“I used to be Snow White but I drifted,” quipped Mae West, the Hollywood actress who is remembered for her Wildean wit as much as her flamboyant personality.
West was born on August 17, 1893, in New York, a place where two years ago they staged her 1928 mob melodrama Diamond Lil to honour one of the 20th-century’s great comedians. The death of this sex goddess from Hollywood’s Golden Age was front-page news in November 1980 when she was 87. She had been 40 when she made the first of 12 films and was an important influence on the early career of Cary Grant, teaching him much about the craft of comedy in the course of appearing with him in She Done Him Wrong and I’m No Angel. It was to Grant that West uttered the famous, oft-misquoted line: ”Why don’t you come up sometime and see me?”
Her only equal when it came to “one liners” was W.C.Fields and they eventually starred together on one of the all time great comedies “My Little Chickadee”, it is like watching two of the greats spar with each other.
West was prosecuted and jailed for her play “Sex” and had numerous run ins with the law but somehow she always had a “one liner” ready.
Below are some of her greatest sayings which still bring a smile to my face and I do think number two on the list is possibly her finest…………….
15 GREAT MAE WEST QUOTATIONS:
• ‘Men are like linoleum floors. Lay ’em right and you can walk all over them for years.’
• ‘When I’m good I’m very good, and when I’m bad, I’m better.’
• ‘His mother should have thrown him out and kept the stork.’
• ‘It’s better to be looked over than overlooked.’
• ‘Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.’
• ‘Come up and see me sometime. Come up Wednesday. That’s amateur night.’
• ‘He’s the kind of man a woman would have to marry to get rid of.’
• ‘I always say, keep a diary and someday it’ll keep you.’
• ‘It’s not the men in your life that matters, it’s the life in your men.’
• ‘Good sex is like good bridge. If you don’t have a good partner, you’d better have a good hand.”
• ‘Marriage is a fine institution, but I’m not ready for an institution.’
• ‘Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often.’
• ‘To err is human but it feels divine.’
• ‘You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.’
• ‘She’s the kind of girl who climbed the ladder of success wrong by wrong.’
We could do with more like her in these anodyne PC times……………………