Talk:Mae West

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Sexette opening[edit]

The image File:Mae West 1978.jpg is currently described as "West arriving at the Cinerama Dome for the opening of her last film", however the reader cant easily figure out that this is "sexette", and we dont discuss the opening in the text of the article. The image says it was take on March 12 1978, so I assume that the film opened on that date? Do we have any reliable sources about the opening. John Vandenberg (chat) 20:31, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

No, the Wikipedia article on Sextette says the opening date was March 3, 1978, which is also what IMDb says. What's more troubling about this particular photo is that it just is not a good photo. It is blurry and out of focus and, as you note, gives no context for the reader to discern what it is about. I'd be just as happy if it were removed. Other editors have commented in the past about the quality of the photo. Just because we have a photo that says it was taken then, and it is a free use photo, doesn't make it necessarily one that is suitable for use. Wildhartlivie (talk) 20:50, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
If we were in a Good article review, I agree that this photo isnt ideal. But the article is a B grade, and this photo isnt detracting from the quality. Where have other editors complained about it being used? I've cut a new image, with less of the disturbing artifacts of other people in the background. For some reason my new image distorted badly at 150px, so I have reduced it to 120px. John Vandenberg (chat) 05:29, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

Commons had the wrong date on two of the three Cinerama Dome photos of West. That has just now been corrected, as per the date - March 2 - given in the Eells-Musgrove biography on page 304. The real old-fashioned Hollywood opening is described in detail there and also noted on page 398 in Maurice Leonard's book. (talk) 22:29, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

I dont have those books in my uni or town library. Could you please correct the date on the Sextette article, using those references. Thanks, John Vandenberg (chat) 05:29, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

Inaccurate categories[edit]

Mae West was not Jewish nor has anyone ever even claimed that she was to my knowledge, unverified assertions regarding her mother's background notwithstanding. Thus, categories referring to her as Jewish have been removed. (talk) 17:25, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

Several biographers have related quotes by West herself about her mother being Jewish. If her mother was Jewish, so was West. I am not reverting your edit because I have no evidence that would hold up in court that she was Jewish, but you are probably wrong, I think. SergeWoodzing (talk) 17:34, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
I don't really think you can legitimately state that no one has claimed her mother was Jewish, especially when the statement is clearly cited to not one, but two sources, one of which is a published and reliable biography. I fail to see how that can be dismissed as simply "unverified assertions", rather than something that wasn't readily admitted given the general attitude towards Jewish persons at that point in history. Wildhartlivie (talk) 18:40, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
Look, I am a (col)lapsed Jew and I know the rules of halacha. However they are not absolute and even if ("big if") West's mother had been Jewish, she appears to have abandoned that faith. All of Mae West's relatives have been described as Christians (Protestant and Catholic). There is no coherent or tangible evidence of any connection between Mae West and the Jewish faith. (talk) 03:02, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
There is a difference between being Jewish as a matter of faith or religion and being Jewish as a matter of ethnicity. Wildhartlivie (talk) 13:54, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
I respectfully submit that that is an incredibly subjective and slippery slope that I, for one, choose to avoid. Yours, (talk) 14:53, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
You think? Ethnic heritage isn't nearly so subjective and slippery as making a determination of what religion a person might follow today but (col)lapse tomorrow. You may choose to avoid it, but it is the crux of this issue, not religion. Wildhartlivie (talk) 15:36, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
People who descend from a Jewess in a all-maternal lines can call themselves Jewish whenever they please, ethnically, notwithstanding what their religious practices may be. One can see something wonderful in that, if one pleases. SergeWoodzing (talk) 17:00, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

I agree completely that Mae West was not Jewish. She herself never ever said she was and no one in her family did either. If there was any "Jewess" in her distant history she was very unhappy about it and did not identify. I have read every book ever written on Mae West and none of the biographers, no matter what their reputation, had any access to to any actual facts. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:28, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

