Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mae West: Favorites

Which is your favorite book about MAE WEST?
• • There has been a University of Chicago doctoral dissertation by Pamela Robertson that Duke University Press published in book form under the title "Guilty Pleasures: Feminist Camp from Mae West to Madonna."
• • Another doctoral dissertation, by Princeton University grad student Marybeth Hamilton titled "When I'm Bad, I'm Better: Mae West, Sex, and American Entertainment" was reissued as a paperback by HarperCollins.
• • Too Much of a Good Thing . . . • •
• • In her book (printed by University of Minnesota Press) about the movie queen, "Too Much of a Good Thing: Mae West as Cultural Icon," Ramona Curry predicted that Mae West's popularity will not fade. She wrote: "As expansive and adaptable and profitable as the image has proven over most of the 20th Century, it is likely that Mae West will continue to circulate as an emblem of what is both forbidden and accessible."
• • Tell us your favorite title(s).
• • Tres Chic: A charming Mae Tray • •
• • This decoupage Mae tray is handcrafted by Suffolk County, New York artist, Ben Busko, who creates glass trays out of vintage maps and with endearing quotes.
• • After coloring and producing cheerful cards (designed around a motto or saying) since he was a child of eight in Setauket, Long Island, Ben Busko has branched out. The 27-year-old North Shore Long Islander currently owns Ben's Garden stores in Oyster Bay and Huntington Village, shops that sell his greeting cards and other household decor — — handmade découpage artworks he and his team create by hand.
• • Image: Ben Busko's Mae West Tray
— — "Too much of a good thing can be wonderful."
• • In November, Let's Remember Tommy Gray [1888 — 1924] • •
• • The "Bard of Broadway" was born in New York City, Mae's hometown in the month of March — — on 22 March 1888.
• • Talented and prolific, Thomas J. Gray was a lyricist and an author who had attended Holy Cross School and was a charter member of ASCAP (1914). He served overseas during World War I, and later wrote scripts for silent movies, songs for Broadway and London revues, plus special material for Mae West, Bert Williams, Blossom Seeley, Frank Tinney, Savoy & Brennan, Trixie Friganza, and many others. His column "Gray Matters" ran in Variety and his byline appeared in the New York Dramatic Mirror as well. His chief musical collaborators included Fred Fisher and Ray Walker.
• • Booked at Hammerstein's Victoria in September 1912, Mae performed jokes and songs that she commissioned from Tommy: "Isn't She a Brazen Thing?", "It's an Awful Easy Way to Make a Living," "The International Rag Song," and "Good Night, Nurse."
• • In 1913, Variety raved: "Thanks to Tommy Gray and her own comedic ability, Miss West looks set as a big-time feature."
• • Bronchitis cut short his brilliant career. Tommy died in November — — on 30 November 1924. He was 36 years old.
• • Though Mae often did not pay his bills until a judge intervened, and she was taken to court more than once by Tommy, she attended his funeral at St. Malachy's in midtown, a standing-room-only affair.
• • 30 November 1948 in The N.Y. Times • •
• • Mae West revived "Diamond Lil" for a Montclair, New Jersey audience. Brooks Atkinson responded to her performance in The New York Times on 30 November 1948: "A fine, full-bosomed woman with lots of glitter and gaudiness, Mae is an original unclassified phenomenon . . . ."
• • 30 November 1969 • •
• • Mae West was featured in The N.Y. Times Magazine on 30 November 1969.
• • 30 November 1980 • •
• • An affectionate remembrance by Richard Meryman, "The One and Only Mae West," was printed in The Los Angeles Herald-Examiner on 30 November 1980.
• • November 1994 in The Collector • •
• • An article "Sex Legend's Apartment Sale" appeared in the November 1994 issue of a magazine, The Collector.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Too much of a good thing can be wonderful."
• • Oscar Wilde said: "Nothing succeeds like excess." Oscar Wilde [16 October 1854 — 30 November 1900] was an Irish writer and poet. Wilde died of cerebral meningitis at the end of the eleventh month — — on 30 November 1900. Like Mae, he appeared on the cover of "Sgt. Pepper." And like the controversial Brooklynite, Mr. Wilde was hounded and dragged through courtroom trial. In Paris, the Oscar Wilde tomb at the Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris has traditionally been covered in lip prints left by his adoring fans. A new glass barrier has been erected, however, preventing guests from kissing the tomb and "causing damage."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Would Mae West have been susceptible to the charms of the romantic menace from Venice, Giacomo Casanova [2 April 1725 — 4 June 1798]?
