Monday, April 20, 2015

Mae West: Allan Nixon

Many actors from the stage and screen joined the cast of MAE WEST's show, "Ring Twice Tonight," on its American regional tour circuit.  Mae had the starring role of Carliss Dale in the  play "Come On Up (Ring Twice)," when it toured during 1946 — 1947.
• • The play's title was "Come On Up" and "Ring Twice Tonight," eventually combining both phrases. Let's learn more about Allan Nixon, who originated the role of Buddy / sailor.
• • Allan Nixon [17 August 1915 — 13 April 1995] • •
• • Born in Boston on Tuesday, 17 August 1915, Allan Nixon had a gift for journalism. He majored in newspaper writing at the University of Richmond on a football scholarship. He also pursued a career in wrestling. But while he still had his good looks, he was taken on by  John Robert Powers modeling agency in New York City. MGM was cruising through their client list, spotted Nixon, and flew him to Tinseltown.
• • If Nixon had high hopes, they were quickly dashed. He had a small uncredited part as a soldier in "Rookies on Parade" [1941] and similar war-time motion pictures, in which was was cast as a cadet or recruit. In his mid-twenties by then, no doubt he felt capable of more.  In 1942 he married the beautiful film actress Marie Wilson. Eventually, he was called to duty and served with the Signal Corps.
• • With the war over, many actors returned to the studios and Nixon's personal star was not rising. He started to drink and his arrests for brawling were reported in the trades, making casting agents more wary of using him.
• • Going on tour with Mae West during 1946 — 1947 gave him regular work, a steady paycheck, and a welcome dose of self confidence. He followed Mae's regional tour with other stage work with Gladys George in "Rain." Additionally, both he and his wife Marie were cast in "The School for Scandal" and "Three Out of Four." Some more film work came his way, thanks to his wife's popularity.
• • Nevertheless, his career prospects took a hit when red-rimmed headlines of his barroom brawls put producers off. The battle with the bottle also ended his three marriages.
• • Between 1941 — 1961, he made 31 appearances in feature films and on TV. His last appearances were in popular TV Westerns.
• • In 1962, he turned his life around. His fourth marriage seemed harmonious and he returned to his first love: writing.  He churned out some potboilers — — "Blessed Are the Damned," "The Sex Symbol," "The Bitch Goddess" — — which brought him recognition, a fan base, and a steady income. 
• • Allan Nixon died of emphysema in Los Angeles on Thursday, 13 April 1995. He was 79.
• • On Wednesday, 20 April 1921 in The New York Clipper • •
• • The New York Clipper wrote:  Willie and Eugene Howard, Aunt Jemima, Aileen Stanley, Walter Brower, Cooper and Ricardo, Harry Rose, Mae West, Sammy White, Eileen Rooney, Moran and Wiser,  Ina Hayward, Jack Strouse and Ferdinand appeared at the Century Theatre, Sunday night last.
• • On Sunday, 22 April 1928 in The N.Y. Times • •
• • On Sunday, 22 April 1928, The New York Times was purring about Mae West. On the theatre page was an announcement that "Diamond Lil" was the most prosperous of all the recent stage productions. Broadway backers paid attention, noticing that Mae had given the Royale Theatre its first hit — — a non-musical, no less.
• • On Saturday, 22 April 1939 • •
• • The papers reported this item on Saturday, 22 April 1939:  An interested spectator of the Fiesta parade yesterday was Mae West, who is in San Antonio, Texas for an engagement at the Majestic Theater. 
• • In honor of her visit in 1939, The Menger Hotel in San Antonio dedicated a "Mae West Suite" to the screen star.  Very enterprising.
• • Sold on Friday, 22 April 1994 • •
• • The silver gelatin print "Mae West and Adoring Musclemen" by Dean Loomis was sold at an auction held at Swann Galleries on Friday, 22 April 1994. Someone at this NYC auction house mis-dated the original as 1961 when this photo was taken years earlier.  Tsk.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • The name of today's sex kitten Brigitte Bardot comes to the white living room and Mae West shrugs off the siren of the Seine's shedding of clothes. "If you have to resort to that," says Mae, "you just haven't got it."
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: “The curve is the loveliest distance between two points.”
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A New Zealand broadcast mentioned Mae West.
• • The Myra Breckinridge Affair – 20 April 2013 • •
• • Last week on "The Affair," Hikaru Freeman dared Johnny Lemon to watch the infamous "Myra Breckinridge," one of the first mainstream American films to deal with LGBTIQ lives.  As you can note from the trailer, it had quite the cast . . . .  Let’s just say that Hikaru and Johnny agreed on it much like David and Margaret. . . . 
• • Presenter of "The Affair" with Hikaru Freeman (Saturdays at 6pm AET, 8pm NZT) and part of the JOY-Eurovision team.
• • Source: Item in Joy 94.9 radio New Zealand; published on Saturday, 20 April 2013
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 10th anniversary • •    
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during this past decade. The other day we entertained 1,430 visitors. We reached a milestone recently when we completed 3,100 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3160th 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: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
________

