Mae West Quotes

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Mae West

Publicity photo for Night After Night (1932)
Born Mary Jane West
(1893-08-17)August 17, 1893
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died November 22, 1980(1980-11-22) (aged 87)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Occupation Actress, singer, playwright, screenwriter, comedian
Years active 1907–78
Spouse(s) Frank Szatkus, stage name Frank Wallace
(1911–43; dissolved)
Partner(s) Paul Novak
(1954–80)

His mother should have thrown him out and kept the stork.
I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.
It's hard to be funny when you have to be clean.
He's the kind of man a woman would have to marry to get rid of.
Cultivate your curves – they may be dangerous but they won't be avoided.
Mae West
I've been in more laps than a napkin.
A woman in love can't be reasonable – or she probably wouldn't be in love.
Mae West
Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often.
Personally, I like two types of men - domestic and foreign.
I see you're a man with ideals. I better be going before you've still got them.
Mae West
I only like two kinds of men, domestic and imported.
I didn't discover curves; I only uncovered them.
Save a boyfriend for a rainy day – and another, in case it doesn't rain.
Mae West
He who hesitates is a damned fool.
Look your best - who said love is blind?
I never loved another person the way I loved myself.
Personality is the most important thing to an actress's success.
I only have 'yes' men around me. Who needs 'no' men?
Opportunity knocks for every man, but you have to give a woman a ring.
Right now I think censorship is necessary; the things they're doing and saying in films right now just shouldn't be allowed. There's no dignity anymore and I think that's very important.
Mae West
Personality is the glitter that sends your little gleam across the footlights and the orchestra pit into that big black space where the audience is.
Mae West
It is better to be looked over than overlooked.
It takes two to get one in trouble.
It's not the men in my life that count, it's the life in my men.
Say what you want about long dresses, but they cover a multitude of shins.

Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.
An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises.
All discarded lovers should be given a second chance, but with somebody else.
Mae West
A dame that knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up.
I believe that it's better to be looked over than it is to be overlooked.
Mae West
It's not what I do, but the way I do it. It's not what I say, but the way I say it.
Mae West
Marriage is a great institution, but I'm not ready for an institution.
When I'm good, I'm very good. But when I'm bad I'm better.
The score never interested me, only the game.
I've been things and seen places.
I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond.
Mae West
To err is human, but it feels divine.
Love conquers all things except poverty and toothache.
Whenever I'm caught between two evils, I take the one I've never tried.
Mae West
A man's kiss is his signature.
Love thy neighbor – and if he happens to be tall, debonair and devastating, it will be that much easier.
Mae West
A man has one hundred dollars and you leave him with two dollars, that's subtraction.
Mae West
One and one is two, and two and two is four, and five will get you ten if you know how to work it.
Mae West
I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it.
I like restraint, if it doesn't go too far.
Too much of a good thing can be taxing.
When I'm good I'm very, very good, but when I'm bad, I'm better.
Mae West
I like a man who's good, but not too good – for the good die young, and I hate a dead one.
Mae West
I'll try anything once, twice if I like it, three times to make sure.
Love isn't an emotion or an instinct - it's an art.
If I asked for a cup of coffee, someone would search for the double meaning.
Mae West
Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.
Any time you got nothing to do - and lots of time to do it - come on up.
Give a man a free hand and he'll run it all over you.
Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.
It ain't no sin if you crack a few laws now and then, just so long as you don't break any.
Mae West
I enjoyed the courtroom as just another stage but not so amusing as Broadway.
Mae West
Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly.
Ten men waiting for me at the door? Send one of them home, I'm tired.
A man in the house is worth two in the street.
Sex is emotion in motion.
Don't marry a man to reform him – that's what reform schools are for.
Mae West
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.
Virtue has its own reward, but no sale at the box office.
Don't keep a man guessing too long – he's sure to find the answer somewhere else.
Mae West
When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before.
Mae West
It isn't what I do, but how I do it. It isn't what I say, but how I say it, and how I look when I do it and say it.
Mae West
I'm a woman of very few words, but lots of action.
I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it.
I always say, keep a diary and someday it'll keep you.
I speak two languages, Body and English.
Every man I meet wants to protect me. I can't figure out what from.
I'm no model lady. A model's just an imitation of the real thing.
A man can be short and dumpy and getting bald but if he has fire, women will like him.
Mae West
She's the kind of girl who climbed the ladder of success wrong by wrong.
Mae West
When women go wrong, men go right after them.
The best way to hold a man is in your arms.
A hard man is good to find.
Keep a diary, and someday it'll keep you.