HOLLYWOOD -- Mae West, the 1930s and 40s movie siren who mixed humor and sexual innuendo, is to be buried in family plot in Brooklyn near the graves of her parents following a memorial service in Hollywood, friends said Sunday.
She died Saturday of natural causes at the age of 88 at her apartment.
She had been released from Good Samaritan Hospital three weeks ago where she had been treated for a concussion suffered in a fall, and a subsequent stroke.
Paul Novak, her companion for 26 years, and Dolly Dempsey, the president of her fan club, were with her when she died. A priest administered the last rites.
Funeral arrangements were handled by Forest Lawn Mortuary in Hollywood, and a spokesman for the William Morris Agency said a memorial service would probably be held Tuesday at Forest Lawn, but plans were still tentative.
Mae West became a household word, a symbol of humorous sexuality. She earned a fortune exhibiting her 37-27-37 figure in what she called a 'sex personality.'
She earned a flat $450,000 per picture during the peak of her popularity in the 1930s.
Mae West wrote plays and screenplays and, in effect, created her own image of cheerful vugarity which at the time was unique and daring. In an interview not long before her death she said her public personality was of her own making and it was a good one.
'It ought to be,' she said, 'because I created myself and I never put up with sloppy work.'
Unlike the more modern sex queens including Mae West imitators, she never appeared scantily dressed. She was usually overdressed, covered from neck to ankles with occasionally only a bit of bosom showing.
'I don't believe in nudity,' she told an interviewer a few years ago. 'It detracts from your face and personality. That's why I never show my ankles.'
She starred in only 10 movies between 1931 and 1943, but established herself as a legend.
'I never posed for cheesecake in my life,' she once said.
'I becamea sex symbol because I have a sex personality, not because I favored nudity.'
She told an interviewer about a record she had made in 1962, called 'Am I Too Young?'
'This record is so hot instead of being released, it's gonna be paroled,' she said.
Mae West came out of retirement in 1970 to appear in the film, 'Myra Breckinridge.' The movie bombed but Miss West charmed her audiences who were the grandchildren of her first film fans.