Mary Jane "Mae" West, 1893 - 1980

portrait of Mae West
Portrait by Allan Warren (1973)

Born: 17 August 1893, Bushwick, New York
Died: 22 November 1980, Los Angeles, California

Born Mary Jane West, for various reasons she gave 1888, 1892, 1892, and 1900 as her year of birth. She first appeared in amateur shows at age seven, and in vaudeville with the Hal Clarendon Stock Company at fourteen, under the name Baby Mae. She started writing her own plays under the name Jane Mast. Her first starring role on Broadway was in Sex, she was sentenced to ten days for "corrupting the morals of youth" for the performance. A number of her plays were never seen because of legal action by censorial officials. In 1932 she was offered a contract by Paramount Pictures, but wasn't happy with her role in her first film (Night After Night) until she was allowed to rewrite her scenes. The star of that film, George Raft, was quoted as saying, "She stole everything but the cameras." She was in ten movies between 1932 and 1943, then retired from Hollywood until 1970 with Myra Breckenridge. She had her own Las Vegas stage show in the 1950s, with rare television appearances including an episode of Mister Ed. She suffered two strokes in August and September of 1980 and died at her home. Very few actors in the QOTD database have nearly the number of entries attributed to Ms West because most of their signature lines were written by others, whereas West wrote nearly every line of dialogue she delivered on screen or stage.

Biography from Wikipedia

Mae West quotes:

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