• • Book reviewer Elizabeth Benedict thinks so. Ms. Benedict wrote this: Had the great matchmaker in the sky arranged for Giacomo Casanova and Mae West to meet, they surely would have been notches on each other's holsters, reveling in West's motto: "Too much of a good thing is wonderful.'' In this fecund season of Casanova — — a dazzling new biography, "Casanova: The Man Who Really Loved Women,'' and the paperback of his 12-volume autobiography have just appeared — — we learn that it was not only seduction and dalliance that filled his calendar. By the time this Venetian-born Proteus died, in a castle in Bohemia in 1798, he had had a dozen careers . . . .
• • Source: Book Review: "A Real Casanova: The Man Who Gave His Name to Love Was Far, Far More than a Dashing Roue" written by Elizabeth Benedict for The Boston Globe; published on Sunday, 30 November 1997
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2131st 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:
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • tray • •
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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mae West: Dale Van Sickel

MAE WEST starred in "Goin' to Town" [1935] and Dale Van Sickel was seen as a party guest.
• • Dale Harris Van Sickel hailed from Eatonton, Georgia where he was born in November — — on 29 November 1907. An All-American football player at University of Florida, the handsome six-footer coached at the university until 1932. He headed to Hollywood when he was 25 years old, where he found work as a double for Clark Gable, Robert Taylor, and Dana Andrews.
• • As an actor, Dale Van Sickel was attached to 288 titles on TV and in the cinema between 1932 — 1971. As a stunt man, Dale Van Sickel was attached to 165 titles between 1933 — 1976. Founding member of Stuntmen's Association of Motion Pictures, he was their first president.
• • After a long illness, Dale Van Sickel died in Newport Beach, California on 25 January 1977. He was 69 years old.
• • In November, Let's Remember Cary Grant [1904 — 1986] • •
• • Mae West discovered Cary Grant and introduced the handsome young Brit to Hollywood by having him co-star in two of her most successful films: "She Done Him Wrong" and "I'm No Angel."
• • One hundred and seven years ago, Cary Grant (or back then "Archibald Leach") was born at home on 18 January 1904. His home address at the time was: 15 Hughendon Road, Horfield, Bristol, England.
• • Cary Grant died in the month of November — — on 29 November 1986. The dashing leading man was 84 years old and had been married multiple times.
• • On 29 November 1941 • •
• • Liberty Magazine published a quiz "The Comedians' Comedians" supposedly penned by W.C. Fields. Several clues were about actress Mae West and actor W.C. Fields. The publication date was in November — — on 29 November 1941.
• • On 29 November 1960 in The N.Y. Times • •
• • As costume designer at Paramount Pictures, Edith Head took on a side chore: the custodian of a score of costumes — — worn by Mae West et al — — that had been sentimentally preserved because they contributed to movie history.
• • On 29 November 1960, an article in The New York Times discussed the final appearance of these glamourous gowns. "I'm only managing to hold them together with emergency sewing now. This will be about their last time out," said Edith Head. The collection, referred to as a "million dollar" affair, included Mae West's emerald green, jewel-encrusted come-up-and-see-me-sometime gown from "She Done Him Wrong," Texas Guinan and Clara Bow outfits, and Ginger Rogers's mink dress from "Lady in the Dark." . . .
• • Source: The N.Y. Times on 29 November 1960
• • 29 November 1998 in the Chicago Tribune • •
• • Famous quotes would appear in the section "Fast Track/ Replays" in the Chicago Tribune and this quote by Mae West — — "I only like two kinds of men: domestic and foreign" — — was printed on 29 November 1998.
• • On 29 November 2010 • •
• • Mae West's "A Guy What Takes His Time" was performed by Christina Aguilera in the (alas, poorly received) musical motion picture "Burlesque" costarring Cher and produced by Sony Pictures.
