Back Lot USA

Mae made her final TV appearance in April 1976 in Dick Cavett's “Back lot USA”, for CBS.  Other stars on the show included John Wayne and Gene Kelly. Her slot, the final one on the show, consisted of a short interview with Cavett followed by two songs, “Frankie and Johnny” and “After You've Gone”, both performed on a stage set a la Diamond Lil.
Edith Head was persuaded to design the gowns of which there were two (albeit almost identical).  Needless to say, Mae stole the show and all the associated press coverage. Following the success of “Back Lot USA” Mae received a number of other TV offers
and there was even talk of a TV special that unfortunately never materialised.
The interview has one or two quite revealing moments, particularly when Miss West speaks about her mother. She seems vulnerable and momentarily almost grief-stricken.  She also gives a quite remarkable reading of her self-penned poem, “Cave Man”. This rare footage still exists and is traded gleefully by fans.