Mae West (August 17, 1893 – November 22, 1980):

by Bea Wayne

Why We Should Care: Mae West was a gifted comic actor and the author of some of the best pick-up lines in history. After suffering years
of poverty and even imprisonment due to strict censorship laws, she eventually became the second highest salaried person in American next
to William Randolph Hurst. Before she began to write there were no available cinematic roles for a woman who drove men wild and enjoyed
them in bed by the dozen and didn’t want to marry and never suffered for any it. So she wrote them.

It’s Better to be Looked over than Overlooked: Her style is best
described as extravagant. Lace, plumes, jewels, towering picture hats
and completely outrageous amounts of cleavage.

A Hard Man is Good to Find: She lived like the characters she
created, sleeping with many different men under her famous mirrored
ceiling. She never had a long-term relationship, and seemingly never
felt particularly bad about it.

When She was Bad, She was Better: People mostly remember Mae West for
her hugely popular 1930s movies, like Diamond Lil. However, she
continued acting well into the 1970s. She made her final film
Sextette at the age of eighty-three, which was about a torrid sexual
affair between her character and a twenty six year old Timothy Dalton.

A Little Momentum to Remember Her By: To this day, she still beats Cher, Madonna or any other putative diva for the favored idol of drag
queens. Also, any time anyone utters the line "is that a banana in
your pocket or…", they are channeling Ms. Mary Jane West.


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