Born on 12 January 1884 in Waco, Mary Louise Cecilia "Texas" Guinan played a gun-slinger and rode bareback in silent films, took New York by storm in 1906, and earned a salary of $700,000 as a speakeasy hostess. Here are highlights from a life led at full speed until 5 November 1933. Meet TEXAS GUINAN!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Texas Is Madonna's Idol

Madonna's Idol Stars in a Free Exhibition of Personal Photographs and Images
This installation opens to the public after a gala Roaring 20s-theme press preview.
New York, NY (PRWEB) August 5, 2006 -- Madonna bought the rights to make the movie -- but we got the pictures.

• • Remember when the Material Girl announced that she would play the role of Texas Guinan (1884-1933) in a bio-pic “Hello, Suckers!” that Martin Scorsese would produce? The script was based on the book Texas Guinan: Queen of the Nightclubs. After Madonna had a riding accident, however, no more was heard of her attempt to fill Guinan’s boots.
• • Well, boot up and head over to Greenwich Village (in New York City) during August for a close-up of the diamond-dusted diva herself. A trained soprano and charismatic both onstage and onscreen, this versatile entertainer-equestrienne always did all her own stunts. One feat was her arresting drama: Texas Guinan’s clubs were raided more often during Prohibition than any other New York speakeasy hostess — and as soon as she got locked up, the police would besiege her for autographs. During the 1920s, her annual income was $700,000 (about $5.6 million today).
• • Prior to amusing Manhattan’s saloon scholars, Texas Guinan appeared in Broadway musicals with Al Jolson, Elsie Janis, Fatty Arbuckle, and others. She also starred in over two dozen silent films that featured her gun-slinging skills: “Spirit of Cabin Mine,” “Girl of the Rancho,” “The Lady of the Law,” “Little Miss Deputy,” “The Stampede,” etc. And as a newspaper columnist, Guinan covered the trials of her good friend Mae West (1893-1980) at Jefferson Market Court.
• • Everyone is welcome to enjoy these rare archival images — many from Texas Guinan’s estate and not shared with the public since 1935. These engaging photographs and illustrations go on view at Village Restaurant (62 West Ninth Street, NYC) during a free exhibition in August. "Onstage Outlaws: Mae West and Texas Guinan in a Lawless Era" opens to the public after a Gala Roaring-20s theme Press Preview on Mae's birthday August 17, 2006. There is no charge to view this historic installation, which is part of the Annual Mae West Gala.
• • During August, raffle prizes will include silent treasures from the Guinan Family Archives. Lucky winners will take home a bit of Texas in titles such as “The Gun Woman” (directed by Frank Borzage in 1918), “Letters of Fire,” and “The Moonshine Feud,” in which Texas battles a gang of lawless moonshiners and rescues a Revenue Agent -- an irony the G-Men may have laughed about each time they padlocked one of her ginmills.
• • Test your Texas Guinan knowledge. Which statements are true?
* * * Guinan has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1779 Vine Street.
* * * The character of Texie Garcia in the comic strip Dick Tracy was based on Guinan.
* * * The role of Panama Smith, played by Gladys George, in the 1939 film The Roaring Twenties was based on Guinan.
* * * The character of Sally Kansas, played by June Havoc, in an episode of The Untouchables [entitled "The Larry Fay Story"] was based on Guinan.
* * * The recurring character of Guinan the bartender, played by Whoopie Goldberg on Star Trek: the Next Generation, was named for her.
• • (ANSWER: all are true.) • •
• • The secret passions of Texas Guinan and Mae West will be revealed during a walking tour on Sunday August 20th followed by brunch at Village Restaurant. Fee [tour + brunch] will be $25. Brunch guests can enjoy the free exhibition with or without the tour. Info: 212-505-3355.
• • • • Media inquiries welcome. • • • •
• • Images: —
• • The Annual Mae West Gala always takes place in a venue that the actress had frequented.
• • • • COURTING MAE WEST, LLC, based in Manhattan, is an off-Broadway producing outfit whose mission is to increase opportunities for women and female-driven plays.
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• • Source: Village Restaurant [62 West Ninth Street, NYC] • •
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• • Illustration: Texas Guinan, age 30, in 1914 • •

Texas Guinan.