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Mae West

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Mae West Biography and Filmography
Mae West
Birthday: December 31, 1969
Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York, USA
Height: 5' 1"
Below is a complete filmography (list of movies he's appeared in)
for Mae West.
If you have any corrections or additions, please email us.
We'd also be interested in any trivia or other information you have.
Mae West was born in Brooklyn, New York, to "Battling Jack" West and Matilda Doelger. She began her career as a child star in vaudeville, and later went on to write her own plays, including "SEX", for which she was arrested. Though her first movie role was a small part in Night After Night (1932), her scene has become famous. A coat check girl exclaims, "Goodness! What lovely diamonds!", after seeing Mae's jewelry. Mae replies, "Goodness had nothing to do with it". Her next film, in which she starred, came the following year. She Done Him Wrong (1933) was based on her earlier and very popular play, "Diamond Lil". She went on to write and star in seven more films, including My Little Chickadee (1940) with W.C. Fields. Her last movie was Sextette (1978), which also came from a play. She died two years later.
Sextette (1978)
[ June Fairchild ]
Myra Breckinridge (1970)
[ Raquel Welch ][ Farrah Fawcett ][ Genevieve Waite ]
The Heat's On (1943)
My Little Chickadee (1940)
[ Margaret Hamilton ]
Every Day's a Holiday (1937)
Go West Young Man (1936)
Klondike Annie (1936)
Goin' to Town (1935)
Belle of the Nineties (1934)
I'm No Angel (1933)
[ Hattie McDaniel ]
She Done Him Wrong (1933)
Night After Night (1932)
  • Hollywood's outrageous, self-proclaimed psychic Criswell predicted in 1955 that she would win the 1960 Presidential election, and would fly to the moon in 1965 with he and friend Liberace!
  • She and Frank Wallace never shared living quarters; in fact, she denied she was ever married, a story hard to stick to when a marriage license surfaced...along with Mr. Wallace.
  • According to actor Tony Curtis, her famous walk originated while beginning her career as a stage actress. Special six-inch platforms were attached to her shoes to increase the height of her stage presence. Her walk literally was "one foot at a time."
  • During World War II, Navy and Army pilots and crewman in the Pacific, named their inflatable life vests after Mae West supposedly because of her well-endowed attributes. The term "Mae West" for a life-vest continues to this day.
  • She was with George Raft in both her first (Night After Night (1932)) and last (Sextette (1978)) film.
  • Measurements: 36-26-36 (in 1933), 38-24-38 (fitting by designer Edith Head), 39-27-39 (self-described in 1956), (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)
  • Appears on sleeve of The Beatles "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". West at first declined to be pictured on the cover ("What would I be doing in a lonely hearts club?!"), but reconsidered when the Beatles sent her a handwritten personal request.
  • Former Beatle Ringo Starr appeared with West in Sextette (1978). He was unpleasantly surprised at first, at all the attention given her on the set (usually reserved for pop stars like The Beatles), but came to admire West during the shoot, and praised her afterwards.
  • Is sometimes credited with originating the Shimmy (a once-popular dance).
  • Was banned from radio, after a guest appearance with Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy loaded with flirtation and double-entendres.
  • She was famous for her morning enemas, which she claimed made her skin like silk and left her "smelling sweet at both ends". On the set of her last film Sextette (1978), co-star Tony Curtis claimed that she was given an enema after being made up, at approximately 11 AM in the morning, as the last step of her preparations before going before the camera.
  • According to psychic Kenny Kingston, she wrote all her plays while in a trance.
  • Credited with single-handedly saving debt-ridden Paramount from bankruptcy in the early 1930s.
  • Was named #15 Actress on The American Film Institutes 50 Greatest Screen Legends
  • At one point, her chauffeur was Jerry Orbach (who is best known for playing Detective Lennie Briscoe on all four "Law & Order" series and "Homicide: Life on the Street" (1993)).
  • Died two days before her Night After Night (1932) and Sextette (1978) co-star George Raft.
  • Is portrayed by Ann Jillian in Mae West (1982) (TV) and by Gloria Gray in Marlene (2000)
  • One of the first women to consistently write the movies she starred in.
  • Playing opposite Ed Wynn in Arthur Hammerstein's "Sometime," with music by Rudolf Friml, Ms. West introduced the shimmy to the Broadway stage in 1918. In the shimmy, there was hardly any movement of the feet, but continuous movement of the shoulders, torso and pelvis. She had seen the dance at black cafés in Chicago.
  • Once when she reached New Haven with a new risqué act, the management discharged Miss West. Disappointed Yale students rioted and wrecked the theater.
  • Eldest of three children of John Patrick West, an occasional prizefighter and livery-stable owner, and Matilda Delker Doelger, a one-time corset and fashion model.
  • During World War II, Miss West's name was applied to various pieces of military equipment and was thus listed in Webster's New International Dictionary, Second Edition. The Royal Air Force named its inflatable life jackets "Mae Wests," and United States Army soldiers referred to twin-turreted combat tanks also as "Mae Wests."
  • Was not a smoker or a drinker.
  • Died apparently of natural causes in the wake of a mild stroke she suffered three months prior that left her speech impaired. Also suffered from diabetes the last 15 years of her life.

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