Mae West With her platinum blond hair, hourglass figure and hot-to-trot voice, West is considered to be the first major sexual comedian of the talkies. She began in vaudeville at the age of 14 and at 33 was jailed on obscenity charges for her 1926 Broadway show, "Sex," which she wrote, produced, directed and starred in. Two years later, she became the toast of Broadway in "Diamond Lil," and in 1932, West signed with Paramount. She made her film debut in 1932's "Night After Night" -- West was 40 at the time -- but she really made her mark with her ribald, risque 1933 comedies "I'm No Angel" and "She Done Him Wrong," which was the movie adaptation of "Lil." Unfortunately, when the production code clamped down on suggestive material, West's subsequent comedies were diluted shadows of her pre-code comedies. Her last hit film was 1940's "My Little Chickadee," in which she costarred with W.C. Fields. She died in 1980 at the age of 87.