Hollywood has had its fun with the character of Calamity Jane – perhaps Doris Day’s 1953 performance as the cowgirl is the most famous. But Day’s portrayal does little to teach us about the real Martha Jane Cannary – and the truth is much wilder than you might think.
Of course, Hollywood’s just one place where Calamity Jane’s story has been told. Plenty of rumors surround the legendary figure of the Wild West – some of them she even wrote herself. It makes sense that there’s so much mystery, then, considering how much of her life story is unconfirmed. But experts have their theories as to who she was and what kind of trouble she really got into.