• • Additionally, "Burlesque" (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) was released to the CD-buying public by RCA Records / CD on 29 November 2010.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Judge, wherever there's a man concerned, I always do my best. " [Cleo Borden's movie dialogue from "Goin' to Town" in 1935]
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article about electric power in the state of New Mexico mentioned Mae West. It might be difficult to believe that when people think of public utilities in the Southwest, the first name that comes to mind is the controversial Brooklyn bombshell, but there you have it.
• • Albuquerque Journal Staff Writer Larry Calloway began his article this way: It's not recorded how Mae West felt about the issue of retail wheeling, or open access, to electric power, but her philosophy was cited by both sides in a legislative committee. And it's clear the consumer issue pits the state's most conservative city against the state's largest city.
• • Larry Calloway continued: You want to know what on earth the sultry 1930s film star could have said that's remotely relevant to 1990s public utility deregulation. You want to know how her philosophy resolves the issue of "stranded costs." You want to know if "open access" was what she had in mind with her famous reprise: "Why don'cha — — come on up an' — — see me sometime?" ...
• • Source: Article: "Mae West Influence" written by Larry Calloway for Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM); published on 27 July 1997
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2130th 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:
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • with Cary Grant in 1933 • •
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Monday, November 28, 2011

Mae West: Rocky River

MAE WEST will be in Rocky River at 7 o'clock this evening.
• • The local library is featuring their 5th annual festival of films from the era when Cowan was first popular (1920s — 1940s), and they have selected classic screen gems to show on the 4th Mondays during autumn. Tonight on Monday, 28 November 2011, viewers will enjoy "She Done Him Wrong" [1933] starring Mae West as Lady Lou and featuring Cary Grant as Captain Cummings, keeping watch over the Bowery saloon owned by Gus Jordan. Rocky River's tradition is to screen films at 7:00 PM in the library’s Auditorium along with fresh, hot popcorn.
• • WHERE: Rocky River Public Library: 1600 Hampton Road, Rocky River, Ohio 44116; T. (440) 333-7610
• • Tell them you heard about it on the Mae West Blog.
• • In November, Let's Remember Russ Powell [1875 — 1953] • •
• • Russ Powell worked with Mae in the motion picture "Go West Young Man" [1936].
• • Born in Indianapolis, Indiana on 16 September 1875, the rotund fellow wound up in his very first silent flickers in 1915. The 40-year-old was cast in "The Fashion Shop" as a fat customer and then in "The Boob and the Baker" as a fat man. The busy bit parts player found work in more than 200 feature films from 1915 — 1943.
• • Paramount Pictures used him as Andy, a country farmer mending a fence in "Go West Young Man" but more often he was seen onscreen as a fat chef, a cannibal chief, a hefty dinner guest, or as an all-purpose counterman.
• • Russ Powell died in Los Angeles in November — — on 28 November 1950. He was 75.
• • On 28 November 1936 • •
• • Did you spot Mae West in the animated cartoon "The Coo-Coo Nut Grove" [1936]?
• • The storyline escorted a viewer through an amusing visit to a Hollywood night club, featuring caricatures of (among others): Mae West, Walter Winchell, Hugh Herbert, W.C. Fields, Katharine Hepburn, Johnny Weissmuller, Harpo Marx, Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Clark Gable, Groucho Marx, Edward G. Robinson, etc.
• • The 60-minute cartoon feature was first aired in November
— — on 28 November 1936.
• • Ingmar Bergman, Mae West Fan • •
• • Recently reported in The New Yorker — — Swedish director Ingmar Bergman [14 July 1918 — 30 July 2007] said that the first time he saw Mae West in a movie he “went home and jerked off.”
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Oh, yes, you will. You've got the kind of stuff in you that makes women of my type. If our positions were changed, Clara
— — you in my place, and I in yours — — I'd be willing to bet that I'd make a better wife and mother than you are. Yeah, and I'll bet without this beautiful home, without money, and without any restrictions, you'd be worse than I have ever been. ..." [dialogue written for her character Margy LaMont in "Sex"]
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article about the first edition of "Who's Who in America" mentioned that Mae West was not included.
