Thursday, August 10, 2017

DEATH VALLEY DENIZENS - LOLA MONTEZ


LOLA MONTEZ

'DEATH VALLEY DAYS'
"LOLA MONTEZ"

From Wikipedia:
Marie Dolores Eliza Rosanna Gilbert, Countess of Landsfeld (17 February 1821 – 17 January 1861), better known by the stage name Lola Montez, was an Irish dancer and actress who became famous as a "Spanish dancer", courtesan, and mistress of King Ludwig I of Bavaria, who made her Countess of Landsfeld. She used her influence to institute liberal reforms. At the start of the Revolutions of 1848 in the German states, she was forced to flee. She proceeded to the United States via Switzerland, France and London, returning to her work as an entertainer and lecturer.


From 1851 to 1853, she performed as a dancer and actress in the eastern United States, one of her offerings being a play called "Lola Montez in Bavaria". In May 1853, she arrived at San Francisco. Her performances there created a sensation, but soon inspired a popular satire, "Who's Got the Countess?". She married Patrick Hull, a local newspaperman, in July and moved to Grass Valley, California, in August. Her marriage soon failed; a doctor named as co-respondent in the divorce suit brought against her was shortly after murdered.

Montez remained in Grass Valley at her little house for nearly two years. The restored Home of Lola Montez went on to become California Historical Landmark No. 292. Montez served as an inspiration to another aspiring young entertainer, Lotta Crabtree, to whom she provided dancing lessons. Lotta's parents ran a boarding house in Grass Valley, and Lotta soon attracted the attention of her neighbor Montez, who encouraged Lotta's enthusiasm for performance.

Rapidly aging, Lola failed in attempts at a theatrical comeback in various American cities.

She arranged in 1857 to deliver a series of moral lectures in Britain and America written by Rev. Charles Chauncy Burr.

She spent her last days in rescue work among women. In November 1859, the Philadelphia Press reported that Lola Montez was:

"living very quietly up town, and doesn't have much to do with the world's people. Some of her old friends, the Bohemians, now and then drop in to have a little chat with her, and though she talks beautifully of her present feelings and way of life, she generally, by way of parenthesis, takes out her little tobacco pouch and makes a cigarette or two for self and friend, and then falls back upon old times with decided gusto and effect. But she doesn't tell anybody what she's going to do."

By then she was showing the tertiary effects of syphilis and her body began to waste away. She died at the age of 39 on 17 January 1861. She is buried in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York, where her tombstone states: "Mrs. Eliza Gilbert / Died 17 January 1861".


For the full Wikipedia story on Lola Montez, click here.



Wikipedia also mentions Montez as an inspiration in the Sherlock Holmes canon:
Lola Montez has been mentioned by several writers as a possible source of inspiration for the character Irene Adler in Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes story, "A Scandal in Bohemia". The character bears certain similarities to Montez, as a popular performer who influences national politics through her relationship with a powerful individual.

That's all well and good for the Trueniverse, but we can't use it for Toobword.  Irene Adler was a real woman in Earth Prime-Time (played by Gayle Hunnicutt) and she could be found in several other TV dimensions like Toobworld2, Russian Toobworld, Prequel Toobworld, Litless Toobworld, and Skitlandia.  Her soul still resides in Limbo. ('Sherlock')  


However, I will concede that perhaps Dr. Watson's literary agent Sir Arthur Conan Doyle persuaded the author to enhance his description of Miss Adler in his passages to better evoke the suggestion of Miss Montez.

Lola Montez has made four appearances in the TV Universe and I have determined that they can all stay in the main Toobworld even though each of them was a recastaway:

'Tales of Wells Fargo'
    - "Lola Montez" (1959) 
Played by Rita Moreno

'The Californians'
    - "Lola Montez" (1958) 
Played by Patricia Medina

'Death Valley Days'
    - "Lola Montez" (1955) 
Played by Paula Morgan
&
    - "Lotta Crabtree" (1954) 
Played by Yvonne Cross

The 'Death Valley Days' portrayal by Paula Morgan is considered her official portrayal as she calls upon her serlinguistic skills to relate her life story.  With each of the other three, they are still Lola but as seen by other characters.  We see her from the perspectives of Lotta Crabtree, Wells Fargo agent Jim Hardie, and Marshall Matthew Wayne.

Therefore, Lola Montez is eligible for eventual induction into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame as an historical Western character.

BCnU!

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