Over the years there have been many rumors about Mae West, but the most bizarre rumour has to be that SHE…was really a HE!
Years ago, I read an article about the “real” Mae, who was indeed a woman. It stated that she died in the early-1950’s, yet reports popped up that her brother had died instead. Then, HE took over the whole Mae West persona.
At this time, apparently, there was a noticeable switch in Mae’s appearance. Personally, I never found her feminine, but as the story goes, this brother who became his famous sister in order to carry on the legacy had some manly features that couldn’t be disguised, like an Adam’s apple and much larger hands.
The closest online confirmation of this story that I could find comes from a submission to the Find-a-death website. Though this wasn’t where I originally read the theory, the Find-a-death contributor said:
…the real Mae West died somewhere around 1950, give or take a couple years, and rather than let the show stop, it was announced that not Mae, but her brother, died. Of course, the brother then became Mae West and carried on until November 1980. If you look
carefully at photos from around 1950 on it definitely looks like a different person not to mention the big hands and masculine features, bone structure, etc. I may not have all the details 100% correct but I would almost put money on the fact that the ‘Mae West’ ‘who died in 1980 had a weenie!!
Additionally, Raquel Welch, who worked with Mae West on the film, Myra Breckinridge thought there was something suspect about Mae West too. Yep, Welch also thought she was a man! In fact, she said she looked like “A Dock Worker In Drag!” LOL!
Above: Mae West in later years. In the words of Jerry Seinfeld, “She has MAN HANDS!”
Below: A screen grab about Dinah East…and the “secret” to be revealed upon Mae’s death!