Mae West Net Worth 2017: Short Bio & Wiki

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Mae West net worth was
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Mae West Net Worth, Biography & Wiki 2017

Mary Jane West was born on the 17th August 1893 in Brooklyn, New York City USA, and was an actress, screenwriter, playwright and singer, known to the world for her controversial plays “SEX” (1926), and “The Drag”, among many other successful acts. Credited as the most controversial personality in the entertainment industry during her time, Mae left a deep mark on the next generations of sex symbols, including Marilyn Monroe and many others. She passed away on the 22nd November 1980 in Los Angeles, California at 87 years old. Mae’s career started in 1907 and ended in 1978.

Have you ever wondered how rich Mae West was, at the time of her death? According to authoritative sources, it has been estimated that West’s net worth was as high as $20 million, an amount earned through her more than successful career in the entertainment industry.

Mae West Net Worth $20 Million

Mae was the eldest serving child born to Patrick West and Matilda Delker, of German, Scottish and Irish ancestry. Her childhood was marred by frequent moves as the whole family lived in several parts of Woodhaven, Williamsburg and Greenpoint.

Mae was thrown into entertainment from an early age, performing at the local church when five years old, only to start making appearances in amateur shows two years later. She continued with talent contests and won numerous prizes, before she started performing professionally in the Hal Clarendon Stock Company in vaudeville when she was 14 years old. From then until her death, Mae rose to stardom through Broadway appearances and later on television.

Her first Broadway appearance was in 1911, in the play “A La Broadway” as Maggie O’Hara. She then featured in the play “Vera Violetta” in 1912, but until 1918 and the part of Mayme Dean in the play “Sometime”, Mae was somewhat unknown. After that particular role she emerged as a rising star, and soon started writing her own material which resulted in “SEX”, premiered on 26th April 1926. She ended-up in prison for the play, as it was against the social morals of the time, sentenced 10 days for “corrupting the morals of youth”. Time in prison did well for Mae, as her popularity grew at enormous speed. and away of all boundaries. She continued with her own plays, such as “The Drag” which was also later banned, as it dealt with homosexuality and wasn’t accepted by many theaters, then she created the character Diamond Lili, and toured extensively with several later revivals from the late ‘20s to early ‘50s. She also wrote “Sextette” in 1961, which premiered at the Edgewater Beach Playhouse, and was years later made into a film.

In the early ‘30s, Mae decided to try her luck on screen, and signed a contract with the Paramount Pictures. Her first screen role was as Maudie Triplett in the comedy “Night After Night” in 1932, starring George Raft, Constance Cummings and Wynne Gibson. Although her role was minor, Mae stole the show, and was immediately given the lead role in the comedy drama “She Done Him Wrong”, with Cary Grant and Owen Moore. She continued as a star in Paramount films, such as in “I’m No Angel” (1933), “Belle of the Nineties” (1934), and “Go West Young Man” (1936). In the early ‘40s she decided to take a break from screen roles, but not before she starred in “My Little Chickadee” (1940), and “The Heat’s On” (1943), with Victor Moore, William Gaxton and Lester Allen.

She was again banned from public by mostly religious groups for her extensive use of sexuality for profit, which forced her into the music business, and she released eight studio albums from the mid-50s until her death; some of them include “Way Out West” (1966) and “Great Balls of Fire” (1972) among many others, which also added to her wealth.

She also focused more on writing, and published a number of books including her autobiography “Goodness Had Nothing to Do with It”, which was first published in 1959 and then re-published in 1970.
Mae returned to screen in 1970 in the role of Leticia Van Allen in the comedy film “Myra Breckinridge”, and before her death appeared also in “Sextette” (1978), based on her play from 1961.

Regarding her personal life, Mae was married to vaudevillian Frank Wallace from 1911 until 1942. She became known for her relationships and affairs, but from 61 years of age until her death she lived with Chester Rybinski, one of her muscle men, who was 30 years younger than her. Chester later changed his name to Paul Novak.

