Friday, February 27, 2015

Mae West: Wallace Wedding

MAE WEST paid dearly for her concealment of a brief secret marriage to Frank Wallace, who resurfaced during the Depression. The former vaudeville song and dance man turned out to be not love-struck but rather a down-and-outer looking for a quick payday.
• • "This Gentleman May Be Known As Mr. West" • •
• • New York, Feb. 27 [AP] — — Asserting that right is might, Frank Wallace today renewed his efforts to obtain a court order declaring him to be the husband of Mae West, motion picture star.
• • From Supreme Court Justice John E. McGoehan he obtained permission to serve Miss West through the sheriff of Los Angeles county, California, with papers in his suit for a declaratory judgment.
• • "She has money and power," he said, "but justice is on my side. That makes it even."
• • Wallace, denying it was a publicity stunt as charged by Miss West, said his reputation had been damaged by her statement that she never had heard of him. He made it plain through Samuel J. Siegel, his new lawyer, however, that he wished to avoid any unpleasantness or embarrassment because he said he still had the warmest esteem and admiration for the alleged Mrs. Wallace.
• • Siegel produced a photostatic copy of a marriage license indicating that Wallace, a song and dance man currently at liberty, had married Mae West in Milwaukee 25 years ago.
• • They separated in 1916, Siegel said, when a booking agent convinced them that Mrs. Wallace had a future in the movies if she could appear as an unmarried woman. Wallace signed a pact agreeing to keep the marriage secret, the attorney went on, and would have remained silent if Miss West had not said she never heard of the guy when the marriage license came to light last year.
• • Siegel said he understood Wallace had been married again and divorced since 1916, but insisted that had nothing to do with his alleged status as Miss West's husband.
• • News by Associated Press rpt in Daily Illini;  published on Friday, 28 February 1936.
• • On Saturday, 27 February 1932 • •
• • The headline on Saturday, 27 February 1932: "Puppets to Act in Shows Today."
• • The Cornell Daily Sun announced the Mae West marionette show on the front page: Tatterman Marionettes will present plays in Willard Straight Theater. "Stringing Broadway" is adult entertainment. The puppets . . . poke good-humored fun at the contemporary world of politics, the theatre, and letters. A burlesque grand opera . . . A.A. Milne, Mae West, and Eugene O'Neill are on the program. . . .
• • "Stringing Broadway," with its chorus of "Glorified Girls," takes the professional revue for a ride, noted the Cornell Daily Sun.
• • Source: Cornell Daily Sun, page 1 story, Volume 52, Issue 106, published on Saturday, 27 February 1932.
• • On Thursday, 27 February 1936 • •
• • Joseph Breen wrote to Will Hays about Mae West and "KIondike Annie." His letter is dated for Thursday, 27 February 1936.
• • Newspapers were aware of the bickering and the chaos. The Los Angeles Herald printed a news story on page 4 about the censorship issues on Thursday, 27 February 1936. It was never easy being Mae West.
• • On Sunday, 27 February 1938 • •
• • From Perth Australia, the newspapers echoed the after-shocks of "The Chase and Sanborn Hour" in December 1937: Mae West's un-Scriptural portrayal of Eve in a national broadcast has aroused the wrath of hundreds of American women and infuriated the clergy. They are shocked because, instead of the serpent tempting Eve, as the Book of Genesis records, Mae West tempted the serpent. The company that broadcast Mae as Eve has been besieged by angry resolutions from women's clubs.  . . .
• • America's big Catholic League of Decency is also planning to reprimand her. . . .
• • Source: From Our Own Correspondent by Air in New York, Sunday Times (Perth, Australia) published on Sunday, 27 February 1938.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West's song numbers for "Myra Breckinridge" were shot on 19 March 1970.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "Frank Wallace?  Never heard of him!"
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Raquel Welch discussed the red carpet chaos during the VIP premiere of "Myra" and Mae West.
• • Raquel Welch said: They didn’t screen it for me, and I didn’t ask. I didn’t want to see it before I had to. They asked me to come to New York for the opening, and I did that. I pulled up in a car in front of the theater, and there was a big red carpet there and a lot of press and a lot of fans, and I walked a couple of paces — and a bunch of bodyguards came and lifted me underneath both arms and pushed me inside. And I said, “What the heck is going on? I haven’t been manhandled like this ever!”
• • They said, “Well, Mae West’s car is right behind yours, and she did not want you to be on the red carpet at the same time she was.” Bobby Fryer was so absolutely terrified of Mae, and Mae was so terrified of this movie and her whole image that it all sort of went neurotic. I was just along for the ride. I realized, It’s going to be a disappointment. I just hope it’s not as bad as I think.  I really didn’t know what to expect, but I knew it wasn’t good when we were making it.  . . .
• • Source: Article:  "Raquel Welch vs. Mae West" from Out Magazine; published on Monday, 16 February 2015 
• • 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 this week: 3,100 posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3124th 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 1970

