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Mae West Quotes about Life, Love, and Men

Updated on February 17, 2014

Who Was Mae West?

Mae West was born in in Brooklyn, New York on August 17, 1893 as Mary Jane West. Famous for her outspoken and provocative demeanor, Mae West was known by many as a sex goddess. She began her career at the age of five around the Vaudeville stage, since her parents were involved in prizefighting and Vaudeville. By the age of fourteen she was known as "The Baby Vamp" for her performances. 

A woman definitely born before her time, Mae West was a strong woman who spoke her mind without convictions. Simply by being herself, Mae West became known for her role as an independent woman, when women were supposed to be more reserved and "lady-like".

Her early years with Vaudeville gained her the knowledge of comedic techniques, influencing her writing style when she started to write her own plays. The Roaring Twenties , and women evolving into a "man's world," wasn't even ready for Mae. With women being allowed more freedom with expressing their opinions freely, inspired Mae West's much controversial play, "Sex," which led to her arrest on morals charges.

Mae West Quotes on Life

~ I've been things and seen places. ~

~ I used to be Snow White, but I drifted. ~

~ It is better to be looked over than overlooked. ~

~ The score never interested me, only the game. ~

~ If you put your foot in it, be sure it's your best foot. ~

~ A dame that knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up.~

~ You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. ~

~ It's not what you can do, but the way you do it that counts.~

~ Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before. ~

~ There are no good girls gone wrong, just bad girls found out. ~

~ I'll try anything once, twice if I like it, three times to make sure. ~

~ Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often. ~

~ It ain't no sin if you crack a few laws now and then, just so long as you don't break any. ~

Over a Decade of Hit Movies

Mae West starred in her first movie role in 1932 with George Raft in Night After Night. "She stole everything but the cameras." stated co-star Raft. She became a box-office smash hit for many great movies for more that a decade. Mae West took a vacation from the motion picture production world after her 1943 hit, The Heat's On.

Mae West Quotes on Love

~ Saving love doesn't bring any interest. ~

~ Love isn't an emotion or an instinct - it's an art. ~

~ It's easy to get married, but hard to stay that way. ~

~ I never loved another person the way I loved myself.~

~ Opportunity knocks for every man, but you have to give a woman a ring. ~

~ Brains are an asset to the woman in love who's smart enough to hide 'em. ~

~ Love conquers all things except poverty and toothache. ~

~ Marriage is a great institution, but I'm not ready for an institution. ~

~ A woman in love can't be reasonable - or she probably wouldn't be in love. ~

The Passing of a Legend

The sexual revolution of the '60s and '70s brought about a rediscovery of Mae West films at independent film houses. Myra Breckinridge and Sextette were two final films that resulted from this rediscovery. Famous for her style of double entendre still used today, Mae West was quoted in a eulogy at her funeral as "the woman and the legend had long since become one" by critic Kevin Thomas. Mae West died on November 22, 1980 from natural causes.

Mae West & Cary Grant
Mae West & Cary Grant

Mae West ~ "I'm No Angel"

Mae West Quotes on Men

~ So many men, so little time.~

~ A hard man is good to find.~

~ A man's kiss is his signature.~

~ A man has more character in his face at forty than at twenty--he has suffered longer.~

~ Don't keep a man guessing too long - he's sure to find the answer somewhere else.~

~ It's all right for a perfect stranger to kiss your hand as long as he's perfect.~

~ Don't cry for a man who's left you, the next one may fall for your smile.~

~ The best way to hold a man is in your arms. ~

~ A man in the house is worth two in the street. ~

~ When women go wrong, men go right after them. ~

~ I only like two kinds of men, domestic and imported. ~

~ His mother should have thrown him out and kept the stork. ~

~ A man in love is like a clipped coupon -- it's time to cash in. ~

~ The man I don't like doesn't exist. ~

~ Men are my life, diamonds are my career! ~

~ Some women pick men to marry--and others pick them to pieces. ~

~ Every man I meet wants to protect me. I can't figure out what from. ~

~ Don't marry a man to reform him - that's what reform schools are for. ~

~ Save a boyfriend for a rainy day - and another, in case it doesn't rain.~

Mae West ~ Trivia

  • Mae West did not smoke or drink.
  • Was once Hollywood's highest paid celebrity.
  • She was one of the first women to write her own movies.
  • Turned down a role in Roustabout (1964) with Elvis Presley.
  • Her chauffeur was once Jerry Orbach from the Law & Order TV series.
  • The Coca-Cola bottle was supposedly designed with Mae's figure for inspiration.
  • Co-star George Raft from Night After Night and Sextette , died two days after Mae.
  • During World War II, US Navy and Army pilots and crewmen named their inflatable life vests after her. The term Mae West is still sometimes used in reference to a life jacket.


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