Mae suffered a stroke in August 1980, and spent her last days at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles. Her body was entombed at the family mausoleum at Cypress Hills Abbey, Brooklyn.

Quick Facts

Birth date: August 17, 1893
Birth place: Bushwick, New York City, New York, United States
Death date: November 22, 1980, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, United States
Height:4 ft 11 in (1.524 m)
Weight:121 lbs (54.9 kg)
Profession:Actress
Education:Erasmus Hall High School
Nationality:American
Spouse:Guido Deiro (m. 1914–1920), Frank Szatkus (m. 1911–1943)
Parents:Matilda "Tillie" Doelger, John Patrick West
Siblings:Mildred Katherine West, John Edwin West II
imdb.com/name/nm0922213/
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mae_West


Interesting Facts

#Fact
1Her mother had wanted to be an actress.
2Her father built a stage for her in the basement of their house in Brooklyn.
3Is mentioned in Cole Porter's song "Anything Goes" from a musical of the same name.
4Lent her name to life preservers, art, graphs, album covers, statues, table radios, songs, etc.
5Her frank, sexual innuendo-laced play "Sex" opened at Daly's 63rd Street Theatre on April 26, 1926. Ironically, that theatre had been built twelve years earlier by two Christian societies - the People's Pulpit and the International Bible Student's Association - that had intended it to be used for the presentation of biblical films and lectures.
6Had a chimpanzee she named Coffee that she gave to her friend Ralph Helfer, renowned animal trainer and Hollywood animal behaviorist who owned the "Africa U.S.A." Exotic Animal Ranch in Soledad Canyon, California.
7Made her Broadway debut on September 22, 1911, at the New York Folies Bergère, co-owned by Jesse L. Lasky. Twenty-one years later, West signed with Paramount Pictures, which was co-founded by Lasky.
8A "Mae West" is a slang term for type of parachute malfunction called a "lineover" in which the suspension lines divide the main canopy into two sections, lending the appearance of a huge brassiere.
9She had a double thyroid. Her doctor wanted her to have one of her thyroids surgically removed, but she refused as the double thyroid was not affecting her health in the slightest.
10Graduated from Brooklyn's Erasmus Hall High School in 1911, as did silent film star Norma Talmadge.
11The comedy entitled "Sex" she wrote in 1926 revived in NY, off Broadway, Dec. 1999.
12Singer Miss Beverly Arden, sister of Mae West.
13Guido Deiro claims that West married his father, Guido Deiro, in 1914 under an assumed name, Catherine Mae Belle West, and on the condition of secrecy. West left Deiro in 1916, and "divorced" him on 9 November 1920.
14When W.C. Fields called her "My little broodmare", she almost hit him.
15Critic George Jean Nathan once called her "The Statue of Libido".
16In April 1927, West was convicted of "producing an immoral play", the title of which was Sex. She was sentenced to ten days in jail in New York City, but was given one day off for good behavior.
17Although critics thought that she and W.C. Fields worked well together on camera, West reputedly did not admire him.
18Has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1560 Vine Street in Hollywood, California.
19Was in consideration for the part of Norma Desmond in Sunset Blvd. (1950) but Gloria Swanson, who went on to receive a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her performance, was cast instead.
20There is a photo in fundamentalist preacher Billy Sunday's autobiography (circa 1932) of Billy Sunday and Mae West pouring out a bottle of beer into the river.
21The Coca-Cola bottle was said to have been designed with Mae West's figure as inspiration.
22Surrealist artist Salvador Dalí created one of his most iconic works influenced by her: "Mae West's Lips Sofa" (1937).
23Was at one point Hollywood's highest paid star.
24Turned down a role in Elvis Presley's film Roustabout (1964), which eventually went to Barbara Stanwyck.
25She was born Mary Jane West in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn. Mae's father, John Patrick "Jack" West, was a featherweight prizefighter called "Battling Jack" West, and later a stable master; he was of English and Irish descent (his own mother was an Irish immigrant). Mae's mother, Matilda Decker Doelger, was an immigrant from Germany.
