Long before Marilyn Monroe, Mae West was the ultimate bombshell and sex symbol of her day. She was an accomplished actress, screenwriter, and playwright. Controversy followed Ms. West throughout her illustrious career.
In 1927, she was jailed for public obscenity soon after her play, Sex which she wrote and starred in opened on Broadway. Tickets sales were through the roof. The theater was raided and West and the cast were arrested. West was sentenced to 10 days in the slammer. She was released after serving eight days for good behavior.
In 1909 Mae West was married on paper only when she was just 17. It’s seems Ms. West “forgot” she was married until an affidavit appeared during her Sex trial. Her husband tracked her down in 1935 and demanded his share of community property. West denied every marrying the man. Even though they had never lived as husband and wife, the court validated the marriage certificate.
What’s a married sex symbol to do? Her “husband” was a struggling entertainer, so Ms. West set him up with his own traveling show. For reasons known only to Ms. West, she finally obtained a divorce in 1942. I think she might have made history having been married for 33 years to a man she never lived with.
Mae West is one of the most quoted actresses in history. Below are a few of my favorite West words of wisdom:
“I generally avoid temptation unless I can’t resist it.”
“I only like two kinds of men, domestic and imported.”
“A hard man is good to find.”
“Good sex is like good bridge. If you don’t have a good partner, you’d better have a good hand.”
“He’s the kind of man a woman would have to marry to get rid of.”
“I wrote the story myself. It’s about a girl who lost her reputation and never missed it.”
“It is better to be looked over than overlooked”
“It’s not the men in my life that count, it’s the life in my men.”
“Keep a diary, and someday it’ll keep you.”
“When I’m good, I’m very good. But when I’m bad I’m better.”
“Too much of a good thing is wonderful.”
“Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.”
To learn more about West, track down a copy of her autobiography, Goodness Had Nothing To Do With It.