Clifford Marle

Clifford Marle was a British actor and producer of the early 20th century.


Marle was born Patrick Cassamer Rafter in 1885,the son of Dr.John Patrick Arthur Rafter,L.R.C.P.S.I. and Mary (née Mortelle). His parents were married in Cork,Ireland in 1881. Mary Mortelle was from Charleville, Cork and John Rafter was born at Knockthomas, Carlow, Ireland and became a physician and the first Roman Catholic Mayor of Bootle. Marles brother Major James Rafter was also a doctor and served throughout the First World War with the Royal Army Medical Corp, proving himself a hero and awarded the Military Cross and bar. Marle became a medical student at Liverpool University, but later he decided to adopt a stage career.


Marle was for a time a member of a stock company at the old Sadler's Wells Theatre. He also toured South America and the United States where he was producer to the Northampton Repertory Theatre, Massachusetts. For three years he was leading man at the Liverpool Repertory Theatre. Here he took on the additional work as producer. His leading parts at the theatre were many and varied, including the title role in August Strindberg's play The Father and as the butler in The Admirable Crichton. During his term as producer he dealt with all types of plays, from broadest farce to Maurice Maeterlinck's Mary Magdalene and was the first producer in England to stage a public performance of Eugene O'Neill's The Great God Brown. He appeared with some success at the Malvern Drama Festival. In 1935 he appeared as "Relling" in Henrik Ibsen's The Wild Duck at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre with James Hayter and Arthur Ridley. He appeared in several silent films, as Lieutenant Daring in Adventures of Lieutenant Daring-in a South American Port (1911); as the Rev. Percival Ferrers in The Gentleman Ranker (1912) and as Phipps in The Wheels of Chance (1922). Marle's early colleagues included Chalie Chaplin and his brother Syd. He was the only man to have played Shaw's O'Flaherty V.C. in London and has been associated with Lena Aswell, Ethel Irving, Charles Hawtrey, Maurice Moscovitch and others.

During the First World War he served with the 3rd Battalion of the 7th Kings Regiment, Liverpool. In the 1920s he was Director at the Rusholme Theatre Manchester.


Marle married Josephine Chalmers in 1907. As Josephine Colona she was an actress in her own right, daughter of "The Mexican Tragedian", Don Eduardo Colona. They had one child, John, born 1907.

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