Please read the actual article text! It says "by some accounts", which is a well-referenced fact. Whether that is to be taken as an accusation, admission, joyous announcement or simple statement that West may have been of Jewish descent is up to each reader. Facts are facts and accoring to some accounts she had Jewish descent. Please don't turn this into something it is not! SergeWoodzing (talk) 20:09, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
PS There are no categories under the article now about Jewish descent, nor should there be, unless it becomes an established and well-referenced fact that she had such descent. ¨SergeWoodzing (talk)
You should assess the reliability of the "accounts" you refer to. We aren't talking about "facts" here. Just because they are published (regardless of the stature of the publisher, including Oxford University Press) doesn't make them reliable. Citing primary sources or assessing whatever CREDIBLE evidence is available (for instance, Mae West saying she was Jewish, if she ever did, isn't a credible source) makes a book reliable. Statements that she was or may have been Jewish and African American are either hearsay or fictitious, from what I've read in print and across the internet. Hearsay and fiction are good for selling books under the guise of biography, but not appropriate for an encyclopedia. Unfortunately hearsay takes on credibility the more it's repeated. We can thank the internet for that. Let's not repeat it here. Declair (talk) 16:28, 8 July 2012 (UTC)


Mae West's age I've read several times that she lied about her age. And was in fact 3- 5 years older than stated. D.Gill —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:47, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

None of those sources are reliable. All reliable sources, including the U.S. census, have her born in 1893. SergeWoodzing (talk) 00:45, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

Height and Weight[edit]

Does anyone have a source on this? Everywhere I've seen her height is listed at least 5 feet. And didn't her weight fluctuate? How can any amount be accurate? None of the photos on this page look like a 300lb with dwarfism. (talk) 05:03, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

I don't think I've seen a picture of her yet where she weighed only 121 lbs. There is no way that is accurate. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:37, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

One would have to wonder why on earth it would matter what an actress weighed. Especially since you hardly ever see this kind of thing listed on male actors' bios. Height is one thing, but it's disheartening to see how so many Wikipedia articles insist on describing actresses' bust/waist/hip measurements, bra size and weight. There's a good rule of thumb for assessing whether something is sexist rubbish: are men judged by the same standard? Since I can't see leading men's profiles listing their shoulder-to-hip ratio or penis length, the answer would have to be "no, which means this is sexist rubbish". I think we could all live happy and long lives enjoying Mae's movies without knowing the exact number of the pounds she carried on that glorious figure of hers. --Snowgrouse (talk) 21:05, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

Official website[edit]

If official websites that really are official websites are allowed to be included as external links under WP articles (I don't know) then it was not correct to take this one out. I am reversing that edit for now. At the bottom of the screen on that website it gives information which is legitimate, such as

  • GreenLight, LLC and its affiliates represent publicity, trademark, and related rights of Mae West
  • All visual media © by Corbis Corporation.

I know for a fact that that makes the website legitimate as representing her estate. SergeWoodzing (talk) 09:35, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

You know for a fact? Based on what? Any website can call itself an official website, that does not make it so. I am looking directly at that front page and it does not say that on the page. There are various sites that make that claim with nothing to validate standing except what they say. I have strong doubts about this site. They also claim rights to the Wright Brothers, hmm. Wildhartlivie (talk) 22:56, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
I have had business dealings before with GreenLight and with Corbis by email and telephone and checked with them that they in fact are the agency that handles the West estate and many others. Corbis bought the Roger Richman Agency, which previously represented the West Estate, years ago. They are quite well established firms in that field. There is quite a bit about these firms on the Internet. You are right, though, that what I asserted does not show, for some rather odd reason, on the home page of the Mae West website, but you will find their copyright tag etc at the bottom of all the other pages. I too, would have expected the West site to look a bit more businesslike and/or distinguished. Why on earth are all the photos pink? I am particularly disappointed that there are a number of errors and folksy fakes given as QUOTES, but I still have no doubt that as the official site, this is the real McCoy. We have to take it or leave it. SergeWoodzing (talk) 11:04, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
I agree, and I must say the less than professional layout and content increased my doubts. It is rather amateurish, I'd say. Okay. Wildhartlivie (talk) 00:17, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

As of 1/1/2013 is listed as the website of Mae West. This appears to be incorrect because the website contains nothing about Mae West. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:38, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

For whatever reason, that particular URL is resolving to the Martin Luther King Jr page at the "Greenlight" Agency's website, the firm which does represent Miss West's Estate (as well as Dr. King's). The correct website URL is: . Shearonink (talk) 21:21, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

Room for 2 images?[edit]

West arriving to the 1978 opening of Sextette, her last film
West in 1973, by Allan Warren.

