Mae West

Playwright, Film actor

1893 – 1980


Who was Mae West?

Mary Jane West, known as Mae West, was an American actress, singer, playwright, screenwriter and sex symbol whose entertainment career spanned seven decades.

Known for her bawdy double entendres, West made a name for herself in vaudeville and on the stage in New York before moving to Hollywood to become a comedienne, actress and writer in the motion picture industry. In consideration of her contributions to American cinema, the American Film Institute named West 15th among the greatest female stars of all time. One of the more controversial movie stars of her day, West encountered many problems, including censorship. When her cinematic career ended, she continued to perform on stage, in Las Vegas, in the United Kingdom, on radio and television, and recorded rock and roll albums.

Asked about the various efforts to impede her career, West said, "I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it."

Famous Quotes:

  • Virtue has its own reward, but no sales at the box office.
  • When it comes to finances, remember that there are no withholding taxes on the wages of sin.
  • When you get the personality, you don't need the nudity.
  • It ain't sin if you crack a few laws now and then, just so long as you don't break any.
  • I go for two kinds of men. The kind with muscles, and the kind without.
  • He who hesitates is a damned fool.
  • Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.
  • I only like two kinds of men; domestic and foreign.
  • You can say what you like about long dresses, but they cover a multitude of shins.
  • Whenever I have to choose between two evils, I always like to try the one I haven't tried before.

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Aug 17, 1893
Also known as
  • Mary Jane West
  • West, Mae
  • "The Statue of Libido"
  • "Queen of the World"
  • Jane Mast
  • Jewish people
  • United States of America
  • Erasmus Hall High School
Lived in
  • Queens
  • Brooklyn
Nov 22, 1980
Los Angeles

on July 23, 2013


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"Mae West." STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 8 Aug. 2022. <>.

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