26Died apparently of natural causes in the wake of a mild stroke she suffered three months prior that left her speech impaired. Also suffered from diabetes the last 15 years of her life.
27Was not a smoker or a drinker.
28During World War II, Miss West's name was applied to various pieces of military equipment and was thus listed in Webster's New International Dictionary, Second Edition. The Royal Air Force named its inflatable lifejackets "Mae Wests", and United States Army soldiers referred to twin-turreted combat tanks also as "Mae Wests".
29Eldest of three children of John Patrick West, an occasional prizefighter and livery-stable owner, and Matilda Delker Doelger, a one-time corset and fashion model. A baby girl died before Mae was born the after Mae there was another girl and a boy.
30Once when she was scheduled to play a theater in New Haven, Conneticut, the theater's management refused to let her go on because her act was too "risqué" and canceled the show. Disappointed, Yale University students rioted and wrecked the theater.
31Playing opposite Ed Wynn in Arthur Hammerstein's "Sometime," with music by Rudolf Friml, she introduced the shimmy to the Broadway stage in 1918. The dance requires hardly any movement of the feet but continuous movement of the shoulders, torso and pelvis. She had seen the dance at black cafés in Chicago.
32One of the first women to consistently write the movies she starred in.
33Is portrayed by Ann Jillian in Mae West (1982) and by Gloria Gray in Marlene (2000)
34Died two days before her Night After Night (1932) and Sextette (1978) co-star George Raft.
35At one point, her chauffeur was Jerry Orbach (who is best known for playing Detective Lennie Briscoe on all four "Law & Order" television series).
36Was named #15 Actress on The American Film Institutes 50 Greatest Screen Legends
37Her films are credited with single-handedly saving failing and debt-ridden Paramount Pictures from bankruptcy in the early 1930s.
38According to psychic Kenny Kingston, she wrote all her plays while in a trance.
39She was famous for her morning enemas, which she claimed made her skin like silk and left her "smelling sweet at both ends". On the set of her last film Sextette (1978), co-star Tony Curtis claimed that she was given an enema after being made up, at approximately 11:00 in the morning, as the last step of her preparations before going before the camera.
40Was banned from NBC Radio after a guest appearance in 1937 with Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy that was loaded with flirtatious dialogue and double-entendres. She returned to the network as a guest on the "Perry Como Show" in 1949.
41Is sometimes credited with originating the Shimmy (a once-popular dance).
42Former Beatle Ringo Starr appeared with West in Sextette (1978). He was unpleasantly surprised at first, at all the attention given her on the set (usually reserved for pop stars like The Beatles), but came to admire West during the shoot, and praised her afterwards.
43Appears on sleeve of The Beatles "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". West at first declined to be pictured on the cover ("What would I be doing in a lonely hearts club?!"), but reconsidered when the Beatles sent her a handwritten personal request.
44She was with George Raft in both her first (Night After Night (1932)) and last (Sextette (1978)) film.
45During World War II, United States Navy and Army pilots and crewmen in the Pacific named their inflatable life vests after her, supposedly because of her well-endowed attributes. The term "Mae West" for a lifejacket continues to this day.
46According to actor Tony Curtis, her famous walk originated while beginning her career as a stage actress. Special six-inch platforms were attached to her shoes to increase the height of her stage presence. Her walk literally was "one foot at a time."
47After two years of denying that she had ever been married, West admitted in a reply to a legal interrogatory in 1937 that she and Frank Wallace had married in 1911. During her divorce trial in 1942, she testified that they had lived together only "several weeks".
48Hollywood's outrageous, self-proclaimed psychic Criswell predicted in 1955 that she would win the 1960 Presidential election, and would fly to the moon in 1965 with him and friend Liberace!.


