Old Hollywood

What A/B-list theater actress who dabbled in film but is best known for her raunchy personal life and her campy witticisms once used a drag queen to fill in for her during a later-career stage play when she was too sick to go on?

Her explanation?: “Nobody can tell the difference anyway”

Mae West

Interesting facts about Mae West

  • When the Beatles asked permission to use a picture of West on the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Band album cover, the actress joked, “What would I be doing in a lonely hearts club?”
  • Mae West wasn’t just reading lines. She wrote nine of the 13 films in which she starred.
  • By 1935, West was the highest-paid star in Hollywood — and the second highest-paid person in the United States. The first: newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst.
  • Fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli — Coco Chanel’s rival — designed a number of West’s costumes. In 1937, she released a perfume called Shocking that came in a bottle shaped like West’s torso. The buxom star is also rumored to have inspired a Coca-Cola bottle.
  • Salvador Dalí also considered Mae West a muse. His painting Il volto di Mae West imagines the bombshell as an apartment. He later designed a surrealist sofa called Mae West Lips. Now you can see the two works as one in the Mae West Room at the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres, Spain.



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