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Mae West, born Mary Jane West in Brooklyn on August 17, 1893, became known as a vaudeville performer, actress, playwright, and sex symbol known for her double entendres. Her father was a prize fighter who later owned his own detective agency, and her mother was a corset and fashion model. Mae began performing in vaudeville when she was 14. She blazed trails in the movie industry other women later followed and performed well into her 70s. She died on November 22, 1980 after a series of strokes.

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