Free images of West are extremely rare. Images of her in public in her later years are practically non-existent, free or not. These two images have recently been exchanged back and forth, so that either one or the other has remained in the article, but not both. I believe both images are of interest and value and have their places. Even though the 1978 image is in poor focus, it is probably the last (only?) portrait (for lack of a better word) that exists of West in public wearing her diamonds, with a late 1970's hairstyle. I am reverting the latest edit, enabling both images to remain. SergeWoodzing (talk) 15:18, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

PS The main justification for having the 1978 image is that is from an occasion mentioned in the article's text right where it appears. SergeWoodzing (talk) 15:24, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

I agree with you. There's room for both images, and it's not like we have a lot to choose from. You make a good point about the 1978 image. Sure, it's not great quality, but it's relevant, and in this case, I think relevance is more important than quality. Rossrs (talk) 15:32, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

Expand on quotes[edit]

I have come across published recordings of almost all of West's best quotes or quips or sayings, or whatever we should call them - her famous wit or comedic writing, if you will. Would love to have some advice on how and where to document them more thoroughly for WP. Should I expand this article's section about them considerably, make a subject article of it's own out of this material, or should I do this some other way? At all? SergeWoodzing (talk) 18:56, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Well, you could always put 'em in WikiQuote. Jmacwiki (talk) 05:28, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

Find-a-Grave permissible external link?[edit]

