Claire McDowell was an American actress of the silent era.
She appeared in 360 films between 1908 and 1945.
Descended from an old, well-established performing family, American actress Claire McDowell was one of those weathered character players who seemed to have been born at the age of 50. Only 32 years old when she first stepped before Billy Bitzer's camera at Biograph studios in 1910, Ms. McDowell almost immediately found herself playing everyone's mother. She spent the next four years working for D. W. Griffith before retiring to raise a family; her husband was fellow Griffith player Charles Hill Mailes. Back in films in 1917, McDowell continued her celluloid maternal career. Perhaps her most celebrated matriarchal role was as John Gilbert's mother in The Big Parade (1924).