Net Worth & Salary

TitleSalary
Myra Breckinridge (1970)$350,000 for 10 days work
Belle of the Nineties (1934)$400,000
I'm No Angel (1933)$300,000
She Done Him Wrong (1933)$130,000
Night After Night (1932)$50,000 for 10 weeks work


Trademarks

#Trademark
1Rampant double entendres.
2Deep sultry voice
3Voluptuous figure
4Sparkling blue eyes
5Platinum blonde hair


Quotes

#Quote
1'Beulah peel me a grape'.
2I was in the office at Paramount, and they gave me a large book with a lot of photographs of different leading men, and I was sitting at a table or a desk right near the window and the door, and uh, after I looked at a few I kind of glanced out the window and I saw this good-looking guy walk across the street. So, I said, "That's about the best-looking thing in Hollywood: who is he?" So they looked, and they said, "Oh, that's Cary Grant. We haven't used him in a picture as yet, but we made tests of him with some of the starlets." I said, "Well, if this guy can talk, I'll take him." So they called him in, and we met, and he said, "How d'ya do?" and I said, "OK." And they said, "What part?" and I said, "The lead, of course." So he got the lead.
3Virtue has its own reward, but has no sale at the box office.
4Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.
5Almost anything goes, anywhere, if it is good and fast and amusing. Risque material is only offensive if badly done, without style and charm. I brought my own sophisticated ideas and style to the vaudeville stage but I had to adjust it to the standard of each theatre, and even to each night's audience.. The theatre manager,if he was a man with experience and knew his business, could usually tell me what the people in town were like, and what the difference in audiences was on other nights.I usually found that one night a week you would get a top society crowd, and another night you'd get mostly working-class people. Other nights there would be family groups - especially on Friday nights when the kids didn't have to go to school the next day. Saturday nights everybody was out for a good time, so audiences were both mixed and terrific.
6[on her popularity within the gay community] They're crazy about me 'cause I give 'em a chance to play. My character is sexy and with humor and they like to imitate me, the things I say, the way I say 'em, the way I move. It's easy for'em to imitate me 'cause the gestures are exaggerated, flamboyant, sexy, and that's what they want to look like, feel like. And I've stood up for 'em. They're good kids. I don't like the police abusin' 'em, and in New York I told 'em, 'When you're hittin' one of those guys, you're hittin' a woman, 'cause a born homosexual is a female in a male body.
7I'm my own original creation. I concentrate on myself most of the time. That's the only way a person can become a star in the true sense. I never wanted a love that meant surrender of my self-possession. I saw what it did to other people when they loved another person the way I loved myself, and I didn't want that problem. I had to stay in command of my career.
8My advice for those gals who think they have to take their clothes off to be a star is: baby, once you've boned, what's left to create an illusion? Let 'em wonder.I never believed in givin' 'em too much of me.
9[on Marilyn Monroe] The only gal who came near to me in the sex appeal department was pretty little Marilyn Monroe. All the others had were big boobs.
10A dame that knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up.
11[on growth] He who hesitates is a damn fool.
12[on love] A man's kiss is his signature.
13[on style] It's all right for a perfect stranger to kiss your hand as long as he's perfect.
14Men are easy to get but hard to keep.
15I'm not good and tired, just tired.
16It 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.
17I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it.
18The man I don't like doesn't exist.
19I 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.
20Why don't you come up sometime and see me? I'm home every evening . . . Come up, and I'll tell your fortune.
21I always save one boyfriend for a rainy day . . . and another in case it doesn't rain.
22Few men know how to kiss well. Fortunately, I've always had time to teach them.
23To err is human, but it feels divine.
24I do all my writing in bed; everybody knows I do my best work there.
25On desire: Sex is an emotion in motion....love is what you make it and who you make it with.
26Ten men waiting for me at the door? Send one of them home, I'm tired.
27I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.
28Good girls go to heaven. Bad girls go everywhere else.
29Personality is the glitter that sends your little gleam across the footlights and the orchestra pit into that big black space where the audience is.
30It ain't sin if you crack a few laws now and then, just so long as you don't break any.
31I wrote the story myself. It's all about a girl who lost her reputation but never missed it.
32It's hard to be funny when you have to be clean.
33Don't marry a man to reform him. That's what reform schools are for.
34I'm no model lady. A model's just an imitation of the real thing.
35Too much of a good thing is wonderful.
36I only like two kinds of men: Foreign and Domestic.
37I believe in censorship. After all, I made a fortune out of it.
38Is that a gun in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?
39It's not the man in your life that counts. It's the life in your man.
40Marriage is a great institution. I'm not ready for an institution.
41When I'm good, I'm very good. But when I'm bad, I'm better.
42When caught between two evils I generally pick the one I've never tried before.
43When women go wrong, men go right after them!
44Men are my life, diamonds are my career!
45A hard man is good to find.
46It's better to be looked over than overlooked.


