Thursday, August 09, 2018

Mae West: Not at Neir's

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 8.
• • The West family moved often, however, Mae was born in Bushwick • •
• • JILL WATTS: The city directories show that when Mae was born the Wests were living in the Bushwick area of Brooklyn, NY for sure.  The Wests didn’t move out to Queens until much later. They are still living in Brooklyn (on Stanhope) in 1900. In 1905 they are living on St. Nicholas in Brooklyn — Mae [18931980] would be about eleven years old then. 
• • JW: By 1915, they had moved to the house at 705 Boyd Avenue in Woodhaven, which they owned. [Mae was 22 in 1915.] They lived in Woodhaven into the 1920s.
• • JW: I have to say I haven’t researched Neir’s and you would know much more than I do. But I would agree it would be extremely, extremely unlikely that Mae West debuted at Neir’s Tavern as a child. 
• • no children performed in working class men’s saloons • • . . .
• • 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.
• • Note: In 1921, Mae West wrote "The Ruby Ring" and mailed her 20-page script to The Library of Congress from the 705 Boyd Avenue, Woodhaven, NY address. She decided she would also write material, not just purchase it from others.
• • Released on Tuesday, 9 August 1994 • •
• • The documentary film "Mae West and the Men Who Knew Her" was released in the USA on Tuesday, 9 August 1994.
• • Gene Feldman [1920 — 25 August 2006] directed this bio-pic.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • In an interview with George Daws, Mae West said: "Everyone else that gets in the money out here buys a forty-room house, hires a dozen servants, and gets ritzy. But not me. I'd be lonesome."
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "A man’s kiss is his signature.”
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A daily paper mentioned Mae West.
• • Sis Bowman, Columnist wrote: Actress Mae West said of an actor she didn’t like, “His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.”
• • Source: Item in the Times-Union; published on Friday, 27 July 2018
• • 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 4020th 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 "Whirl of the Town" in 1921

• • Feed — —
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