Friday, August 03, 2018

Mae West: Deep Feelings

Jill Watts, biographer of MAE WEST, a distinguished professor at CSUSM, and a talented author of books on Father Divine [1879—1965] and Hattie McDaniel [1895—1952], which has inspired a new film about the Oscar winner, has kindly consented to an exclusive interview with The Mae West Blog. This is Part 4.
• • Mae West’s earliest years • •
• • JILL WATTS: But I think that to get at her early years, my training as a social historian (exploring the histories of peoples who aren’t documented), helped there. 
We look everywhere we can to find any documentation.  That would mean going through page by page the Brooklyn Eagle, city directories, census records, an early theatrical trade publications.   [This ends the reply to question # 1.].  
• • MW BLOG: QUESTION #2  Let’s talk about Mae West and her father: Mae seems to have grown up to be more like her gym-conscious, brawler Dad than her Mom. She worked for his detective agency. Her career advanced thanks to his gangster connections. Yet there was no public respect shown to this man, no public mourning for his passing. What’s your theory?
• • JILL WATTS: ANSWER #2:  think despite the fact that Mae admired him she had an ambivalent relationship with her dad.  She liked his toughness and his physical strength. 
• • Mae West’s feelings about her father • •  . . .
• • This exciting interview with Prof. Jill Watts will be continued on the next post.
• • Recommended Reading: “Mae West: An Icon in Black and White” by Jill Watts [Oxford University Press; paperback edition, 2003]; 400 pages.
• • On Thursday, 3 August 1944 • •
• • "Catherine Was Great" opened on Wednesday, 2 August 1944. Reviews appeared soon after.
• • The Herald Tribune reported on Thursday, 3 August 1944: "Mae West came to Broadway last night, decked out like a battleship in a swimming pool.”
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West had a racy sense of humor with the double entendres flying,
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Sex is good for you."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A Hollywood reporter mentioned Mae West.
• • We mentioned Mae West. "A lady who will tell anything, and does," said Mrs. Calhoun, adding, "Everything printed about her is censored by her studio. ...
• • Source: Item in The Des Moines Register; published on Sunday, 30 May 1937
• • The evolution of 2 Mae West plays that keep her memory alive • • 
• • A discussion with Mae West playwright LindaAnn LoSchiavo — — 
• •
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 14th anniversary • •  
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past fourteen years. Not long ago, we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 4,000 blog posts. Wow!  
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started fourteen years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 4016th 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 1944

• • Feed — —
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