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Mae West named Woman of the Century

Mae West named Woman of the Century

May 12, 1971:¬† Mae West, UCLA’s Woman of the Century, speaks to students after a screening of her 1933 classic movie “I’m No Angel.”

In the May 15, 1971, Los Angeles Times article, Kevin Thomas reported:

Mae West was named Woman of the Century at UCLA Wednesday night by vote of the student council.

Miss West accepted the award, a gold winged statue, along with a plaque declaring her an honorary student “with full privileges accorded by the Board of Regents” in the Grand Ballroom of the university’s student union building after a screening of her 1933 classic “I’m No Angel.”

Sheathed in white faille and sparkling with diamonds, the star was accorded several standing ovations by the approximately 1,700 students who crowded the ballroom.

In a question-and-answer session with the young people Miss West declared that she would not consider running against Gov. Reagan in the next election.

“I don’t know much about politics,” confessed Miss West, hands on hips (“I’m just restin’ ’em”).

“But I know a good party man when I see one.”

A different photo by Times photographer Boris Yaro – a portrait of Mae West speaking – was published with the Thomas article. But according to Yaro, that image did not do justice to the legendary star.

Yaro says he went to the rear of the stage “because head on she didn’t look as pretty as the woman most film folks remember.”

“I was able to make a photo from behind so that even if the face was not visible, folks would know instantly who this person was.”

This iconic image has been published several times since.

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