Way Out West
It was on this day in 1927 that the legend of Mae West was solidified. Even though the Jazz Age was known for its friskiness, it may have been pushing things slightly for West to appear in (and write) a play simply called ‘Sex’. So it came as no surprise that this jaunty tale of prostitution was raided by the New York City vice squad and the entire cast was arrested. On April 19th, Mae was jailed for 10 days (she was released after 8 for good behaviour) and fined $5000.
She claimed she dined with the governor of the prison every night and was allowed to wear her silk underwear while incarcerated.Of course, after her release, everyone was fascinated by Mae. Her next play, The Drag, dealt with gay culture and cross-dressing. But again, it was soon closed down by the authorities. But by this time, she had been noticed by Hollywood. She soon moved to Hollywood and adapted her outrageous persona for the cinema, becoming a movie legend.