May McAvoy
(09/08/1899 - 04/26/1984)

May McAvoy was a pioneer American silent film actress best known starring in Hollywood's first motion picture talkie.

McAvoy made her film debut in 1919. After appearing in more than three dozen films, she co-starred with Ramon Novarro and Francis X. Bushman in director Fred Niblo's 1925 production of Ben-Hur. The feature length film was one of the most lavish and spectacular productions of the silent movie era.

However, she is best remembered for her role with Al Jolson in the first sound film, The Jazz Singer. Although her voice was not heard in that film, she did speak in several other films, including the second "all-talkie," The Terror. It was generally felt that her voice as heard onscreen was not effective, and she soon retired. Later, she returned to films and played small roles in a number of films in the 1940s and 1950s.

Available Films

Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch (1919)

The Enchanted Cottage (1924)

The Mad Whirl (1925)