Pictures

All Mae West pictures »

Won Awards

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1969Golden AppleGolden Apple AwardsFemale Star of the Year
1960Star on the Walk of FameWalk of FameMotion PictureOn 8 February 1960. At 1560 Vine Street.

Nominated Awards

Nominated awards

Nominated awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1978Stinker AwardThe Stinkers Bad Movie AwardsWorst ActressSextette (1978)
1978Stinker AwardThe Stinkers Bad Movie AwardsWorst On-Screen CoupleSextette (1978)· Timothy Dalton


Filmography

Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Hollywood Singing and Dancing: A Musical History - The 1930s: Dancing Away the Great Depression2009Video documentary performer: "They Call Me Sister Honky-Tonk", "I Found a New Way to Go to Town", "I Want You, I Need You" - uncredited
Sextette1978performer: "Love Will Keep Us Together", "After You've Gone", "Happy Birthday Twenty One"
My Tongue Is -Quick!1971"My Old Flame", uncredited
Myra Breckinridge1970performer: "Hard to Handle", "You Gotta Taste All the Fruit" - uncredited
Mondo Trasho1969performer: "Treat Him Right", "You Turn Me On"
The Love Goddesses1965Documentary performer: "They Call Me Sister Honky-Tonk" - uncredited
The 30th Annual Academy Awards1958TV Special performer: "Baby, It's Cold Outside"
The Heat's On1943performer: "I'm Just a Stranger in Town" 1943, "Hello, Mi Amigo" 1943
My Little Chickadee1940performer: "Willie of the Valley"
Every Day's a Holiday1937performer: "Jubilee" uncredited, "Fifi", "Little Butterfly", "Every Day's a Holiday" uncredited, "Along the Broadway Trail" uncredited
Go West Young Man1936performer: "ON A TYPICAL TROPICAL NIGHT", "I WAS SAYING TO THE MOON"
Klondike Annie1936performer: "My Medicine Man" uncredited, "Cheer Up, Little Sister", "It's Better to Give Than to Receive", "I'm an Occidental Woman in an Oriental Mood for Love", "Mister Deep Blue Sea", "Little Bar Butterfly"
Goin' to Town1935performer: "HE'S A BAD MAN", "NOW I'M A LADY", "MON COEUR S'OEUVRE A TA VOIX", "LOVE IS LOVE"
Belle of the Nineties1934performer: "Memphis Blues", "My Old Flame", "Troubled Waters", "When a St. Louis Woman Goes Down to New Orleans" - uncredited
I'm No Angel1933performer: "They Call Me Sister Honky-Tonk" 1933, "That Dallas Man" 1933, "I Found a New Way to Go to Town" 1933, "I Want You, I Need You" 1933, "I'm No Angel" 1933 - uncredited
She Done Him Wrong1933performer: "I Wonder Where My Easy Rider's Gone" 1933, "A Guy What Takes His Time" 1933, "Frankie and Johnny" 1912 - uncredited

Actress

Actress

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Sextette1978Marlo Manners
Myra Breckinridge1970Leticia Van Allen
Mister Ed1964TV SeriesMae West
The Heat's On1943Fay Lawrence
My Little Chickadee1940Flower Belle Lee
Every Day's a Holiday1937Peaches O'Day
Go West Young Man1936Mavis Arden
Klondike Annie1936The Frisco Doll / Rose Carlton / Sister Annie Alden
Goin' to Town1935Cleo Borden
Belle of the Nineties1934Ruby Carter
I'm No Angel1933Tira
She Done Him Wrong1933Lady Lou
Night After Night1932Maudie Triplett

