Mae Clarke

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Mae Clarke (born August 16, 1910 in Philadelphia , † April 29, 1992 in Woodland Hills ; actually Violet Mary Klotz ) was an American film actress .


Mae Clarke first worked as a dancer in nightclubs before starring in a few Broadway plays in the late 1920s. Her career as a film actress began in 1931. She became famous in the role as James Cagey's friend Kitty in the hit gangster film The Public Enemy . Clarke's role in the film was small and was not mentioned in the opening credits. The scene in which Cagney presses a grapefruit in her face became legendary and later frequently recited - including by Cagney himself, who threatened Horst Buchholz with the same act in Eins, Zwei, Drei (1962) . After this success she got her most famous role as Elisabeth in James Whale's horror classic Frankenstein . She achieved further success in the same year with roles in the films The Front Page and Waterloo Bridge . In Waterloo Bridge she played a young American who had to work as a prostitute in England during the First World War. She received good reviews for this role.

In the following years, Clarke played mainly in gangster and crime films. In two other films with James Cagney, The Womanizer and Great Guy , Mae Clarke was seen in the main female role. Her success as an actress was short-lived. From the mid-1930s on, she received almost no leading roles and often made secondary films. For the rest of her career she had to be content with supporting roles and later also with engagements as an extra that were hardly noticed by the audience . She was not mentioned in the opening credits for her appearance as a hairdresser in the classic film Singin 'in the Rain . From the 1950s onwards, Clarke made several appearances in television series, including Batman , Perry Mason and The Texan . By 1970, a few minor roles in movies followed before Mae Clarke retired from the film business.

Mae Clarke was married three times, all of their marriages ended in divorce. She died of cancer in 1992 at the age of 81 and was buried in Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery in north Hollywood.

Filmography (selection)

Web links

Commons : Mae Clarke  - album with pictures, videos and audio files