Mae West (August 17, 1893 – November 22, 1980) was an American actress, playwright, screenwriter and sex symbol whose entertainment career spanned seven decades. Known for her bawdy double entendres, West made a name for herself in vaudeville and on the stage in New York before moving to Hollywood to become a comedienne, actress and writer in the motion picture industry.
Vivian Mary Hartley was born in India in 1914. After WWI, her parents returned with her to England and sent her to convent school. It was a unhappy time for her with two exceptions: one, she made friends with another student, Maureen O'Sullivan, who would also begin making films in the 30s.