Mae West

Actress + Playwright + Screenwriter + Sex Symbol
Born Aug 17, 1893

Mae West was an American actress, 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.… Read More

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1893 Birth Born on August 17, 1893.


1907 13 Years Old She began performing professionally in vaudeville in the Hal Clarendon Stock Company in 1907 at the age of fourteen. … Read More
1911 17 Years Old 1 More Event
Her first appearance in a Broadway show was in a 1911 revue A La Broadway put on by her former dancing teacher, Ned Wayburn. … Read More
1912 18 Years Old In 1912 she appeared in the opening performance of A Winsome Widow as a "baby vamp" named La Petite Daffy. … Read More


1916 22 Years Old 1 More Event
West made no public statements indicating that she had been married to Deiro. She referred to him simply as "D" in her autobiography. West's biographers state that the two never married. West and Deiro split in 1916. … Read More
1918 24 Years Old In 1918, after exiting several high-profile revues, West finally got her break in the Shubert Brothers revue Sometime, opposite Ed Wynn. … Read More
1920 26 Years Old According to Deiro's biographer, West filed for divorce on the grounds of adultery on July 14, 1920. … Read More


1926 32 Years Old Eventually, she began writing her own risqué plays using the pen name Jane Mast. Her first starring role on Broadway was in a 1926 play she entitled Sex, which she wrote, produced, and directed. … Read More
1927 33 Years Old 1 More Event
She was taken to the Jefferson Market Court House, (now Jefferson Market Library) where she was prosecuted on morals charges and, on April 19, 1927, was sentenced to ten days for "corrupting the morals of youth." … Read More
1928 34 Years Old …  Her 1928 play, Diamond Lil, about a racy, easygoing lady of the 1890s, became a Broadway hit. … Read More
1932 38 Years Old In 1932, West was offered a motion picture contract by Paramount Pictures despite being close to 40. … Read More
1933 39 Years Old …  By 1933, West was the eighth-largest U.S. box office draw in the United States and, by 1935, the second-highest paid person in the United States (after William Randolph Hearst).


1934 40 Years Old On July 1, 1934, the censorship of the Production Code began to be seriously and meticulously enforced, and her screenplays were heavily edited. … Read More
1935 41 Years Old 1 More Event
West kept the marriage a secret, but in 1935, after West had made several hit movies, a filing clerk discovered West's marriage certificate and alerted the press.
1937 43 Years Old 1 More Event
At first, West denied ever marrying Wallace, but she finally admitted in July 1937, in reply to a legal interrogatory, that they had been married. … Read More
1942 48 Years Old She obtained a legal divorce on July 21, 1942, during which Wallace withdrew his request for separate maintenance, and West testified that she and Wallace had lived together for only "several weeks". The final divorce decree was granted on May 7, 1943.
1943 49 Years Old After appearing in The Heat's On in 1943, West remained active during the ensuing years. … Read More


1950 56 Years Old When casting the role of Norma Desmond for the 1950 film Sunset Boulevard, Billy Wilder offered the 57-year old West the role. … Read More


1958 - 1959 2 More Events
1960 66 Years Old West made occasional appearances on television, including The Red Skelton Show in 1960.
1964 70 Years Old In 1964, she made a guest appearance on the sitcom Mister Ed. … Read More
1965 71 Years Old In 1965 she recorded two songs, "Am I Too Young," and "He's Good For Me" for a 45 rpm record released by Plaza Records. … Read More
1968 74 Years Old West recorded another rock album in 1968 (released in 1972) on MGM Records, titled Great Balls of Fire, which covered songs by The Doors among others. … Read More
1976 82 Years Old In 1976, she appeared on Back Lot U.S.A. on CBS, where she was interviewed by Dick Cavett and sang Frankie and Johnny along with After You've Gone. … Read More
In August 1980, West tripped while getting out of bed. … Read More
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