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!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Texas Guinan: Leopard Dance

Drena had been a featured dancer with TEXAS GUINAN for three years, where she introduced the "Sensational Dance of the Leopard." After that her career was firmly launched. 
• • Drena Beach • •
• • Always supportive of her "little girls," Texas Guinan would be in the audience, attracting more press coverage to the event, making certain that her performer (or her former employee) was noticed. And how could you not notice Drena Beach with her shapely legs and thrillingly long tigerish fingernails?
• • The Brooklyn Daily Eagle wrote: Pass the laurel to Drena (Paramount Grill) Beach... for her "Sensational Leopard Dance," which is one of the most unique things we've ever seen. Why? Because she conceived it when she was 15 years old, as a result of a dream she had of being attacked by a leopard... because in it she takes one of the most startling falls we've ever seen on the stage... because she's been doing it now for seven years... because she was a featured dancer with Texas Guinan for three years ... because she is a Fancon and Marco protege... because she has created a new number called "Dance of the Eyes," which is said to be even verier. . . because Ted Helms was so impressed with it that he immediately wrote the theme song "Haunting Eyes" for it... because she has never studied dancing and she also designs all her own costumes... because she once had an entire Publix unit built around her... because she was offered a year's contract at the Folies Bergere in Paris, which she had to refuse because of local tie-ups here... because she's beautiful and blond and doesn't rely on either her looks or locks to put her over... and finally, because her Leopard Dance is more Interesting and arresting than anything we've ever seen in any Broadway production, which is why some Earl Carroll, some Florenz Ziegfeld, some George White or some Schwab and Mandel, Aarons and Freedly or Mr. Shubert ought to sign her up... pass the laurel to Drena Beach.
• • Source: item in The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (N.Y.); published on  Thursday, 25 July 1929.
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• • The legal battles fought by Mae West and Jim Timony are dramatized in the play "Courting Mae West: Sex, Censorship, and Secrets," set during the Prohibition Era. Texas Guinan is in some scenes, too.
Watch a scene on YouTube.

• • Website for all things Mae West 

• • Exciting Texas Guinan news is on the horizon. More anon.
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• • Photo: Texas Guinan
• • Drena Beach • •

Texas Guinan.

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