The Public Enemy, released that same year, contained one of cinema's most famous (and frequently parodied) scenes, in which James Cagney pushed a half grapefruit into Clarke's face, then went out and picked up Jean Harlow. The film was so popular that it ran 24 hours a day at a theatre in Times Square upon its initial release, and Clarke's ex-husband had the grapefruit scene timed and would frequently buy a ticket, enter the theatre to enjoy that sequence, then leave the theatre.
She may be best known for her leading role as, "Myra Deauville," in the 1931 pre-Code version of, Waterloo Bridge. In the film, she portrays a young American woman who is forced by circumstance into a life of prostitution in World War I London. Both the film and Clarke's performance were well received by the critics.
By the mid-1930s though, Clarke was no longer a leading lady and was only featured in small or bit parts through the 1960s.
Mae Clarke was featured today on TCM in three films,