West, Mae

West, Mae
   Born Mary Jane West in Brooklyn, New York, actress Mae West began her career as a teenager and appeared in musical reviews in New York from 1911 onward. She also wrote a number of plays and in 1926 appeared in Sex as a prostitute. The show was raided by the police, and West was convicted on a morals charge and served 10 days in prison for public obscenity. In 1927, her second play, The Drag, focused on homosexuality. In 1928, she explored similar issues and starred once more as a prostitute in Diamond Lil. Her next play the same year, Pleasure Man, was also raided and closed down by the police.
   In 1932, West first appeared in film in Night After Night, but it was the film version of Diamond Lil, She Done Him Wrong, in 1933 costarring Cary Grant that brought her stardom and greater notoriety. West’s on-screen persona of a liberated, sexually permissive woman famous for sexual innuendo was further established in a string of successful films, including I’m No Angel (1933), Belle of the Nineties (1934), Goin’ to Town (1935), Klondike Annie (1936), Go West Young Man (1936), Every Day’s a Holiday (1938), and the highly successful My Little Chickadee (1940) with W. C. Fields. West’s famous use of double entendres led to her being banned from the medium after two radio appearances in 1937, and she did not reappear on the air until 1949. Her films led to the development of the Motion Picture Production Code and greater censorship of scripts. After appearing in The Heat Is On in 1943, she went back to theater with Catherine Was Great, and she also toured with Diamond Lil from 1947 to 1951. During the 1950s, West mainly appeared in nightclub performances but also occasionally on television. Her return to film was in Myra Breckinridge in 1970, and her last film, also featuring George Raft, was Sextette in 1978. Her autobiography, using a line from Night after Night, was her famous reply to the remark “goodness, what beautiful diamonds”—Goodness Had Nothing to Do with It (1959).
   See also Cinema.

Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . . 2015.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • WEST, MAE — (1893–1980), U.S. actress, writer, and singer. Born Mary Jane West in Brooklyn, New York, to John P. West and Matilda Delker Dolger, a German Jewish model and dressmaker, at seven West was winning talent shows. A year later she joined Hal… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • West,Mae — West, Mae. 1892? 1980. American actress known for her sultry stage persona. Her films include I m No Angel (1933) and My Little Chickadee (1940). * * * …   Universalium

  • West, Mae — born Aug. 17, 1892/93, Brooklyn, N.Y., U.S. died Nov. 22, 1980, Los Angeles, Calif. U.S. film actress. She performed with a Brooklyn stock company around 1901, and by 1907 she had become a performer on the national vaudeville circuit. She made… …   Universalium

  • West, Mae — (1892 1980)    Remembered today as an early sound motion picture icon in a series of risqué comedies and musicals in the 1930s, West was also a playwright (occasionally using the pseudonym Jane Mast) who crafted tailor made roles exploiting her… …   The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater

  • West, Mae — (17 ago. 1892/93, Brooklyn, N.Y., EE.UU.–22 nov. 1980, Los Ángeles, Cal.). Actriz de cine estadounidense. Alrededor de 1901 actuaba en una compañía de repertorio de Brooklyn, y en 1907 ya era una artista del circuito nacional del vodevil. Debutó… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • West, Mae — pseud. di West, Mary Jane …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • West, Mae —  (1892–1980) American actress …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Mae West — Mae West, um 1933 Mae West, 1973 Mae West …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Mae West — en un carruaje, de vuelta de Hollywood Nombre real Mary Jane West Nacimiento 17 de agosto de 1893 …   Wikipedia Español

  • MAE-West — is a major Internet exchange point located on the west coast of the U.S. in San Jose, California and Los Angeles, California. Its name officially stands for Metropolitan Area Exchange, West , although some note the similarity to the name of the… …   Wikipedia