• • Chicago Tribune reporter Joanne Kaufman wrote on November 28th: The first edition of Who's Who in America contained 8,602 listings, and Marquis was besieged by people who wanted to reserve space for themselves in subsequent editions. But Marquis had stern standards. The first book was dominated by profiles of obscure educators, clergymen, and welfare workers, reflecting Marquis` personal interests in his church, the Republican Party, the study of genealogy, and the rehabilitation of prisoners. It leaned against athletes (Babe Ruth and Jack Dempsey never made it) and people in the arts.
• • Some took the snub with aplomb. Mae West, when asked why she failed to make the cut, replied, "Well, the old boy who published it isn't in my little black book, either." ...
• • Source: Article: "The 'Big Red Book' And 75,000 Big Shots" written by Joanne Kaufman for the Chicago Tribune; published on 28 November 1986
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2129th 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:
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • with Cary Grant in 1932 • •
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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mae West: Supreme Court

MAE WEST told the court they couldn't put anything over her — — including an umbrella.
• • It was November 1936 when Supreme Court Justice Joseph M. Callahan ordered Frank Wallace to supply further information concerning his alleged life with the buxom actress. Callahan gave Wallace, who sought a judgment declaring him to be Miss West's husband, until 27 November 1936 to serve and file an affidavit saying: Whether the plaintiff claimed he and the defendant actually lived together as husband and wife in the state of New York since 1911 . . . and, if so, to specify the times and places where such residences occurred.
• • The justice's order for additional information resulted from Miss West's refusal to appear in the New York court which, she said, had no jurisdiction over her.
• • In November, Let's Remember Eugene O'Neill [1888 — 1953] • •
• • At a time when City Hall was monitoring "dirt plays" and policing the ever present threat of theatrical innovations, both Eugene O'Neill and Mae West aroused the finger shakers in the New York City mayor's office. Joab Banton, N.Y.'s District Attorney, was especially severe on both playwrights. "Desire under the Elms" [produced in 1924] really got Banton's knickers in a knot. This drama was "too thoroughly bad to be purified by blue pen," said Banton.
• • Eugene O'Neill was born in New York, NY on 16 October 1888 and introduced to the theatre world via the Provincetown Playhouse during the 1920s. The Pulitzer-winning "Beyond the Horizon" [published in 1920] was O'Neill's first important play.
• • Though Mae found O'Neill's outlook depressing, she was well aware of his enormous popularity and made sure to go and see his plays. In 1922, she rehearsed the song "Eugene O'Neill, You've Put a Curse on Broadway" for "Ginger Box Review."
• • "Mae West was better suited to writing gritty realism than Eugene O'Neill," explains Frank Cullen in the book "Vaudeville, Old and New" [2007].
• • It was during the eleventh month that the prize-winning dramatist died — — on 27 November 1953. He was 65 years old.
• • On 27 November 1932 in Hollywood • •
• • Jon Tuska, writing about "She Done Him Wrong," notes that production commenced on 27 November 1932, and concluded in December of that year.
• • 27 November 2007 • •
• • Released by the U.K. publisher St. Martin's Griffin on 27 November 2007 was "Mae West: It Ain't No Sin" by the biographer Simon Louvish. The paperback edition had 491 pages.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I don't read. Never have and guess I never will. I write in my books what I learned myself, from life."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A review of "The Heat's On" mentioned that Mae West was "nearly crowded out."
• • The N.Y. Times noted: Even so, the sumptuous siren — — and Victor Moore and William Gaxton, as well — — is nearly crowded out of her own picture by a series of dull production numbers. Miss West, you see, is the turbulent musical comedy star caught in the intrigues of two rival crooked producers, and the plot has been used as little more than an excuse to place Hazel Scott, Xavier Cugat and some lesser folk through their paces — — none of which are particularly startling. ...
• • Source: Film Review written by T.S. for The N.Y. Times; published on 26 November 1943
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2128th 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:
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • 1936 • •
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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mae West: Ernie Adams

Though MAE WEST starred in "She Done Him Wrong" — — and every motion picture thereafter — — dozens of bit part players would forever remain the small fry of the screen trade. In this 1890s Bowery saloon setting, Ernie Adams was seen as a male in the audience appreciating the performance of luscious Lady Lou. Ernie who?
