May Clark

May Clark
Born(1885-06-01)1 June 1885
Died17 March 1971(1971-03-17) (aged 85)
Years active1900–1908

May Clark (1 June 1885 – 17 March 1971) was an English early silent film actress. She played Alice in the 1903 film Alice in Wonderland, the first film adaptation of Lewis Carroll's children's book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.[1]


May Clark was born on 1 June 1885 at the 'Ferry House' in Sunbury on Thames, Middlesex, where her father William Clark lived and worked as a boat builder[2]. The 1891 and 1901 Census returns for Walton on Thames, show that Sunbury born Mabel (May ) Clark was then living with her parents William and Louisa Clark in Walton, just streets away from where Cecil Hepworth opened his studios in 1899. Between 1900 and 1908 she worked for Hepworth at the Hepworth Film Studios in Walton on Thames,Surrey, England. On 14 March 1907 she became the wife of Norman Whitten[3]. They were married at St Mary's church Walton on Thames, with their marriage certificate showing the professions of both May and Norman as Cinematographers and living in Walton at that time. They had two sons, Vernon and Kenneth. May acted in approximately nineteen short silent films. Her most famous role was in the 1903 film, 'Alice in Wonderland' where she played the starring role of Alice. This film is historically important as it is the first in a long line of later film adaptations of Lewis Carroll's 1865 children's book 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'. May also played the part of a distraught nursemaid in Hepworth's 1905 film, 'Rescued By Rover', which was a global success with 395 prints sold for worldwide distribution. She died in 1971 at the age of 85.


  • How It Feels to Be Run Over (1900) .... Passenger[citation needed]
  • Interior of a Railway Carriage (1901) .... Bank Holiday
  • The Frustrated Elopement (1902)
  • Peace with Honor (1902) .... Britannia
  • Only a Face at the Window (1903)
  • Alice in Wonderland (1903) .... Alice
  • Knocker and the Naughty Boys (1903) .... Maid
  • The Joke That Failed (1903) .... Student
  • Rescued by Rover (1905) .... Nursemaid
  • A Seaside Girl (1907) .... Girl
  • The Artful Lovers (1907) .... Girl


  1. ^ Mills, Ted (31 March 2016). "The First Film Adaptation of Alice in Wonderland (1903)". Open Culture. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  2. ^ Battle, Ken (Autumn 2018). "May Clark - Sunbury Star of Silent Films". Sunbury and Shepperton Local History Society. ISSN 0140-1114 (81): 12.
  3. ^ Fletcher, Tony. "May Clark". Women Film Pioneers Project. Columbia University. Retrieved 28 December 2018.

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