October 1928: MAE WEST, still starring on Broadway as "Diamond Lil," making the most of her success even though her play "Pleasure Man" at the Biltmore Theatre had been shut down by the police on 2 October 1928, was often interviewed.
Learn how Samuel Marx, a frequent backstage visitor, described actress MAE WEST.
• • • • • • • • Prominent among those who have written their names in fire on Broadway is that of Mae West. ... She is both an actress of peculiar merit, and an authoress of ability, although her talent has been directed into unpleasant fields. ...
• • Although her weight now is well around 200 lbs., she can still do a passable tap-dance. A blonde, short woman, she possessed a slow, fascinating drawl. Her reputation as an entertainer has grown rapidly in the past decade. ...
• • Her favorite expression is "Doncha know?" which she appends to almost every sentence she speaks. ...
• • She is a frank woman about her love affairs. Each night after the performance her dressing room would be swamped by society folk from Fifth Avenue's swanky 400, eager to meet this "creature." Miss West entertained backstage impartially, for blue-bloods and lesser admirers. It was not at all unusual for her to make her guests comfortable in her dressing room, and then proceed to remove her outer garments in their astonished presence. A stout woman, she found the tight-laced corsets of the period she acted [1890s] almost unbearable, and after stripping herself down to black underwear would sit down to chat. It was nothing if not unconventional. . . . [to be continued]
• • Source: Wild Women of Broadway by Samuel Marx 
• • Photo: Mae West • • "Diamond Lil" • • 1928 • •