In the land of the bean and the cod (that’s Boston for those of you who have forgotten), it was once said that the Cabots speak only to the Lodges.

The Lodges apparently got around a little bit more.

Or at least one of them did, according to a new biography of John Lodge ’29, which chronicles his career in the family business of politics and diplomacy. But the book also delves into the life of the young Lodge, who deviated from the Brahmin path when a gal named Mae told him to “come up and see me sometime.” Lodge was perhaps the only man who ever said no.

Thomas DeLong, author of John Davis Lodge: A Life in Three Acts, writes that Lodge caught the attention of the screen siren Mae West when, as a young attorney, he vacationed in Los Angeles and took a screen test. He was soon signed to a major studio contract. West saw the photo of the tall and debonair Lodge and demanded him as her costar for her next film, She Done Him Wrong. But Lodge did West wrong, buckling to family pressure and pulling out of the project. He was replaced by a promising young actor named Cary Grant.

Lodge did act in several supporting roles in film and theater, working with Katharine Hepburn and Marlene Dietrich. Though he later enjoyed a prominent career as a Connecticut congressman, governor, and ambassador, Lodge, who died in 1985, did have one regret. You Mae guess what that was.