Mabel May Yong (1883-1945) was an Australian born actress and dancer. She appeared in German films. The IMDB reports that she had 21 film appearances between 1920 and 1925. In some of the early films she was billed as Mabel May. She portrayed the exotic, sexy,  scantily clad Mata Hari or Salome type. She is often considered the German equivalent of Theda Bara. She had the lead in a vampire film “What the Skull Tells” (1921). Interestingly, she appeared in a film called “Women Who Commit Adultery ( 1922). Mabel May Yong was quite prolific in regard to her numerous film appearance in the early 1920’s. However, her success was short lived. Perhaps a cabinet card gallery visitor can explain what happened to Miss Yong personally and professionally after her early success. This rare vintage real photo postcard was published in Munich, Germany by Percy Hein.  (SOLD)

mabel 1

Published in: on December 4, 2015 at 12:00 pm  Comments (9)  
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  1. Did you mean to write Austrian or was she born in Australia?

    • Thanks for asking me about Mabel May-Yong’s birthplace. I found a source that reported that she was born in Australia and I had the same thought that you had. Isn’t it more likely the writer meant to say Austria? Then I looked at her name and posited that Mabel May could in fact be an Australian name. After receiving your question I did further research and found a source that stated she was born in Magdeburg, Germany. Information about this provocative and interesting actress has been difficult to find but i will continue to pursue my research.

      • That’s fascinating. Thank you!

  2. I tried to build a tree on Ancestry using Mabel May-Yong, Mable May-Jong and Mabel de Jong, with and without hyphenation. Using dates 1883-1945, the results were so nil I might speculate that the entire name might have been a pseudonym. If you can think of any other variations or other information I might try, let me know.

    • One source indicates that she was “probably born Mabel de Jong” while another source states that she added the “Jong” to her name in order to sound more exotic. Good luck on your research. You certainly have taken on a difficult task.

  3. Maybe this is her.

    New York Times
    October 28, 1914
    Baroness Alice Mabel von Schenck zu Schweinsberg, who danced in Germany under the name of Mabel May Yong, has arrived at the Astor to fulfill an engagement here. She said that theatrical conditions in Berlin just now were very hard, in spite of so many playhouses being open.

    “The theatrical artists in Berlin are in a critical condition. When the war began no manager would open his theatre, because it was concluded that nobody would come. Lots of contracts were canceled and may of the poorer artists were thrown upon the streets.

    “Finally Max Reinhardt,” continued Miss Yong, “determined to do something. He made an arrangement with all his actors and all his stage workmen, whereby everybody employed was to receive a salary of 100 Marks (25$) a month. All agreed to this. Of course many of the star actors and actresses had a great deal of money of their own and they were willing to work for what to them was almost nothing, not only to keep occupied but to make it possible for the poorer people to keep going. Reinhardt opened with a patriotic production, donating the money received to the Red Cross, and after two or three performances of the same kind, returned to the standard, serious plays, and other theatres following suit. Half prices for seats obtain and the theatres are well patronized.

    “But the vaudeville houses and the Winter Garden and all the places where there used to be light plays are closed.”


  5. Max Reinhardt was singularly responsible for a renaissance in theatre. So many famed actors and actresses studied under him. It’s worth doing some research on this great man. – Also, realize, that even this early, “the Jewish problem” was starting to rear it’s ugly head.

  6. Mabel Mae-Yong wurde am 28.6.1884 in Magdeburg/Elbe als Alice Scharrer geboren. Ihr Vater war der Kaufmann Max Scharrer, ihre Mutter war die Chinesin Lizzie Ho-A-Mai.

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