• • Born in San Francisco, California on 18 June 1885, Ernest S. Adams was featured in musical comedies on Broadway such as Jerome Kern's "Toot Toot" [1918], then devoted himself to the cinema from 1919 on. Finding favor with numerous casting agents who liked his squirrelly look, diminutive Ernie Adams would be seen (briefly) in 435 movies between 1919 — 1948. Four were released in 1948, one year after he died.
• • One of the busiest character actors during the 1930s — 1940s, this sad-faced, little fellow was typically seen as the guy you couldn't trust. Whether he was in an action picture, or a drama, western, comedy, or crime caper, Ernie Adams was invariably the weasel, the rat, the fink, the thief, the pickpocket, the barfly. Neutral roles he got included playing a bartender, driver, truck driver, waiter, hotel guest, news seller, and once even a judge. He also played a bettor in "The Glass Key" [1935], starring Mae's good buddy George Raft.
• • Employed right up until the end, Ernie Adams died in Hollywood in November — — on 26 November 1947. He was 62 years old.
• • In November, Let's Remember George Rector [1878 — 1947] • •
• • Restaurant and hotel owner George Rector, who died at the age of 69 in November — — on 26 November 1947 — — had co-starred with Mae a decade before that in the Gay Nineties film "Every Day's a Holiday."
• • The motion picture opens on 31 December 1899 with the buzz that there will be the biggest New Year's Eve party ever at Rector's. The set featured a full scale version of Rector's in Times Square as it looked during its halcyon days.
• • "Every Day's a Holiday" was released on 18 December 1937.
• • Rector was born in 1878 in The Windy City. When he wasn't busy appearing as himself in a Paramount film or running his famous eateries, the Chicago native penned cookbooks and guides to fine dining at home. Food critic Ruth Reichl once wrote, If George Rector, the author of the well-regarded ''Dining in New York'' in 1939, were to stroll through the restaurants of modern Manhattan, he would find very little to surprise him. Even then, the city had a lot to offer an adventurous appetite. The most glaring exception was Japanese food, which Mr. Rector dismissed as ''derivative of the Chinese.''
• • Mae West Movie Trivia • •
• • When producer Emanuel Cohen announced in July 1937 that Mae would star in his next picture, "Sapphire Sal," he indicated production would start in mid-August. The theme, he told Louella Parsons, was "a knife, a fork, a bottle, and a cork in gay old New York." Moreover, Mae West "has always done better at the box office as a costume star than as a modern siren," according to Emanuel Cohen. Seems he forgot about "Night after Night" and "I'm No Angel," eh?
• • On 26 November 1954 • •
• • In a vintage catalogue that kept track of Decca's 78 rpm platters, it was listed that Mae West recorded "Frankie and Johnny" and the B-side "All of Me" [Decca # 29452] on these dates: November 26th and November 29th, 1954.
• • On 26 November 1980 In The Daily News • •
• • The N.Y. Daily News (Brooklyn section), on 26 November 1980, devoted an article to the funeral services at Cypress Hills Cemetery for their beloved hometown lady, Mae West.
• • On 26 November 2010 in the U.K. • •
• • On 26 November 2010 at 7:00 AM, UK television watchers were able to see a biographical program on Mae West.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Trouble? Listen, if trouble means something that makes you catch ya breath, if trouble means somethin’ that makes ya blood run through ya veins like seltzer water, mmmmmmmm, Adam, mah man, give me trouble. ..." [Dialogue for Eve in "The Garden of Eden"
— Arch Obler's radio skit aired in December 1937]
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article on variety artists mentioned Mae West.
• • Guido Deiro, the young Italian at Keith's this week, is the inventor of the particular style of piano-accordion he is playing. It is manufactured in San Francisco, he says, from a plan he drew while still in Rome. He says that the instrument covers five octaves and has twice the tone compass of a piano. He expects to retire from the stage as soon as he makes enough money to finance a plant for the manufacture of his invention — — and incidentally to get married. And to guess whom? To Mae West. Remember the short haired comedienne who appeared at Keith's the week Eva Tanguay was performing at the Southern? If memory serve, Miss West introduced Deiro, who was visiting here that week, as her fiancee, "Count Guido," Guido being his first name. It is refreshing to find that "he ain't no such animal." He was the most popular act at Keith's this week. ...
