One of the silent screen's great portrayers of suffering womanhood, blonde Ethel Clayton was publicized as being incapable of giving a bad performance. Unfortunately, most of her vehicles were beneath her and she was playing minor supporting roles by the late '20s. A member of the Frawley Stock Company, Clayton had toured with Edwin Stephens prior to making her screen debut with the Philadelphia-based Lubin Mfg. Company in 1911. She later appeared in six melodramas either co-starring or directed by her husband Joseph Kaufman, including The House Next Door (1914), a Romeo & Juliet-inspired melodrama set among Catholics and Jews in New York. After Kaufman's death in 1918, Clayton married prolific silent screen star Ian Keith, with whom she appeared many years later in The Buccaneer (1938). She continued playing small roles on screen until at least 1948.