to somebody who’s got that kind of experience and memory and can communicate it, it’s fascinating!
• • The horse and carriage era • •  …
• • This is Part 2 of three parts.
• • Source: Article written by Will Harris for TV/AV Club; posted on Friday, 9 May 2014.
• • On Thursday, 16 November 1916 • •
• • On Thursday, 16 November 1916, Mae West announced in Variety that, in her next appearance in vaudeville, she would appear in male drag and her material would be scripted by songwriter Blanche Merrill. She hinted at using a new name, too. Sounds like a cover-up for something, eh?  Maybe she was hiding from the actors union or her husband Guido Deiro.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West on Mr. Ed? So that's one way to jump start a morning. Nuclear holocaust might have been simpler.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "My play 'The Drag' was perhaps a little premature.  It dealt with a vital problem, the homosexual. It is my belief that if this phenomenon is a disease, then it is up to psychologists and doctors to find out what it is and cure it. It is a good rule to face problems, not to avoid them. I want the public to understand or at least to stimulate a desire to understand. Professor Burton of Columbia University declared that 'Drag' was a masterpiece.”
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Hagley Museum records mentioned Mae West.
• • The 1927-1928 season opened with two major shows. . . . . Mae West, Ethel Barrymore, and Fred and Adele Astaire also appeared in popular shows that autumn. However, attendance remained low, with some people blaming ticket prices, which ranged from $1.10 to $3.30. Whatever the reason for the low attendance, the Shuberts were not ones to back a loser, so they announced that the Shubert Playhouse would close around the first of the new year.  …
• • Source: Item in the DuPont Theatre’s Finding Aids; date unknown
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 13th anniversary • •  
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past thirteen years. Not long ago, we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 3,800 blog posts. Wow!   
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started thirteen years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3833rd 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 1916

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