Monday, December 04, 2017

Mae West: "I'm Not 42"

In 1935, MAE WEST was taking an odd approach to the discovery of a lost marriage certificate. Perhaps she was also wondering if the other shoes would drop and reveal what year and month Guido Deiro applied for a license to marry the bold Brooklynite.  No movie star would wish to have to explain to her studio and her fans why she was a bigamist for a few years until Deiro divorced her.
• • What was going through Mae’s mind when she sat down with Hollywood chronicler Theon Wright? Here is what the image conscious screen siren said.    
• • Mae West 'Done Wrong’ by Her 1911 Marriage Rumor • •
• • By Theon Wright (United Press Correspondent)
• • HOLLYWOOD, April 22. Somebody done somebody wrong but the question is, who done who, and why? Mae West, streamlined film siren who may be a spinster, wife, or widow issued denials tonight until she was hoarse, insisting she never was married to Frank Wallace, doesn't know Frank Wallace, and does not want him, dead or alive.
• • But film colony gossips, rolling about on their tongues the sweetest morsel since Mary Pickford and Doug Fairbanks had their innings, refused to believe anything.
• • Dizzy Saying 'No' • •
• • Miss West, perspiration rolling down her enameled features, answered telephone bells and door bells until she was dizzy, denying pointed inquiries of grinning newsmen as to how come a marriage license was uncovered in Milwaukee, Wis., listing the marriage of "Mae West, actress" and Frank Wallace, on April 11, 1911.
• • “I don’t know the mug!” • •
• • "I don't know the mug and don't want to know him," Mae said. "I never heard of the guy. I'm a spinster, I tell you — — and I'm not 42, around the chest or according to my teeth."
• • Some of the cruder and more unbelieving reporters pointed out her marriage license lists the mother's maiden name as Matilda Dilker, and the father as John West, in the Milwaukee marriage. Oddly enough, Miss West confessed her mother's maiden names was Matilda Dilker and her father was John West, a prizefighter. "I just can't figure it," she said. "It's very odd." 
• • Note: Image is of Mae West's marriage license.
• • Mae was wed in a Milwaukee burlesque house • •   
• • The question of whether Miss West ever was in burlesque also provided an intriguing point of departure. "Miss West" of the Milwaukee marriage, which took place in the Gaiety Theater, a burlesque house.
• • Source: item in the Hollywood column of Theon Wright (United Press Correspondent) rpt by The San Bernardino Sun; published on Tuesday, 23 April 1935.
• • On Sunday, 4 December 1932 • •
• • It's more than amusing that Billy Sunday chose a Sunday to pay a visit to Mae West with his wife. On 4 December 1932, Mr. and Mrs. Sunday took photographs on the movie set of "She Done Him Wrong." Billy is pretending to smash the set's saloon in some candids. Too funny.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Motion Picture Herald will run an article on Mae West, who had been robbed.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: “I’d rather be looked over than overlooked.”
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A library in England mentioned Mae West.
• • J G Ballard sent this postcard of Mae West, a painting by Salvador DalĂ­, to Angela Carter on 4 December 1991. He was writing to congratulate her on The Holy Family Album and the publication of Wise Children, which would be her last novel. Close friends, Ballard and Carter had a mutual interest in Surrealist art and poetry.   …
• • Source: British library, catalogue details; date posted (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 3845th 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 • her marriage license in 1911

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