Mae West: The Original Bad Girl

By | August 28, 2018

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American actress and screenwriter Mae West (1893 - 1980), 1934. (Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images)

Long before Madonna, Miley and Marilyn, there was Mae West, the original celebrity bad girl. The actress and comedienne, who was born in 1893, loved to push the boundaries of decency and toy with sexual innuendos during a time when women still wore their dresses down to their ankles and didn’t have the right to vote. Mae West performed in burlesque shows, wrote her own adult-content plays and advocated for gay rights…all of which put her at odds with morality groups, censorship committees and religious groups. 

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Mae West was a Born Performer

Mae West started to perform at church events when she was just five years old. From there, she moved on to enter amateur shows and talent contests, winning many of them. In 1907, when she was just 14, she joined the Hal Claredon Stock Company, a vaudeville troupe. She danced and sang and mimicked the female impersonators that were popular at the time, including Bert Savoy and Julian Eltinge.