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Mae West: Rex Reveals

An inside scoop about MAE WEST and her star billing in her first motion picture shot in Technicolor was printed in Out Magazine.  Yes, there are some zingers, so do read the entire article. Only a tiny excerpt is below.
• • Production on "Myra Breckinridge" concluded on Thursday, 26 February 1970.  Has it really been 45 years since Michael Sarne tackled the Gore Vidal bestseller and made it so patently absurd? Film critics said the movie "was as funny as a child molester."
• • According to Rex Reed, Mae West said this at a press conference in 1970: “I’ve never seen one of Raquel Welch’s pictures. But I think she’s a great little girl.  Of course, no real woman would play this part.”
• • "Raquel Welch vs. Mae West" • •
• • Rex Reed said: And then the first big blow was that Bette Davis and Burl Ives dropped out. But they’d be replaced by Mae West and John Huston. Well, OK. And I was at George Cukor’s house with Mae West and Greta Garbo. Raquel Welch and I would go over there, and he would coach us. She won’t admit it.
• • Way Out West • •
• • Mae West’s return to the screen was fraught with hard-nosed negotiations. She demanded and received star billing and the top salary for her supporting role — — and required the insertion of two songs for her character. And though Raquel Welch went to visit her at her apartment building prior to filming, they were never simpatico. Their costumes reflected their places in Hollywood at the time: Legendary Oscar winner Edith Head designed West’s clothes; relative newcomer Theadora Van Runkle, who changed the face of fashion with her work on "Bonnie and Clyde," designed Welch’s.
• • Rex Reed said:  The first day of filming there was a press conference. And Raquel said, “I’m so happy to be working with Mae West. I’ve loved her ever since I was a little girl.” And Mae West said, “I’ve never seen one of Raquel Welch’s pictures. But I think she’s a great little girl.  Of course, no real woman would play this part.”
• • Source: Article:  "Raquel Welch vs. Mae West" from Out Magazine; published on Monday, 16 February 2015.
• • On Wednesday, 26 February 1936 • •
• • Hollywood Citizen News ran this article on Wednesday, 26 February 1936: "Mae West Mum in Lubitsch, Timony Debate."
• • On Saturday, 26 February 1938 • •
• • A leisurely article (317 words) published Down Under on Saturday, 26 February 1938 discussed in great detail all the ways Mae West, the real woman, was nothing like the fast-living fictional females she played.
• • The Mirror (in Perth, Australia) wrote: Mae West's characterisation of a motion picture star in "Go West Young Man," the hilarious comedy, which will be screening at the Grand Theatre, Friday next, March 4, strangely enough, is entirely unlike her own life as an outstanding film luminary.
• • The Mirror gave several examples. Here's one: "Go West Young Man" portrays a film star's touring paraphernalia as extremely elaborate, but the real Mae West journeyed to Corona, California for her first ''location" scenes of the picture, in simple fashion. Accompanied only by her driver and personal maid, Miss West's arrival was inconspicuous, and her departure the same — — a decided contrast to the film role (Mavis Arden) she portrays.  ...
• • Source: Article: "'Go West Young Man' — Mae West Stars in Coming Paramount Attraction" printed on page 24 in The Mirror (Perth, Australia); published on Saturday, 26 February 1938.
• • Finale on Saturday, 26 February 1949 • •
• • A revival of "Diamond Lil" opened at the Coronet Theatre in February [5 February 1949 — 26 February 1949] on Broadway.
• • Background: On Saturday, 26 February 1949, Mae West broke her ankle when she slipped on a rug in her hotel suite, ending that engagement at the Coronet Theatre [230 West 49th Street, a Broadway playhouse later renamed for Eugene O'Neill].  The revival of "Diamond Lil" had begun on 5 February 1949. Naturally, the cancellation of a show in any legitimate theatre — — where each actor has a union contract — — is an enormous expense, not to mention the box-office losses.
• • When Mae filed a lawsuit, newspapers posted headlines: "Mae West Tosses Curve at Chatham Hotel in New York" and "Mae West Fell In Hotel, Claims Dollars." Yee-owtch!
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Production on "Myra Breckinridge" began on 23 September 1969 and concluded on 26 February 1970.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • About "Myra," Mae West said:  "I like my sexes stable."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Columbia Daily Spectator mentioned Mae West.
• • The Kraft Sisters, a sensational new dance team currently appearing at Cafe Society Uptown, will be leaving for Hollywood soon to appear in Mae West's next picture. They specialize in ancient Hindu and Spanish dances done in boogie-woogie style. Three days after their opening at Cafe Society, the Kraft Sisters were under contract to Columbia pictures.  ...
• • Source: Item in The Columbia Daily Spectator (NYC); published on Friday, 26 February 1943
• • 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 this week: 3,100 posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3123rd 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 1970