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• • Photo:
• • Mae West • "Come On Up" poster in 1946

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  Mae West

Friday, April 17, 2015

Mae West: York Theatre

MAE WEST was back in Eagle Rock, California for an onscreen engagement.
• • On April 16th, 17th, and 18th, "She Done Him Wrong" was booked at the York Theatre, on York Boulevard at Avenue 50. Movie-goers could call for information: ALbany 5015. What a treat from Sunday through Tuesday.
• • The second feature was "Face in the Sky" with Spencer Tracy and Marian Nixon.
• • Source:  Eagle Rock Advertiser;  published Monday, 17 April 1933.
• • On Saturday, 17 April 1937 • •
• • "Mae West Disappears — Star in Retreat" • •
• • From London, the snippy, snooty British gossip columnist Greville Bain wrote: It cannot have escaped the notice of the film public that it is a long while since we had any news or even rumors of Mae West.
• • Greville Bain stated his own opinion on this: Even her greatest admirers had to admit that Miss West's more recent pictures were not calculated to enhance her reputation. Not so long ago she was said to vie with Shirley Temple as the greatest film attraction in the United States.
• • In accordance with his misogynistic and curdled view, Greville Bain burbled: It is doubtful if, in Europe. Miss West was ever accepted as a first-class star. She rushed into a sensational vogue in "I'm No Angel," and repeated her characteristic performance several times. Trouble beset her when she attempted to add sentiment to her repertory. It was hard to accept her very mature features as a magnet for comparatively young men.  While she was "tough" she was, in her way, a success. But when she began to intimate a soft heart within a tough exterior, admiration gave way to derision.
• • Greville Bain added: It may be for this reason that Mae West is in retreat and no announcements are made about her forthcoming pictures.
• • Source: Article: "Mae West Disappears" by Greville Bain in The Advertiser (Adelaide); published on Saturday, 17 April 1937.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West is still saying "NO" to the Jerry Wald— Norman Krasna call to co-star with Jane Russell in "Mother Knows Best" and now the boys are thinking about Marlene Dietrich.
• • "Mother Knows Best" is the story of two sisters who fleece unsuspecting males by posing as mother and daughter. Sighs Jerry Wald [16 September 1911 — 13 July 1962] on his failure to lasso Mae: "I talked with her over long distance last night. I don't know why she objects to the part. The story establishes that she's not really Jane's mother, but her sister. Mae's a wonderful business woman. I can't understand it."
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Don't get up. Save your energy. I guess you've got your pencil sharpened and are ready to go."  
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Columbia Daily Spectator mentioned Mae West. A ivy league college student Martin Manulis often portrayed Mae to great success in campus shows.
• • 'Mae West' Portrait Loses to Aunt Mary • •
• • Some undergraduate is getting a vicarious thrill out of a photograph of Mae West (nee Martin Manulis). Posted in Hamilton Hall as an advertisement for the Varsity Show, the portrait attracted much attention. However, the glass-paned bulletin board is now getting much more attention on account of a slight change in its content. Somebody jimmied the lock and . . .
• • Source:  Columbia Daily Spectator [NYC];  published on Tuesday, 17 April 1934 
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 10th anniversary • •    
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during this past decade. The other day we entertained 1,430 visitors. We reached a milestone recently when we completed 3,100 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3159th 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: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
________

