Mae Clarke born August 16, 1910 was an American actress most noted for her role as Henry Frankenstein's bride in Frankenstein (1931) and for the scene in Public Enemy in which James Cagney smashes a grapefruit into her face. Clarke learned to dance early in life growing up in Atlantic City. By the age of 13 she was performing in nightclubs and amateur theatricals. While performing as a dancer and a burlesque artist at the Strand Roof nightclub in New York City she shared a room with fellow actress Ruby Stevens who would become a lifelong freiend. Stevens would later change her name to Barbara Stanwyck. In June of 1932 Clarke suffered a nervous breakdown followed by another in 1934 some sources contributes the break downs as a result of overwork and marital problems. In 1933 Clark was in a serious car accident which scarred her face. These events marked the beginning of her career's decline. Clarke was now resigned to perform in a number of B- rated movies she did however have a recurring role in the early days of the soap opera General Hospital. Her last film appearance was in an unaccredited role in the comedy Watermelon Man (1970). Sadly toward the end of her life, Clarke fell on financial hard times she retired to the Motion Picture & Television County House and Hospital, there she devoted the rest of her life doing what she loved best, abstract painting.
Mae Clark and Boris Karloff in Frankenstein (1931) Universal Pictures