Friday, June 19, 2020

Mae West: Knock, Knock

After years of touring in vaude, MAE WEST was happy to have one address and to relax at home — — if she felt like it — — in Apartment 611. Real estate listings praise locations but one tenant moved here strictly for the Westian history.
• • Amy Wallace wrote: Perhaps L.A.’s most famous apartment dweller is the golden age actress-screenwriter-sex symbol Mae West. The blond bombshell — known for her bawdy humor and one-liners like “When I’m good, I’m very good. But when I’m bad, I’m better”— moved into No. 611 of the Ravenswood Apartments on Rossmore Avenue in 1930 and stayed five decades. She died in the living room on November 22, 1980, at the age of 87.
• • Interior designer Kimberly Biehl Schmidt • •
Apartment 611
• • Amy Wallace wrote: Interior designer Kimberly Biehl Schmidt knows all this. She’s obsessed enough with Old Hollywood to own a set of Mary Pickford’s chairs, some books of Cary Grant’s, and a Hedy Lamarr painting, among other artifacts. So imagine her excitement when she learned that West’s unit was available. Schmidt took a look at the original light fixtures, the arched doorways, and the lavender bathroom tiles and rented it immediately. She moved in February 1.
• • Amy Wallace wrote: There are those who see apartment living not only as an affordable alternative to home ownership, but preferable to it. No property taxes to pay. No gutters to clean. There’s a sense of community in the common spaces. And if you’re lucky, like Schmidt, there’s a sense of shared history. She has read about how West loved to host séances in No. 611 and how she did her most inspired writing in bed. Schmidt hopes some of Mae West’s creative energy still resides in the apartment. “I haven’t even moved in,” she says, “and I can’t ever imagine moving out.”
• • Note: The Ravenswood Apartments: 570 North Rossmore in Hancock Park, Los Angeles. 
• • Source: Los Angeles Magazine; published on Thursday, 4 February 2016.
• • On Monday, 19 June 1933 • •
• • A line eliminated from the script of "I'm No Angel" (dated for Monday, 19 June 1933) is a statement by Tira, during her sideshow performance: "That's all, boys. Now you can go home and beat your wives." Sheesh. Who would think that was a knee-slapper?
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West got fair $14,500 on 'She Done Him wrong,' but would have bettered that If the opposition hadn't been so hot.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: “It’s my home. As long as the building stands, I will never leave.”
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Shubert Archive mentioned Mae West.
• • The Royale’s first big hit was Mae West’s “Diamond Lil” (1928), a drama set in a dance hall on New York’s Bowery. Jack Linder was the credited producer but the Shuberts had a 19 ¼% investment in the show and early in 1929 bought out all the production rights.
• • Mae West, who was nobody’s fool, received 52% of the net profits instead of a performer’s salary. As the author, under the standard Dramatists’ Guild contract, she was also entitled to royalties.
• • In 1931 she returned to the house in “The Constant Sinner.” . . .
• • Source: Newsletter of the Shubert Archive (Vol. 24); published in 2004/2005
• • 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 15th anniversary • • 
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past fifteen years. Not long ago, we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 4,500 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started fifteen years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 4,500th 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:
• • Be sure to bookmark or follow The Mae West Blog
• • Photo: • • Mae West • •  at home in 1934 • •
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