November 2, 1877
New York City, U.S.
|Died||October 23, 1966 88) (aged|
Hollywood, California, U.S.
(m. 1906;died 1937)
|Relatives||Melbourne MacDowell (uncle)|
Claire McDowell (born Claire MacDowell, – October 23, 1966) was an American actress of the silent era. She appeared in 350 films between 1908 and 1945.November 2, 1877
Claire MacDowell was born in New York City on November 2, 1877, the daughter of Eugene A. MacDowell and Fanny Reeves.Her aunt, actress Fanny Davenport, gave her early training in acting. Fanny Davenport's second husband was Eugene's brother Melbourne MacDowell.
When she was 17, she was an understudy in a theatrical company headed by Charles Frohman. [ citation needed ] McDowell's Broadway credits included Herod (1909), To Have and to Hold (1901), and Hearts Are Trumps (1900).Still something of a youthful beauty, McDowell appeared in numerous short, early feature films. She graduated to playing character and mother types. She appeared in Douglas Fairbanks' The Mark of Zorro (1920). McDowell costarred in two of the biggest films of the silent era, The Big Parade and Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ , in which she played mothers both times.
When she was 38, McDowell retired, but later she returned to acting, particularly portraying mothers.
She was married to silent screen character actor Charles Hill Mailes from 1906 until his death in 1937.The couple appeared in numerous silent films together, including The Mark of Zorro. They had two sons, Robert and Eugene. She died in Hollywood, California, on October 23, 1966.
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Presenting Fedora in New York in 1883 with Robert Mantell as her leading man, Fanny Davenport achieved such fame.
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