Mae West (1893 - 1980)

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Mae West
American actress
Mary Jane "Mae" West was an American actress, singer, playwright, screenwriter, comedian, and sex symbol whose entertainment career spanned seven decades. Wikipedia
Born: August 17, 1893, Bushwick, Brooklyn.
Died: November 22, 1980, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA
Height: 5′ 0″
Plays: Sex, The Drag, Pleasure Man, Diamond Lil
Quotes
When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before.
When I'm good I'm very, very good, but when I'm bad, I'm better.
Too much of a good thing can be taxing.

She Done Him Wrong
1933

I'm No Angel
1933

Sextette
1978

Mae West Biography & Family History

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Mae West was also known as:

Mary Jane West

Birth

at Bushwick,
Brooklyn, Kings County, NY United States

Death


Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, CA United States

Cause of death

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Education

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Professions

Occupation Actress, singer, playwright, screenwriter, comedian
Years active 1907–1978
Mary Jane "Mae" West (August 17, 1893 – November 22, 1980)[1] was an American actress, singer, playwright, screenwriter, comedian, and sex symbol whose entertainment career spanned seven decades.

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Nickname

"Mae"

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Gender

Female

Timeline

1893 - In the year that Mae West was born, on March 4th, Grover Cleveland became the 24th President of the United States. On July 1st, President Cleveland was operated on for a non-cancerous tumor in his mouth. He chose to have the operation secretly because he didn't want to worsen the financial depression that was occurring at the time.

1938 - By the time she was 45 years old, on October 30th, a Sunday, The Mercury Theatre on the Air broadcast Orson Welles' special Halloween show The War of the World's. A clever take on H.G. Wells' novel, the show began with simulated "breaking news" of an invasion by Martians. Because of the realistic nature of the "news," there was a public outcry the next day, calling for regulation by the FCC. Although the current story is that many were fooled and panicked, in reality very few people were fooled. But the show made Orson Welles' career.

1947 - At the age of 54 years old, Mae was alive when on April 15th, Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers, playing first base. He was the first black man to play in the Major Leagues. Since the 1880's, professional baseball had been segregated and blacks played in the "Negro leagues". He went on to play for 10 years.

1975 - She was 82 years old when in January, Popular Mechanics featured the Altair 8800 on it's cover. The Altair home computer kit allowed consumers to build and program their own personal computers. Thousands were sold in the first month.

1980 - In the year of Mae West's passing, on December 8th, ex-Beatle John Lennon was shot and killed by Mark David Chapman in front of his home - the Dakota - in New York City. Chapman was found guilty of murder and still remains in jail.

Mae West Family Tree

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Obituary

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Mae West
Born Mary Jane West
August 17, 1893
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died November 22, 1980 (aged 87)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Occupation Actress, singer, playwright, screenwriter, comedian
Years active 1907–1978
Spouse(s) Frank Szatkus, stage name Frank Wallace
(1911–43; dissolved)
Partner(s) Paul Novak
(1954–80)

Known for her lighthearted bawdy double entendres, and breezy sexual independence, West made a name for herself in vaudeville and on the stage in New York City before moving to Hollywood to become a comedian, actress, and writer in the motion picture industry, as well as appearing on radio and television. For her contributions to American cinema, the American Film Institute named West 15th among the greatest female stars of classic American cinema.

One of the more controversial movie stars of her day, West encountered many problems, especially censorship. She bucked the system, making comedy out of prudish conventional mores, and the Depression-era audience admired her for it. When her cinematic career ended, she wrote books and plays, and continued to perform in Las Vegas, in the United Kingdom, and on radio and television, and to record rock and roll albums. Asked about the various efforts to impede her career, West replied: "I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it." While true, she also suffered greatly because of it, even going to jail for her right to freedom of speech.[2][3]

Early life, career, and jail
West was born in Bushwick, Brooklyn on August 17, 1893, having been delivered at home by an aunt who was a midwife. She was the eldest surviving child of John Patrick West and Matilda "Tillie" Delker (sometimes spelled "Dilker"). Delker and her five siblings emigrated with their parents, Jacob and Christiana, from the German state of Bavaria in 1886. West's parents married on January 18, 1889, in Brooklyn and reared their children as Protestants, although John West was of mixed Catholic-Protestant descent. Her father was a prizefighter known as "Battlin' Jack West" who later worked as a "special policeman", and later had his own private investigations agency. Her mother was a former corset and fashion model. Her paternal grandmother, Mary Jane (née Copley), for whom she was named, was of Irish Catholic descent, and West's paternal grandfather, John Edwin West, was of English-Scots descent and a ship's rigger.

Her eldest sibling, Katie, died in infancy. Her other siblings were Mildred Katherine West, later known as Beverly (December 8, 1898 – March 12, 1982), and John Edwin West, II (sometimes inaccurately called "John Edwin West, Jr."; February 11, 1900 – October 12, 1964). During her childhood, West's family moved to various parts of Woodhaven, as well as the Williamsburg and Greenpoint neighborhoods of Brooklyn. In Woodhaven, at Neir's Social Hall (which opened in 1829 and is still extant), West supposedly first performed professionally.

West was five when she first entertained a crowd at a church social, and she started appearing in amateur shows at the age of seven. She often won prizes at local talent contests.[20] She began performing professionally in vaudeville in the Hal Clarendon Stock Company in 1907 at the age of 14. West first performed under the stage name "Baby Mae:, and tried various personas, including a male impersonator, She used the alias "Jane Mast" early in her career. Her trademark walk was said to have been inspired or influenced by female impersonators Bert Savoy and Julian Eltinge, who were famous during the Pansy Craze. Her first appearance in a Broadway show was in a 1911 revue A La Broadway put on by her former dancing teacher, Ned Wayburn. The show folded after eight performances, but at age 18, West was singled out and discovered by The New York Times. The Times reviewer wrote that a "girl named Mae West, hitherto unknown, pleased by her grotesquerie and snappy way of singing and dancing." West next appeared in a show called Vera Violetta, whose cast featured Al Jolson. In 1912, she appeared in the opening performance of A Winsome Widow as a "baby vamp" named La Petite Daffy.

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