Monday, August 06, 2018

Mae West: Had a Temper

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 5.
• • Mae West’s feelings about her father • •
• • JILL WATTS: But she also admired her mother’s character and beauty.  Perhaps she saw herself as a combination of the best of both of them.  Her parents both had connections to the underworld and it was just a natural part of her life as she was growing up. 
• • JW: But in terms of her father, I think she found him coarse (she didn’t like his cigars) and emotionally weak because of his temper.  Mae admitted she had a temper — — but for her it was all about control.  I got the sense that her father didn’t have the kind of self-control she aspired to have, although she compared herself to him often.   I think she admired emotional strength which she believed was more common to women than men.  She believed that was how women could get an upper hand in a male dominated world. 
• • Hints of abusiveness • •  . . .
• • 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 Tuesday, 6 August 1912 • •
• • In 1912 a teenage Mae West was invited to perform again at Hammerstein's Victoria. The singing comedienne was booked for a week-long engagement that began on Tuesday, 6 August 1912.
• • Nope! Mae West never performed at Neir’s • •
• • Mae West never performed at Neir's — — nor did she ever set foot in this all-male bastion of sweaty factory laborers.
• • For decades, laborers went to bars to drink, relax, spit, smoke cigars, curse, discuss politics, and (most importantly) to get away from wives and women.
• • Learn more about Woodhaven, a factory hub during the brief time the West family resided there.
• • LINK: The Truth about Neir's and Mae Westl
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Louella Parsons wrote:  Snapshots of Hollywood collected at random: . . . Mae West, dripping with orchids, in a ringside seat with her boy friend, Jim Timony;
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I’d rather be looked over than overlooked.”
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article about Mae West's divorce was printed in August.
• • A.A.P. wrote: Los Angeles, August 5 — The film star, Mae West, has divorced Frank Wallace, whom for years she had insisted she had never married. She later admitted that they were married in 1911.
• • Source: Article: "Mae West Divorced" written by A.A.P. for The Courier-Mail in Australia; published on Friday, 6 August 1943
• • 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 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 4,000 blog posts. Wow!  
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started fourteen years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 4017th 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 • at Hammerstein's in 1912

• • Feed — —
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