Due to recent edits on the article, bordering on warfare, I would like to know if the Find-a-Grave website generally is banned on WP as an external link for biographic articles, or if such a ban pertains (only) to this article in particular. SergeWoodzing (talk) 01:54, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Simply to recap my comment from DreamGuy's talk page (08:11, 5 December 2010 [UTC]), the WP:EL discussion is "archived here ( in a discussion from 2007. There is a lack of consensus expressed on how people feel about the site, ranging from 'horrible' and 'useless' to 'useful' and 'valuable'. The recommendation ELs 'should not normally be used in the body of an article' is a good one and the Mae West article already conforms to that. Given the lack of consensus, I suggest following the 'When in doubt, you may go to the talk page and let another editor decide' recommendation at the WP:EL page rather than simply deleting the link." Doremo (talk) 04:40, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Are you kidding me? Did you even look at that link? It only had one single person saying they thought it was an OK link, while everyone else said it clearly did not belong and ought to be mass-removed from every article it was listed on. If that's your support for "lack of consensus" that's nonsense! That's just one of many discussions on the topic, and they have always declared it to be unacceptable. DreamGuy (talk) 20:39, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Please refrain from insulting me (or anyone else here) with "kidding," "nonsense," and "did you even...". Comments at the link include "some of the pages are useful" (Tecmobowl) "sometime sit might be okay" (sic) (2005), "that seems reasonable to me," (wangi) "certainly some pages that have valuable information" (Tecmobowl), "It was useful" (Baseball Bugs), and "found them useful" (Johntex). That's five editors with (partially) positive comments, some of whom felt that the site is useful, and others that concluded it is not. Doremo (talk) 04:42, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
As far as I know, the non-Famous bios at Find a Grave are totally unsourced (as we call it at WP) and can therefore never be used for anything reliable. The Famous bios on the other hand, though there are no sources published, are looked at pretty carefully by Find a Grave administrators, like newspaper editors do, before they are approved and published there. The Find a Grave administrators do check Google hits and such in their approval process. Thus, I think it is safe to link (under "External links") from WP to a Famous bio there (as a Find a Grave publication), but not necessarily to use one as a reference here. SergeWoodzing (talk) 16:01, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
The administrators there have no reputation for reliability nor expertise in the topic matter, so whether they look at it or not is not particularly relevant to this discussion. DreamGuy (talk) 20:35, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
As far as I'm aware, Find-a-Grave is an acceptable link. It certainly hasn't been blacklisted which would indicate that no, it's not banned from Wikipedia. Like Doremo said, there's no clear consensus against using it so any claims to the contrary are news to me. It appears that certain people don't like the link because (I assume) at one point is was being mass added (ie spammed) to articles, but I don't believe that to be the case any more. I think linking it is actually useful is some instances. Either way, if anyone has a problem with linking to the site, a clear consensus on the matter should be reached instead of simply removing what one doesn't like. Pinkadelica 17:43, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
There is and always has been a longstanding consensus at WP:EL's talk page that Find-A-Grave in no way confirms to our rules. Besides the spamming, the more important part is simply that the content has no encyclopedic value because it accepts content from the public at large and does not have a reputation of stability or reliability. If you folks disagree, please either see the previous discussions or feel free to reopen the discussion in the appropriate place. DreamGuy (talk) 20:31, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Let's wait and see if anyone else comments here! Or you could show us that consensus specifically rather than just claiming there is one. So far here, three of us do not agree with you. What I find questionable in your three simultaneous entries here is administrators there have no reputation for reliability nor expertise in the topic matter. Do administrators here, you mean? I think we all (there and here) must rely on administrators to monitor our work fairly and at best check Google for sourcing, but expertise and reputations for reliability? SergeWoodzing (talk) 22:35, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
DreamGuy, if you could link to the previous discussions where there is a clear, established consensus to leave this link out, that would be greatly appreciated. I only found two separate discussions that go into detail about the site and as far as I can tell, there's no clear consensus that the link is troublesome and should be left out for the reasons you give. As for your argument that Find-a-Grave does not have a reputation of stability or reliability because it accepts content from the public, I've never heard that before and would be interested to know where that was stated. Pinkadelica 23:20, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
I'd also like to see an explanation of the "content from the public" claim because it sounds like an argument that people use against Wikipedia. Doremo (talk) 04:47, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I agree with DreamGuy. Most findagrave sites do not meet WP:EL, particularly point 1. That theyve been spammed in the past isn't an argument that they must be kept now. ThemFromSpace 16:49, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
I went ahead and removed the link per WP:ELBURDEN. Disputed ELs need a clear consensus for inclusion, which isn't yet presented in this discussion. ThemFromSpace 16:53, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
As long as we are at 3 against one, I feel it was wrong to revert this again. Let's leave it alone until the delete side gains a majority! SergeWoodzing (talk) 21:08, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
Agree with SergeWoodzing, however, consensus shouldn't be looked on as a !vote. That said, I've yet to see any clear consensus established elsewhere that says Find-a-Grave is an inappropriate link to include in articles. Further, no one said anything about keeping the link in because it has been spammed in the past. That argument makes no sense at all. I actually stated that the spamming reason was what a few editors used as a rationale not to include the link. So far, the only reason that seems to be presented to remove the link is WP:IDONTLIKEIT. Any discussions about the link that transpired on the WP:EL page pretty much came to a dead end and no consensus was reached regarding its removal. If you guys want to start a new discussion regarding the Find-a-Grave link, I'll happily participate and even help remove the links if the community says they're not helpful in articles. Until then, I think this back and forth is fruitless and bordering on disruptive. Pinkadelica 23:38, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
Have you guys read over WP:ELNO as well as WP:ELBURDEN? There's plenty in our policy that says this link doesn't belong. I'm not going to bother with you guys here, but you should become familiar with our guidelines on external links. ThemFromSpace 06:52, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
Please continue to be more specific (as in your comment on "WP:EL, ... point 1" above) in your objection to the link rather than making unspecific references such as "plenty in our policy." For example (just for the sake of argument, not because I agree), something like "Find A Grave is a 'site that requires payment' (WP:ELNO Links normally to be avoided, no. 6)" would be helpful for understanding the basis for your objection. Doremo (talk) 17:27, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
There we have the essence of the problem here. This has been changed again and again without any specific reason. SergeWoodzing (talk) ~
ThemFromSpace, I have been editing here over three years and have been a member of both Wikiproject Spam and Wikiproject External Links for about as long so yes, I actually am familiar with Wikipedia's external link policy. Simply assuming that those of us who are in favor of keeping the link are ignorant of policy (despite it being clearly linked in your comment thus giving anyone the opportunity to familiarize themselves with it) sort of goes against the spirit of WP:AGF, no? I'm fully aware assuming good faith isn't a policy, but it is rather helpful to employ such a guideline during debates. Anyhow, I agree with both Doremo and SergeWoodzing - I'm still not seeing any specific reason being given as to why this link should be removed. It's not a fansite nor is it a site that requires any kind of payment to be viewed. The very worst thing about it that some of the biographies on the site are written by users. There's nothing in policy that states external links cannot contain user driven material - we just can't use sites like that to reference material. I don't see how the site is devaluing any article here or how it violates policy in any way. I'm still getting the WP:IDONTLIKEIT vibe and that's not enough to justify removing the link. Pinkadelica 23:08, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
Sorry if I wasn't clear before with my reference to WP:ELNO point 1. This link doesn't add any information that couldn't be incorporated into the article and cited using reliable sources. Besides official links, external links should should only add material that cannot be incorporated into the article through standard editing practices. The "memorial" section on findagrave is the type of summary that we should specifically avoid linking to. Rather we should write this material into our own articles. The photos section is redundant to the images we already have on the article and in commons. If the article lacked any free content images then yea I could see an argument to linking to a photos section, but that is unnecessary with images in the article. And the flowers section on the site is just unencyclopedic. So really, I see nothing contained within the site that helps this article. Having an extra EL on the bottom just clutters things up. ThemFromSpace 10:56, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Hi, I don't have long so this will me be my only post for today. It has been my understanding that is not an acceptable site. For starters you can start here for a reason. Just like Imbd that is not acceptable because it is edited by the public, so is find a grave as this page I show states. The information it contains is not reliable since there is no sources proving so and so is where ever this site says they are. Lately for some reason, I have been finding that editors are saying that imbd along with find a grave are acceptable as EL's. I don't know who started this or where this discussion supposedly took place. If I remember correctly, and I could be wrong, I was told that the imbd was discussed at the village pump and accepted there. I got busy with some other things and forgot to follow up on it. Personally I think both sites should not be allowed at all. If you all would be interested in discussing this, how about a discussion about both of these at EL? Please ping me if any of you agree and even if you disagree. I hope we all can have a polite conversation about this matter without the name calling or other problems that usually occur with matters like this. I have to leave now but I really think this should be discussed and that more editors should be informed of the discussion in a polite neutral way. What do you all think about this idea? Have a good night, --CrohnieGalTalk 00:28, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

