Vaudevillian from 14.
In 1926 wrote, directed, produced the Broadway show, Sex.
Was jailed for obscenity as a result.
Followed up with Drag, which was banned on Broadway because of its homosexual subject matter.
Broke into movies with a winking, purring quick-witted eye-rolling, sexually charged innuendo ridden routine.
She was of course much more complication than the character we consider today.
Sailors named the life jacket the Mae West after her '43 inch assets'
Hays Code of 1934 rather out limits on her charm.
Popularity declined and she returned to stage and night clubs. Turned down offers to return to films.
Then just to show us what we might have missed she returned in Myra Breckinbridge .
Thankfully she did do one more movie Sextette  which was grim but not as bad as that Myra film.