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Mae West: June Fairchild

MAE WEST worked with actress June Fairchild, who died this month in Los Angeles.
• • June Fairchild  [1946 — 17 February 2015] • •
• • Born in Manhattan Beach, California in 1946 was a little sweet face named June Edna Wilson. She took the stage name of June Fairchild and snagged a few minor roles in "Drive, He Said" [1971], Michael Cimino’s "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot" [1974], and Cheech and Chong’s "Up in Smoke" [1978], where she played the Ajax lady.
• • The same year, June was seen as a reporter in the Mae West film "Sextette" —— the last appearance on the silver screen for both of them.
• • Drug abuse and a fondness for alcohol derailed her career in the 1970s. Her life unraveled and she became a homeless junkie.
• • After battling rough times, June Fairchild died of liver cancer at a convalescent home in Los Angeles on Tuesday, 17 February 2015.  She was 68.
• • In 2001, The Los Angeles Times sent a staff reporter Noaki Schwartz to interview June Fairchild, then living in Los Angeles on skid row. June spoke about her days with Mae West on the set.
• • "A Fallen Star" • •
• • Addiction: Former actress, now 54 and living on the streets, dreams of a movie comeback.
• • Noaki Schwartz wrote:  In her eyes, the Rosslyn Hotel is a glorious place. June Fairchild  doesn't see the bars shielding the concierge or the worn patches in the deep red carpet. At 54, she would rather remember what it looked like when she was a starlet in Hollywood during the 1970s. June would rather tell you how she visited actress Mae West in a Rosslyn room during the filming of the grande dame's last movie, "Sextette."
• • "I asked Mae West what the key to her success is," Fairchild says. "She said, 'I'm very boring in real life. I made up the walk and the talk.' "
• • Noaki Schwartz explained:  Nobody is going to ask June Fairchild that question. They might ask, instead, how she fell from a promising actress partying alongside film and rock 'n' roll legends to a middle-aged woman spending nights curled up in a cardboard box on skid row.
• • Noaki Schwartz continued: With childlike defiance, June says she believes her hardships are temporary. She knows this because years ago, while visiting Mae West, she had a psychic reading. Like any 30-year-old wondering about her future, Fairchild asked whether she would ever get married, have a child and make it as an actress. . . .
• • Source: Article on June Fairchild written by Noaki Schwartz, L.A. Times Staff Writer for The Los Angeles Times; published on Wednesday, 21 February 2001.

• • On Tuesday, 25 February 1913 • •
• • The announcement that "Mae West, the comedienne" was appearing at the Grand ran in the Atlantic Journal on Tuesday, 25 February 1913.
• • On Saturday, 25 February 1922 • •
• • One of Mae's vaudeville idols was Bert Williams [12 November 1874 — 4 March 1922]. The pre-eminent Black entertainer of his era (birthname Egbert Austin Williams), was born on the island of Antigua [West Indies]. In 1888 his family moved to Los Angeles. He began his entertainment career in 1892 in San Francisco.
• • Stricken with pneumonia, Bert Williams did not want to miss performances, aware that he was the only bright spot keeping an otherwise middling musical alive at the box office. After collapsing onstage in Detroit, on Saturday, 25 February 1922 while singing "Under The Bamboo Tree," Bert Williams initially fooled his Michigan audience, who thought he was clowning around. Escorted to his dressing room, Williams joked, "That's a nice way to die. They was laughing when I made my last exit."
• • Bert Williams returned to his home in New York City but his condition deteriorated and he died in a hospital on March 4th. He was 47 years old.
• • On Tuesday, 25 February 1936 • •
• • Motion Picture Herald ran a feature on "Klondike Annie" in their issue dated on Tuesday, 25 February 1936.
• • Citizen News did an article on "Klondike Annie" on Tuesday, 25 February 1936. Three days earlier, on 22 February 1936, gossip columnist Louella Parsons weighed in on Mae West's latest motion picture, too.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Popular Hollywood actors and actresses like Charlie Chaplin and Mae West had drinks named in their honor. The Mae West cocktail contains brandy, half an egg yolk, sugar, and cayenne pepper.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "You can see for yourself, a girl's just as old as she feels."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article about the Oscar ceremonies mentioned Mae West.
• • TheJournal.ie wrote: Rock Hudson and Mae West caused a stir with their ‘kingsize’ rendition of the song "Baby It’s Cold Outside" at the 1957 awards show. ...
• • Source: News: "Five of the biggest Oscar night controversies" written by TheJournal.ie;  published on Sunday, 26 February 2012 
• • 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 this week: 3,100 posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3122nd 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 • actress June Fairchild in 1978

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