Friday, August 17, 1973
THE SUMMER DAILY
Mae West turs 80
IOS ANGELES A-Mae West,
sex symbol of the 1920s and
1930s, turns 80 today, but she'd
rather not talk about it. "I'll
wait until I'm 90," she said.
Even at the fourscore mark,
she remains a remarkable figure
of a woman. The well-padded
frame, which inspired the Mae
West life jacket in World War
II, seems little changed. Her face
is smooth, and her hair, still
blonde though with a little bit of
help, cascades to her shoulders.
WHEN SHE-WALKS, it is with
the same jiggling strut that epi-
tomized the sexually liberated
woman of "She Done Him
Wrong" and "I'm No Angel."
An interview quite naturally 1 e d
to the talk of sex, since she was
the pioneer of more permissive
item: In 1926 Mae West starred
on Broadway as a waterfornt
prostitute in a play she wrote
x called "Sex" and was jailed for
Item: In 1933 she murmured,
"C'm up 'n' see me sometime"
to Cary Grant in "She Done Him
Wrong" and precipitated a whole-
sale revision of the film indus-
try's censorship code
ITEM: IN 1937 she appeared
,tm .in an "Adam and Eve" comedy
skit on the Edgar Bergen-Charlie
McCarthy radio show and created
such a furor that she was banned
from radio for 12 years.
The interviewer wondersif this
soft-voiced woman of 80 could
have aroused such a clamor. The
answer is yes. She continues to
spout such comments as: "Sex
is like a small business; you
gotta watch over it."
She recently finished writing a
new book called "Sex Drive." She
AP Photo describes it as a study of "sex
TIIOUGI SIE TURNED 80 today, Mae WesI still looks a greal health and ESP."
deal like the woman who became the sex symbol for an era some
40 years ago. PERHAPS surprisingly, West
German expressionist film about a girl who bargains
with death for the life of her lover.
One of the classics of the period. Silent.
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deplores the current film trend
toward sex and nudity.
"I don't approve of it, it's just
not right," she declared. "I can
see what's happening. The pic-
ture makers have run out -f
titles; that's why you get all
those long titles nowadays.
They've also run out of plots;
everything has been done on the
"Now they have no stories, so
they simply throw naked bodies
at the audience. And showing the
sex act I think that's terrible.
"WHEN I WAS making pic-
tures, I couldn't even say 'hell'
or 'damn' on the screen. The
church people watched me like
a hawk. Where are the church
people today? How can they
allow such things as you see on
West has mellowed about the
censorship troubles she faced in
her earlier career. She couldn't
help it, she said, if she simply
exuded a "sex personality." She
did so with the most innocent of
lines and with h i g h - n e c k e d
"I didn't have to show myself
naked," she remarkeed, "and I
never did it. Well, once in a play,
'The Constant Sinner.' I walked
across the dimly lighted stage
in a thin chiffon, then changed
into a dressing robe. The pro-
ducer ivanted tue to do it, and I
wasn't really nude, anys'asv."
THERE ARE only two nudes
of herself, West said, and she
displayed both of them in the
apartment where she has lived
for 40 years. One is a white-
marble figure which rests upon
the white and gold piano, the
other an oil painting of West re-
clined on a bed. Both were by
women artists "because my man-
ager wouldn't allow me to pose
in the nude for a man."
She remains busy. She has fin-
ished a couple of screen plays
which she may first publish as
novels. She is discussing with
Paramount the possibility of ip-
pearing in a sequel to "Paper
Moon." She answers the fan mail
of youngsters who have flipped
over her movies on television.
"That's why I would never
make another X-rated movie,"
she said. Her last film, "Myra
Breckenridge," was X - r a t e d.
"Those kids are just dyin' to see
me in a new movie, and I don't
want to nake one they can't
3rd HIT WEEK!
THERE IS GOOD
IS A GOOD MOVIE,
A MOVIE FILLED
A MOVIE THAT
YOU FEEL GOOD
-Gene Shalit, NBC-TV
AND A NATURAL
EARN HER AN
-Vernon Scott, UP.I
THE MOST INTER-
WILL BE THE
TRESS IN HISTORY
TO WIN AN
he ie Cmd " Cnr yamr Neal
Costaffngc elsi'.'e h oh c lex a
oundta sAlma" a
Ad d ,am O _ea s i
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