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Mae West

Mary Jane "Mae" West (August 17, 1893 – November 22, 1980) was an American actress, singer, playwright, screenwriter, comedian, and sex symbol whose entertainment career spanned seven decades. She was known for her lighthearted, bawdy double entendres and breezy sexual independence. She was active in vaudeville and on the stage in New York City before moving to Hollywood to become a comedian, actress, and writer in the motion picture industry, as well as appearing on radio and television. The American Film Institute named her 15th among the greatest female stars of classic American cinema. West often used a husky contralto voice and was one of the more controversial movie stars of her day; she encountered many problems, especially censorship. She once quipped, "I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it." She bucked the system, making comedy out of conventional mores, and the Depression-era audience admired her for it. When her cinematic career ended, she wrote books and plays and continued to perform in Las Vegas and in the UK, on radio and television, and she recorded rock and roll albums.

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