I have no problem with a new discussion regarding the site being started at the EL project or any place else to establish a clear consensus about it inclusion or removal. Pinkadelica 01:43, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

Arbitrary break[edit]

I've noticed the spamming, but don't recall being a part of any of the discussions or cleanup. Let's see if we can find the main discussions:

I think it should be left out as an external link per the ELNO#1 concerns - the information is redundant and of poorer quality than what is in the article currently. --Ronz (talk) 17:02, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

Thank you Ronz for taking time to add to this discussion. I too have been finding the same kind of difs, thus I agree with you that it is not a reliable source. Thanks again, --CrohnieGalTalk 17:02, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
So basically the consensus about the link is that there is no consensus about its inclusion or removal? Frankly, I don't see how having yet another conversation in another location about it is going to get us anywhere. Pinkadelica 20:48, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
Based on the extensive material linked to in this conversation, I see no consensus on blanket blacklisting Find A Grave (which appears to have been the original motivation for its removal from this article). However, I also agree that on a case-by-case basis there is no need to include the link. In this particular case (Mae West), the link does not appear to contribute to the article in any substantial way (frankly, I'd give the extreme-closeup grave photo at Find a Grave a D- for lack of contextualization, and the current grave photo in the WP article a D+ for its grainy image with a gawking tourist). That said, Find A Grave is a very reliable source in some cases inasmuch as it provides photographic evidence; as a random example, the memorial for Ann Affleck [[1]] (just to choose the alphabetically first stone at the same cemetery) is pretty solid evidence for her birth and death dates as well as her spousal relationship. I'll defer to some sort of consensus on whether to remove the Find A Grave link from this particular article, but it does seem very WP:IDONTLIKEIT (as Pinkadelica pointed out) to assert that it should never be linked to any article. Doremo (talk) 21:27, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
How can "Find a Grave" qualify as a WP:EL? The guideline requires that the information at the link be "accurate". Contributed bios at the site are the random contributions of online users, are even less vetted than those at wikipedia and include no fact checking. Additionally, as pointed out by ThemFromSpace, WP:EL states, "Disputed links should be excluded by default unless and until there is a consensus to include them." Unless and until there is consensus, the "Find a Grave" link should be excluded. I think the arguments for inclusion of the link under the guidelines fail on accuracy grounds. Eudemis (talk) 05:55, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
I have started a discussion here. --CrohnieGalTalk 16:05, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm not particularly interested in the bios at Find A Grave when more complete information is available elsewhere. However, I am interested in the photographic evidence, which is often not available elsewhere (and is reliable because it's obviously not faked or a hoax), and in the biographical information and relationship links when they are not available elsewhere. For example, the US Revolutionary War–era figure Ludwig Albrecht Wilhelm Ilgen (1759–1823) may (or may not) be notable enough to merit a WP article at some point. If he does merit an article, then the Find A Grave memorial [[2]] would be a valuable source to include because it contains accurate photographic material that, as far as I know, is available nowhere else online. Although the biographical text leaves something to be desired in terms of editing and attribution, the accuracy of the photo cannot be disputed. In addition, there's no reason to doubt the accuracy of the data for interment, birth and death dates and locations (the bio omits the fact that he was born in Hechlingen am See, Germany), spouses, and children. (In fact, I personally happen to know that they are accurate, although I had no hand in creating the memorial, and the data can also be confirmed through other sources; e.g., [[3]], [[4]]) Thus, in the case of Ludwig Albrecht Wilhelm Ilgen, Find A Grave would constitute an accurate and reliable external source. This doesn't mean that the link must or should be kept for Mae West. However, I think it argues against the WP:IDONTLIKEIT notion that Find A Grave links should automatically be excluded as inaccurate, unvetted, contributed by "the public", etc., and instead shows that they should be considered on a case-by-case basis. Doremo (talk) 16:37, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

