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Famous Ancestor Of The Week: Mae West

Mae West

Racy actress and playwright Mae West was born 17 August 1893 in Bushwick, Brooklyn, Kings County, New York as "Mary Jane West." Her father was a prizefighter and later ran a private investigation agency; her mother was a corset model. Her Irish Catholic paternal grandmother strongly disapproved of the family's Protestantism and the laissez-faire way in which the West household was run.

At age fourteen, Mae began acting in Vaudeville shows for the Hal Clarendon Stock Company. In 1911 she appeared in her first Broadway show, and in 1918 she began writing her own shows. One was so offensive that it was shut down and cast and crew were arrested.

In 1932 she began acting in movies and performing in radio skits. In 1933 she was the second-highest paid individual in the U.S. (after newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst). Because of their provocative content, her radio skits were banned from many stations. She died on 22 November 1980.

You can see whether or not you are related to Mae West by going to the Relationship Calculator on the Family Dashboard Page when you login to OneGreatFamily.

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