Monday, January 15, 2018

Mae West: A Chiseler

MAE WEST, with those famous “curves like nobody else,” ran straight up a dead-end road when she denied she knew Frank Wallace, a man she married in 1911. The charade went on for quite a while. This United Press columnist, however, had more patience than most as the movie star tried to steer the conversation in her direction. This is Part 1 of two sections. 
• • Mae West Seeks Divorce; Husband Termed Bigamist • •   
• • By Frederick C. Othman, United Press Hollywood Correspondent
• • HOLLYWOOD, Oct. 29 — Mae West, the lady with the languid eyes, the mirror-lined bedroom and the curves like nobody else's, sought a divorce today from Frank Wallace, the husband she once insisted she never had. It was back in 1911— when other women had bustles, too — that la West married Wallace, small-time vaudevillian.
• • Frederick C. Othman wrote:  She lived with him during the month of April, she told the judge, and left him, because he done her wrong. He was cruel, she added. The years passed. The rest of the female population shed its bustles; Mae kept hers — and earned a fortune once estimated at $4,000,000. Then, she said, Wallace bustled in and tried to collect.
• • A bigamist and a chiseler • •  . . .
• • Source: United Press column; published and syndicated on Wednesday, 29 October 1941.
• • On Saturday, 15 January 1938 • •
• • Anyone passing a newsboy in New York City on Saturday morning on 15 January 1938 could see this page one headline on a New York Times: "Mae West Script Brings Sharp Rebuke from FCC." Of course, it was Arch Obler who penned the skit for NBC. Mae West only read it for the radio with her sultry overtones and was instantly demonized by the Roman Catholic organizations. The censors pressed in on her, tighter and more uncomfortable than her metal corset stays.
• • On Wednesday 15 January 1936 • •
• • It was Wednesday, 15 January 1936 and Mae West was feeling an evil breeze menacing the tender tips of her feathered boa.
• • Her ally Emanuel Cohen [1892 — 1977] had packed up his bags at Paramount, which started to feel as cozy and congenial as the North Pole under the new studio boss Ernst Lubitsch [1892 — 1947].
• • Before long Variety Magazine was reporting doom and gloom on Hollywood and Vine. According to Variety — — in their issue dated for 15 January 1936 — — Mae West had been warned that she must strictly follow orders and that Paramount's production chief would not tolerate any challenges or deviations. Several directors found letters to that effect in their mailboxes as well. Uh-oh.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West and many others are regular patrons at prize fights in Hollywood.  They buy their tickets by the year and occupy the same seats each time.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Don't you worry. Not only would I look a fool in pants, what with my figure and all, but it also wouldn't help my career."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Variety mentioned Mae West,who was being restrained by the studio.
• • According to Variety, Mae West had been warned that she must strictly follow orders and that Paramount's production chief would not tolerate any challenges or deviations.  ...
• • Source: Item in Variety; published on Wednesday, 15 January 1936
• • 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 3875th 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 girdle in 1936

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