Unsourced "quotes"[edit]

I recently removed such and was told "it's a joke" and "AGF". Why would it be OK to add quips attributed by WP editors to Mae West (or made up by them?) without any source whatsoever as to their authenticity. Is the West bio a joke page for random contributions by anonymous comics? West had a uniquely intelligent sense of humor. There are hundreds of fake West "quips" - I've made some up myself. Should they all be added indiscriminately? SergeWoodzing (talk) 18:47, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

An unsourced (no reliable source) "quote" was reinstated again refering to a blog-type website. Talk page ignored. I am reversing this again until a reliable source is quoted. SergeWoodzing (talk) 21:35, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

File:Mae West LAT.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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Night After Night publicity photo[edit]

I just wanted to add that the Night After Night photograph leading this article is absolutely the finest one I have ever seen of Ms. West and I'd like to thank whomever found and posted it. It is sensational. Upsmiler (talk) 17:25, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

Quite a bit of effort was involved, thank you! I was involved at the start, having almost demanded a better photo of her up top, but the actual sleuthing and checking was done by people with more experience in photo research. Cordially, SergeWoodzing (talk) 14:17, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia states, "West's paternal grandfather, John Edwin" How can this be? A paternal grandfather would also have the surname of West. Upon further investigation Mae West's actual PATERNAL grandfather was named Joseph West b: 1857 in Arkansas; verification can be viewed at at and any other of the Mae West entries; As a matter of accuracy Wikipedia should correct this blatant error. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Grundhoffe (talkcontribs) 04:59, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

Inaccurate Geneology[edit]

Mae West's PATERNAL grandfather was Joseph David West born in 1857 in Arkansas, and not John Edwin as stated in her Wiki biography. This can be verified by the entry at — Preceding unsigned comment added by Grundhoffe (talkcontribs) 05:11, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

The only reliable sources are primary sources, or a conclusion based on them. The webpage you cite has neither and is wildly incorrect about her grandfather. I've checked the primary sources myself. Did you do find this one page and then make this comment? Many references to her genealogy other than wikipedia have the correct information. None of them cite reliable sources, but they generally are correct about the basic facts. Declair (talk) 16:06, 8 July 2012 (UTC)

Gorilla Jones[edit]

I don't know if Gorilla Jones was Mae West's boyfriend, but this doesn't tally with the description in Gorilla Jones profile. It doesn't mean both aren't true, but I think this needs further clarification. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:46, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

I don't see that tally problem. What do you mean, more specifically? SergeWoodzing (talk) 19:25, 12 January 2012 (UTC)


Raquel Welch recently talked about meeting Mae West and claimed that she was actually a man. Is this rumor worth mentioning?