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• • Photo:
• • Mae West • in 1937

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Mae West: Uganda Student

Many men fell for MAE WEST but a Ugandan student at Columbia University said the Brooklyn bombshell would be wasting her time in Africa. Columbia Daily Spectator published a long article on Monday, 16 April 1934. Here's an excerpt.
• • "Mae West Fails to Move Uganda Student" • •
• • He Prefers African Jungle to City Streets • •
• • New York, NY — — Columbia is losing its one he-man: Ernest Balintuma Kalibala, the man who would "not come up and see Mae West some time" is returning to his jungle tribe in Kampala, Uganda, British East Africa. Mr. Kalibala has spent a great deal of time studying and travelling in this country. Here are some of the conclusions that he has reached in regard to our so-called progressive civilization:
• • (1 ) American women's beauty is not what it's chalked up to be. That schoolgirl complexion is marred by "too many cosmetics, the girls' eyebrows are all twisted, their faces are all set in paint and usually the effect is pretty bad. American beauty fades soon after twenty-five." 
• • (2) Mae West would be wasting her time down in Africa. "Uganda men would not c'm'up and see her some time."
• • (3) He puts the finishing touches on his evaluation of the feminine appeal by flatly stating that "the men in America are more good-looking than the women." (He married one of the latter.)
• • (4) The best of American pipes are mere toothpicks compared to the smoke curlers of Africa, the land where men are men and pipes are still bigger.
• • (5) "There's more danger in New York City streets than in the jungle. You can learn the ways of the jungle and the animals but here one gets up at 7 o'clock and has no assurance of returning home, with police bullets flying, bottles falling and people tumbling from stories above."
• • (6) College students in this country need more physical and bodily freedom. Too often the morning after the night before puts the students to sleep in morning classes.  . . .
• • Source:  Columbia Daily Spectator [NYC];  published on Monday, 16 April 1934.
• • On Monday, 16 April 1928 in New York City • •
• • This excerpt is from Carl Van Vechten's journal entry for Monday, 16 April 1928. 
• • Carl Van Vechten wrote: I read proofs all the morning. Lunch in ... Then to see Mae West in "Diamond Lil," which I adored. Miss West is marvelous. Saw Edna Ferber between acts.
• • Source: "The Splendid Drunken Twenties: Selections from the Daybooks, 1922 — 1930" by Carl Van Vechten.
• • On Wednesday, 16 April 1947 in The L.A. Times • •
• • "Court Tilt Won by Mae West" was the headline in The Los Angeles Times on 16 April 1947. Two authors had sued Mae West and Mike Todd over the authorship of "Catherine Was Great."
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • How about a picture co-starring W.C. Fields, John Barrymore, and Mae West?
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: “I’m my own original creation. I concentrate on myself most of the time. That’s the only way a person can become a star in the true sense. I never wanted a love that meant surrender of my self-possession."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Syndicated Hollywood columnist Erskine Johnson mentioned Mae West.
• • Erskine Johnson wrote: Mae West is warming up for her own syndicated TV series. The title will be "At Home with Mae West." . . .
• • Source: "Hollywood Today" column rpt in Ocala Star-Banner; published on Sunday, 4 September 1960
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 10th anniversary • •    
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during this past decade. The other day we entertained 1,430 visitors. We reached a milestone recently when we completed 3,100 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3158th 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: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
________

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• • Photo:
• • Mae West • in 1928

• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
  Mae West