Born Today: August 17, 1893 - Mae West

A seductive, overdressed, endearing, intelligent, buxom, sometimes vulgar blonde actress and sex symbol with drooping eyelids, Mae West featured a come-hither voice, aggressive sexuality, and a genius for comedy. She began working as an entertainer at age five. After a few years in stock she moved into burlesque, where she was billed as "The Baby Vamp." She began working in vaudeville and Broadway revues at age 14; she was the first to do the "shimmy" on stage, and she also appeared as a male impersonator. Between 1907-18 West often re-wrote her material and began thinking of herself as a playwright. In 1926 her first play, Sex, which she wrote, produced, and directed on Broadway, caused a scandal and led to her imprisonment on Welfare Island for over a week on obscenity charges. She wrote and directed her second play, Drag... Learn more about Mae

Mae's rousing rendition of Willie of the Valley

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