Mae West (1892-1980) was perhaps the original comic sex goddess of American cinema. Originally a vaudeville performer, she became a national sensation following her 1926 Broadway show Sex, which she wrote, produced, directed and starred in. She continued to outrage the sensibilities of her time on Broadway before coming to Hollywood and doing the same there throughout the 1930s. She perfected her double entendre humor onscreen and gradually fell out of favor with an increasingly prudish film-going public, though her career underwent several brief revivals. Even as an extremely old woman, she affected the manners and dress of a reigning sex queen. The 1978 release of Sextette, based on her own original scenario, marked her final screen appearance. It was not well received by critics nor the public, and was an undignified note on which to end her sensational career. In this farcical and star-studded film, West plays the fading movie star Marlo Manners, whose attempts to consummate her marriage to Sir Michael Barrington (Timothy Dalton), her sixth husband, are humorously interrupted by the preceding five. Marlo is also dictating the unexpurgated story of her life, and when one of the tapes goes missing, it threatens to cause an international incident, as well as ruining a number of reputations (including her own).