• • Source: Review: Columbus Ledger; published on 19 March 1914
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2127th 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:
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • filming her play "Diamond Lil" in 1932 • •
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Friday, November 25, 2011

Mae West: Robin Ireland

It was November 2001 at the busy Baltimore-Washington International Airport and passengers waiting in lines were confounded, entertained, tickled, and jostled by the likes of MAE WEST, Cher, Madonna, Groucho, Austin Powers, and even Uncle Sam.
• • According to Washington Post reporter Fern Shen: Groucho and the rest of the troupe of pop-culture icons were hired by the Maryland Aviation Administration to soothe the jangled nerves of travelers scared about flying or cheesed-off by hours-long waits. "We decided anything to make the environment more friendly and comfortable would help — — anything that would be distracting would be good," said John White, a BWI spokesman. If comic relief is good for travelers, who could be better at it than a Mae-impersonator armed with an arsenal of familiar one-liners? A tarmac with a laugh track — — good move, BWI.
• • In November, Let's Remember Robin Ireland [1960 — 2006] • •
• • Psychic Richard Ireland was a frequent guest at the beach house of Mae West. Once in awhile, he brought his two teenagers with him, Mark and Robin.
• • Mark Ireland once recalled: Because of his phenomenal abilities, Richard Ireland counseled many celebrities — — including film star Mae West.
• • Mark Ireland said: Richard's daughter, my sister, Robin Ireland [16 April 1960 — 25 November 2006] passed after an extended battle with cancer on 25 November 2006 at 2:45AM. Robin was courageous and faithful, demonstrating grace and acceptance, while knowing that her life on earth was drawing to a close. Robin had a tremendous passion for music and her talent is remembered by all who knew her. Robin's voice is still heard, both in recordings left behind and through new songs in the next realm.
• • A lovely and gifted individual, Robin was 46 when she gave her family one last smile on November 25th.
• • On 25 November 1980 in Los Angeles • •
• • A private service for Mae West was held in the Old North Church replica, in Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills, on 25 November 1980. Another service followed at Cypress Hills Cemetery (NYC).
• • On 25 November 1989 in the Orlando Sentinel • •
• • This auction news was reported on 25 November 1989: The London auction house Christie's plans to offer a collection of film memorabilia next month, including six signed love letters the film star Errol Flynn penned from his London boarding school to a friend's sister. Carey Wallace of Christie's said Friday: ''I can't imagine there are any earlier Flynn love letters.'' The billets-doux are expected to fetch about $1,500 and will be auctioned along with derbies that belonged to Laurel and Hardy — — and imitation diamonds owned by actress Mae West.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "A dame that knows the ropes isn’t likely to get tied up."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article about a 29-year-old collector in Florida mentioned Mae West.
• • Jesse Portis Helms wrote: Not long ago, while scouring antique shops in Dania, Evan Bernstein bought a collection of Mae West memorabilia. The collection included Mae West autographed books, record albums and many newspaper articles.
• • And to his surprise, amid all the Mae West relics, he found one of the most complete collections of clippings about Jayne Mansfield.
• • Charles Herschberg of Hallandale, who originally bought a Jayne Mansfield hot water bottle from Bernstein, explained the connection between the two film sirens. "There were lots of clippings about how Jayne stole her husband from Mae West`s act," said Herschberg, who is writing a book about Mansfield. "Over the years, stories get simplified, but these articles contain all the original quotes."
• • Brad Simmons, 14, of Plantation, Florida has been collecting movie memorabilia and art deco objects since he was 8. He recently bought a Mae West autograph from Bernstein. "I`ve bought antique toys from him and my mother buys his art deco jewelry," Brad said. "I never thought I could find things like that right here in Broward County." . . .
• • Source: Article: "Collector Keeps Eye On The Past At Home, At Work" written by Jesse Portis Helm, Special to the News/ Sun-Sentinel; published on 25 November 1986
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2126th 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:
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • montage • •
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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Mae West: Esurient

During her vaudeville days, MAE WEST would bring a bunch of performers back to her parents' house and her mother would serve a "midnight lunch." The items Tillie prepared would include sauerkraut, pig knuckles, and other earthy German delicacies. When she was still a variety artist, Mae also enjoyed the Bavarian cuisine at The Triangle Inn and other local home-style restaurants.
