Mike Mazurki

Sylvia Mazurki chides Raft about looking so much like Mae West that Mae could be mistaken for his twin brother in drag. Mae introduced Mike to George when Mike was her bodyguard. She had just given Mike a trophy for being The Most Popular Wrestler in Pasadena. "Godawmighty! That musta been back in '34 or '35. Some hoods stole Mae's jewels, and she told George. George knew all the boys." Raft smirks acknowledgment but doesn't look so tough without his hair.

Mae knew who stole her jewels and said she was going to tell the cops. Raft's sources told him if she talked they'd throw acid in her face--a popular method of revenge. Mae told Mike her face meant a lot to her, so how could he refuse to protect it. " Well, Honey," Sylvia says, "The money might have influenced you."

"Yeah. That was back when Mae was the biggest star in town. I thought she might help me break into motion pictures, but it took longer than I thought. But I was still able to wrestle, so I was lucky." Mazurki gives most of the credit for his life to luck, which he cannot imagine being better. His father came to America from the Ukraine to bash in the brains of cows and drink vodka; his mother worked in the Cohoes yarn mills. Mikhail Mazurkiwicz became the ghetto bully Mike Mazurki. But he got lucky--after he was kicked out of nun's school, his mother sent him to La Salle, run by the tough Christian Brothers who taught him to be gentle. Mike ends up graduating from Manhattan College on an athletic scholarship, goes on to become the first center in professional basketball, then becomes a popular wrestler--which leads him to the motion picture business.

"I could have been picking potatoes, but instead I was packing the Garden." The last Keystone Kop offers Lillian Saddlebury a drooping eyelid. "Mazurki makes it sound easy. Braggin' ain't in his language."