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by Maurice Leonard
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Approaching fifty, a short, plump Brooklynite shot to international fame as an outrageous sex goddess. Her name was Mae West, and this is the story of her life and times. It recounts her upbringing in vaudeville, her connections with gangland, and her brief, but successful, film career.
At Mae West's film debut her co-star, George Raft, remarked, "She stole everything but the cameras". Approaching fifty, this short, plump Brooklynite shot to international fame as an outrageous sex goddess, a role in which she triumphed to the end of her life. Yet, Mae's private life was at variance with her fame. Brought up in vaudeville she was as familiar with gangland as she was with the movie studios, but few penetrated her glittering facade, for there were many secrets Mae wanted well-hidden. Possessed of a voracious sexual appetite, had the truth been known, she would have been drummed out of Hollywood. As a playwright she was imprisoned for "corrupting the morals of youth". Overcoming this slur to become queen of the silver screen, and the highest paid woman in America, within ten films she was out on her ear, chief scapegoat of the moral decency brigade. Bowed but not beaten, Mae fought back hard. Packed with previously undisclosed material and unpublished photographs, this biography brings the legendary sex symbol to life.
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