For her contribution to the motion picture industry, May McAvoy has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1731 Vine Street.
McAvoy appeared in her first film in 1917 entitled Hate.
After appearing in more than three dozen films, McAvoy co-starred with Ramón Novarro and Francis X. Bushman in Director Fred Niblo's 1925 production of Ben-Hur released by MGM. The feature-length film was one of the most lavish and spectacular productions of the silent movie era.
McAvoy married banker Maurice Cleary on June 26, 1929, with whom she had a son named Patrick, and divorced him in 1940.
Later, she returned to films and played small roles during the 1940s and 1950s, making her final film appearance in a small part of the 1959 version of Ben-Hur.
On April 26, 1984, McAvoy died at the age of 84 from the after effects of a heart attack suffered the previous year. She is interred in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.