Writer

Writer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Sextette1978play "Sextet"
My Little Chickadee1940original screen play
Every Day's a Holiday1937screen play
Go West Young Man1936screenplay
Klondike Annie1936play / screenplay
Goin' to Town1935screenplay
Belle of the Nineties1934story "It Ain't No Sin"
I'm No Angel1933dialogue / screenplay / story
She Done Him Wrong1933by
Night After Night1932additional dialogue - uncredited

Thanks

Thanks

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Frankenpimp's Revenge: The Romeo and Juliet Massacrespecial thanks filming

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Second Annual Rock Music Awards1976TV SpecialHerself
Backlot USA1976TV MovieHerself
The Red Skelton Hour1960TV SeriesHerself
Person to Person1959TV Series documentary
The 30th Annual Academy Awards1958TV SpecialHerself - Performer
The Ed Sullivan Show1948TV SeriesHerself - Audience Member
Fashions in Love1936Documentary short
The Fashion Side of Hollywood1935Documentary shortHerself
Hollywood on Parade No. A-91933ShortHerself (uncredited)

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Welcome to the Basement2014-2015TV SeriesFlower Belle Lee
Hollywood Rebellen2013TV Movie documentary
Arena2012TV Series documentary
Starz Inside: Sex and the Cinema2009TV Movie documentaryHerself
Hollywood Singing and Dancing: A Musical History - The 1930s: Dancing Away the Great Depression2009Video documentaryHerself
Make 'Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America2009TV Series documentary
Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code Hollywood2008TV Movie documentaryTira
Why Be Good? Sexuality & Censorship in Early Cinema2007DocumentaryHerself
Dead Famous2006TV Series documentaryHerself
Naughty Bits2004TV SeriesHerself
Sex at 24 Frames Per Second2003Video documentaryHerself
Complicated Women2003TV Movie documentaryHerself (uncredited)
Living Famously2003TV Series documentaryHerself
Cleavage2002TV Movie documentaryHerself
Hollywood Remembers2000TV Series documentary
Hollywood Screen Tests: Take 21999TV Special documentaryHerself (uncredited)
E! Mysteries & Scandals1999TV Series documentaryHerself
The 20th Century: A Moving Visual History1999TV Mini-Series documentaryHerself
Junket Whore1998DocumentaryHerself
The Real Las Vegas1996TV Series documentaryHerself
The Good, the Bad & the Beautiful1996TV Special documentaryHerself
Inside the Dream Factory1995TV Movie documentaryHerself
Biography1995TV Series documentaryHerself
Betty Boop: Queen of the Cartoons1995DocumentaryHerself
The Casting Couch1995Video documentary
Mae West and the Men Who Knew Her1994TV Movie documentaryHerself
Intimate Portrait1993TV Series documentaryHerself
Legends of Comedy1992TV Movie documentary
Hollywood on Parade1990Video documentaryHerself
Hollywood Sex Symbols1988Video documentary short
Going Hollywood: The '30s1984DocumentaryHerself
Hollywood Out-takes and Rare Footage1983DocumentaryHerself (uncredited)
Hollywood: The Gift of Laughter1982TV Movie documentaryActress - 'My Little Chickadee' (uncredited)
The 53rd Annual Academy Awards1981TV SpecialHerself
All You Need Is Love1977TV Series documentaryHerself
Brother Can You Spare a Dime1975DocumentaryHerself
The Great Radio Comedians1972TV Movie documentaryHerself
Hollywood Blue1970DocumentaryHerself
The Best of Laurel and Hardy1968
The Love Goddesses1965DocumentaryHerself
Wayne and Shuster Take an Affectionate Look At...1965TV Series documentaryHerself
Hollywood Without Make-Up1963DocumentaryHerself
Hollywood on Parade No. B-51933ShortHerself (uncredited)

Is Mae West's Net Worth Deserved?