This isn't a new rumour, Mae faced it a fair bit while she was alive. I don't think it needs to be mentioned though, especially not until it can be done with a reliable source. --Lobo (talk) 21:20, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
I removed those disgruntled slurs by Welch, who should be ashamed of herself. Men aren't registered at birth as "Mary Jane" nor do they have miscarriages. Are we going to have such garbage in the article from everyone who didn't like to be told what to do on movie sets where West shrewdly was in control? And are we going to try to rob women of an impressive role model like West? SergeWoodzing (talk) 03:51, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

The conclusion here makes no sense. IF she had been facing these rumours throughout her life then they are worth mentioning. Just because they were unfounded doesn't mean we should pretend they didn't exist. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:39, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

You are right of course. But Mae West never did face such rumors. A few silly or vindictive people spread such horseshit around under an obscure cover of anonymity and behind her back. But no such thing was ever published, refered to in any biography or mentioned reliably (Welch's retaliatory, grudge-holding, self-promoting West-bashing excluded) and West never had to face any such thing. No more, in any case, than any childless, indpendent, strong willed woman does. SergeWoodzing (talk) 00:01, 21 February 2012 (UTC)


I've been told there is a link between Mae West acting in Connecticut at some point. They made a big deal about her coming to Hartford here:


Twillisjr (talk) 22:59, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Is that an incomplete Wikipedia article in your pocket, or...[edit]

Going through this article briefly, I was shocked to see no mention of her most famous quotation. Not being all that familiar with the subject, I wouldn't know the first place about where to put it (in the "In popular culture" section, perhaps?), but certainly it ought to be mentioned somewhere, no? Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 08:13, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

I got nowhere with this above. This particular article is certainly lacking in the quips department (which it does not even have. I think it's been removed). SergeWoodzing (talk) 18:34, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
Mae West: Corrected Copy
I agree that Mae West's most famous quip is under-played. But that's not the worst lapse. Her work with W.C. Fields deserves attention. It was, after all, in her role opposite Fields that she made the quip.
More importantly, there needs to be some discussion of her involvement with the mob--which is beyond all doubt, since she talked about it openly.
I once saw a short Jet Magazine take on this, in which she was reported to have persuaded her mobster boyfriend to arrange for the great pugilist, Joe Louis, to have a shot at the Heavy Weight Championship title. (The mob controlled professional boxing then.) He did and Louis became the new Champ.
I was, at this time, an Assistant Editor and Staff Writer in the "Opinion Section" of The Los Angeles Times. So I got permission to follow this lead up.
The late Leonard Feather, Jazz Critics for the Times, worked in the "View Section". He arranged an appointment with West--on condition that I not bring a recorder.
West regaled me with the quip--and then confirmed the story without hesitation or equivocation. In the ensuing conversation (it wasn't really an interview), Mae West said, categorically, that she had dated a mobster.
When I started to press further on this subject, Novak, (who had been nearby, but not visible) rose and made his presence felt--putting on his coat as he entered the small hallway, near the entrance, where we were talking. West immediately changed the subject.
While we were talking, Gorilla Jones showed up and joined us. He was comfortable financially, West explained, proudly, because she had taught him how to manage his money when he was boxing. Jones, a brown-skinned man with very long arms, concurred.
I don't know anything about organized crime or Mae West, beyond what I've read and what l learned during my short visit with her. But I have long suspected (based on that encounter) that Novak didn’t just walk into Mae West's life: That he, possibly, was placed there, not only to look after her, but also to protect mob interests.
I had no background as a reporter, when I came to the Los Angeles Times. I'd been a freelance feature writer and an Associate Professor at Long Beach State University. So I lacked experience in this kind of assignment.
The upshot is that, I never wrote a story. I got so excited about being in Mae West’s company--and so engrossed the conversation--until I forgot to take notes! (talk) 18:39, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
Unfortunately, this story (while interesting) cannot be used in the article about Miss West since it is unpublished. As an encyclopedia, Wikipedia relies on published reliable sources, so personal anecdotes or other similar materials cannot be used as source material. Shearonink (talk) 21:33, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

Paul Novak[edit]

His original name is misspelled in the wiki article, at least according to LA Times' own correction. See his obituary on this page— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 16:45, 3 February 2013‎(UTC)

Done. Thanks, Shearonink (talk) 17:33, 3 February 2013 (UTC)