She was born Mary Jane West in Brooklyn, New York, a daughter of Jack West and Matilda Doelger.
Mae West started performing in Vaudeville at the age of five. By the time she was twelve she was doing Burlesque under the name "The Baby Vamp."
She eventually started…more
She was famous for her morning enemas, which she claimed made her skin like silk and left her "smelling sweet at both ends."
Mae began a career in vaudeville at the age of 12.
Mae's mother was a corset maker.
Mae wrote, produced and directed the Broadway play Sex.
Mae's father John was a professional boxer.
By the time she died, Mae was worth $40 million.
Mae decorated her home with towels she stole from hotels.
Mae had a chauffeur named Chalky.
Mae kept her name in the phone book all her life.
Mae lived in The Ravenswood, on Rossmore, LA for 48 years.
Mae was 5'1".
She is a diabetic.
Mae was banned from radio after a guest appearance with Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy loaded with flirtation and double-entendres.
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.
Mae: He who hesitates is a damned fool.
Mae: One reason for my success, is that I've never offended women.
Mae: A man in the house... is worth two in the street.
Mae: I've been rich and I've been poor... Believe me, rich is better
Mae: I like my clothes to be tight enough to show I'm a woman... but loose enough to show I'm a lady.
Mae: You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.
Mae: Say what you want about long dresses, but they cover a multitude of shins.
Mae: If I asked for a cup of coffee, someone would search for the double meaning.
Mae: I'll try anything once, twice if I like it, three times to make sure.
Mae: I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond.
Mae: I never loved another person the way I loved myself.
Mae: Good sex is like good bridge. If you don't have a good partner, you'd better have a good hand.
Mae: A man has one hundred dollars and you leave him with two dollars, that's subtraction.
Mae: I'm not good and tired, just tired.
Mae: It isn't what I do, but how I do it. It isn't what I say, but how I say it, and how I look when I do it and say it.
Mae: I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it.
Mae: The man I don't like doesn't exist.
Mae: I freely chose the kind of life I led because I was convinced that a woman has as much right as a man to live the way she does if she does no actual harm to society.
Mae: I always save one boyfriend for a rainy day...and another in case it doesn't rain.
Mae: Few men know how to kiss well. Fortunately, I've always had time to teach them.
Mae: I do all my writing in bed; everybody knows I do my best work there.
Mae: Sex is an emotion in motion.
Mae: Ten men waiting for me at the door? Send one of them home, I'm tired.
Mae: I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.
Mae: Good girls go to heaven. Bad girls go everywhere else.
Mae: Personality is the glitter that sends your little gleam across the footlights and the orchestra pit into that big black space where the audience is.
Mae: It ain't sin if you crack a few laws now and then, just so long as you don't break any.
Mae: It's hard to be funny when you have to be clean.
Mae: Don't marry a man to reform him that's what reform schools are for.
Mae: I'm no model lady. A model's just an imitation of the real thing.
Mae: Too much of a good thing is wonderful.
Mae: I only like two kinds of men: domestic and foreign.
Mae: I believe in censorship. After all, I made a fortune out of it.
Mae: Is that a gun in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?
Mae: It's not the man in your life that counts. It's the life in your man.
Mae: Marriage is a great institution. I'm not ready for an institution.
Mae: When women go wrong, men go right after them.
Mae: Men are my life, diamonds are my career.
Mae: A hard man is good to find.
Mae: It's better to be looked over, than overlooked.
Mae West: Between two evils, I always choose the one I never tried before.