Mea West born on August 17, 1893 – A Brooklyn-bred vaudevillian, Mae West is one of the 20th century’s most immortal actresses and sex symbols. In her early years, Mae West studied dance and at the age of five was performing in vaudeville acts. She also wrote her own plays, one of which, “Sex”, landed her in jail in 1926 for obscenity. In 1932, she appeared in her first Hollywood film, Night After Night, and even with her minor role she quickly developed a following. Starring alongside Cary Grant in some of his breakout roles, namely 1933’s “She Done Him Wrong” and “I’m No Angel”, West’s performances were so risqu they prompted the movie studios to establish the Motion Picture Production Code, which regulated what content could be shown or said in pictures.
From then on, Mae was forced to speak in double entendres to get her racy lines past the censors, lines which have been immortalized in film history. As the 30’s and 40’s continued, however, she returned to theatre to avoid the increasingly stringent standards of the censors. Dealing with diabetes type 2, for the last 15 years of her life, Mae West would go on to star in two more films in the free-spirited 70’s, Myra Breckenridge (1970) and Sextette (1978) before her death in 1980.