Mae Georgia Giraci was born on January 22, 1910 in Los Angeles, California. She was the second daughter born to Santo Giraci, a barber, and his wife, Anna De Nubila. Older sister Alice Marie was born in 1908 and younger sister, Dorothy Marylouise was born in 1913.
Mae was a tricky one to research because she went by about nine billion different names, and that was just when she was a child! In census records, magazines, and films she was sometimes credited as 'May Giraci,' and she even used the name 'Tina Rossi' for awhile.
It was as 'May Giraci' that she made her screen debut in the 1916 short, The Crest of Von Endheim.
Apparently, Mae was discovered in the cliche Hollywood manner. She reportedly was playing in her front yard one day when director Cecil B. DeMille spotted her and said she should be in pictures. She ended up appearing in films for both him and his brother, William.
|DeWolf Hopper Sr. with Mae in Casey at the Bat
Some of Mae's most notable films include the 1916 screen adaptation of Casey at Bat and the 1922 screen adaptation of Lorna Doone starring Madge Bellamy. She also shared the screen with such stars as Norma Talmadge, Gloria Swanson, Bessie Love, and Mabel Normand.
In 1920, Mae appeared in The Son of Tarzan, a role that won her much praise. However, during filming she was attacked by a small ape and multiple received cuts and scratches. Mean monkey!
She made her last film appearance in the controversial 1929 film The Godless Girl with Lina Basquette and Marie Prevost. Mae played the role of a student along with a few other silent film child actors like Buddy Messinger, Peaches Jackson, and Don Marion.
After she retired from acting, Mae returned to school and eventually graduated from Hollywood High School. In her high school yearbook it lists that she hoped to go to Columbia after graduation.
Mae Giraci passed away on January 10, 2006 in Los Angeles, California.
She was buried with her family at the Calvary Cemetery in Los Angeles.
|An unidentified child actor and Mae in the film For Better, for Worse
Mae was only married once, to a man named Herman Platz. The couple married in 1931 and had three children: Ralph, Howard, and Carole. Ralph Platz actually appeared in a film in 1945 and worked as a stand-in or an extra in others. Mae reportedly signed him up for the Screen Actors Guild when he was 12 years old!
Mae's younger sister, Dorothy, also worked briefly as an actress. She appeared in two films, one in 1918 and the other in 1922.
While filming a scene for 1916's Children of the Feud, Mae accidentally elbowed one of her costars, Robert Burns in the face giving him a black eye.
According to a film fan magazine, Mae used to love to read fairy tales.
"May Giraci has made a reputation for herself ever since she did child-parts for Mr. Griffith. Her great adaptability has made her a featured child-artist in many screen successes, and she's very popular at Triangle Studios." ~~ Motion Picture Magazine - December 1918