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January 13, 2023

35 Fabulous Photos of Mae Clarke in the 1930s

Born 1910 as Violet Mary Klotz in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, American actress Mae Clarke started her professional career as a dancer in New York City, sharing a room with Barbara Stanwyck. She subsequently starred in many films for Universal Studios, including the original screen version of The Front Page (1931) and the first sound version of Frankenstein (1931), with Boris Karloff.

Clarke is widely remembered for being on the receiving end of James Cagney’s halved grapefruit in The Public Enemy (1931). She also appeared as Myra Deauville in the 1931 pre-Code version of Waterloo Bridge, the modest pre-Code Universal film Night World (1932), with Lew Ayres, Boris Karloff, Hedda Hopper, and George Raft.

In 1933, Clarke and actor Phillips Holmes were in a single-car accident that left her with a broken jaw and facial scarring. Those injuries, however, did not end her film career, for she remained a leading lady for most of the 1930s. She was, though, increasingly cast in productions with lower budgets that lacked the status of her earlier films.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Clarke played uncredited bit parts in several notable films, including Singin’ in the Rain, The Great Caruso, and Thoroughly Modern Millie. Her last screen appearance was in the 1970 film Watermelon Man. She retired in 1970 and taught drama.

Clarke died from cancer in 1992, at the age of 81. Take a look at these fabulous photos to see the beauty of young Mae Clarke in the 1930s.


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