• • By the time the Brooklyn bombshell moved to Los Angeles to work in motion pictures, she was 40 years old and always conscious of watching her weight and fitting into her costumes. She did not like to compromise on taste, however.
• • Here is a recipe for Mae West's Breakfast Fruit Salad
• • • 1 large apple, chopped
• • • 1 large pear, chopped
• • • 1 large banana, chopped
• • • 2 or 3 almonds, grated
• • • Combine fruits; top with almonds. If desired, apples may be sliced and combined with raisins and topped with a syrup made of powdered almonds, milk, and honey. Serves 1.
• • Although Mae West worked very hard to trim down and get in gear before making a new movie, her public posture took the form of carefree insouciance. "I never worry about diets," she said. "The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond."
• • Whether you eat carrots, or fruit salad, or the traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings, here's wishing all of our readers a Happy Thanksgiving on Thursday, 24 November 2011.
• • In November, Let's Remember George Raft [1895 — 1980] • •
• • Mae West once told a reporter that she almost married George Raft [26 September 1895 — 24 November 1980], a native New Yorker and an actor most closely identified with his portrayals of gangsters in crime dramas of the 1930s — 1940s.
• • Born George Ranft in NYC (to a father who was of German descent), the five-foot-seven dancer adopted a slick "tough guy" persona that he would later use in his Hollywood films.
• • In "When I'm Bad, I'm Better," Marybeth Hamilton discusses how Mae West's former lover George Raft, who was becoming a matinee idol in Hollywood during 1932, was instrumental in getting Mae a cameo role as Maudie Triplett, his blowsy ex-girlfriend in "Night After Night." Hamilton also explains how Mae was aghast at being cast in such a colorless bit part — — and then went on to revise her dialogue and win all the applause. "If nothing else," writes Hamilton, "[Mae West] showed Paramount that they were dealing with an expert scene stealer."
• • Leukemia ended the life of George Raft in Los Angeles, California in the month of November — — on 24 November 1980. Raft was interred in Forest Lawn —Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles.
• • On 24 November 1931 • •
• • On 24 November 1931 the newspaper Washington Herald reviewed "Constant Sinner." The D.C.-based drama critic wrote about the Greek-American actor George Givot's portrayal of the Harlem pimp Money Johnson as well as "the aroma of Mae West's hybrid dialogue."
• • On 24 November 1966 • •
• • For the Beatles' album "Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band," the recording sessions began in studio two at Abbey Road on 24 November 1966. When the Fab Four requested permission to add Mae to the album cover, Mae West's first reaction was, "No, I won't be on it. What would I be doing in a lonely hearts club?"
• • On 24 November 1996 in The New York Times • •
• • An interesting article “Mae West, Our Little Chickadee” by Martha McPhee was published in The New York Times in their Sunday Magazine section on 24 November 1996.
• • On 24 November 2006 in The N.Y. Times Crossword • •
• • November 24th's Crossword Clue: Where Mae West did jail time
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Don’t marry a man to reform him — — that’s what reform schools are for.”
• • Asked about how she happened to be mixed up in a delicate situation, Mae West replied, “Like an olive in a dry Martini.”
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article about the Pacific Dining Car mentioned Mae West.
• • Every evening brought a sprinkling of the famous or notorious personalities of the day. Louella Parsons was a regular, with her husband, Dr. Martin, and George Raft or Sid Ziff frequently stopped in for dinner. When Mickey Cohen and bodyguard dined, other guests tended to finish dinner and fade away — — but Mae West and bodyguard guaranteed quickly concealed admiring stares. Good manners at the Pacific Dining Car dictated that even the most famous should be able to enjoy a leisurely dinner without unseemly interruptions. Another fine tradition that has persisted throughout the years.
• • The 1940 Los Angeles census placed the population at just under a million and a half, and growing rapidly. ...
• • Source: History of the PDC, "That's When It All Started"
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2125th 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:
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • early 1930s • •
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