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Clara Bow

Biography

Alluring silent celeb who starred in It and Wings in 1937. She became a package office draw among the leading sex icons from the Roaring Twenties. She was a monitor champion in senior high school, though she experienced a miserable period in the home and in course. Her last film was Hoop-La; afterward, she thought we would be considered a rancher with her spouse Rex Bell. She experienced two sons with Rex Bell in 1934 and 1938. She made an appearance in Grit, that was based on a tale compiled by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Quick Facts


Full Name Clara Bow
Date Of Birth July 29, 1905
Died September 27, 1965, Culver City, California, United States
Place Of Birth Brooklyn, NY
Height 1.61 m
Profession Movie Actress
Nationality American
Spouse Rex Bell, Rex Bell
Children Rex Bell Jr., George Beldam, Jr.
Parents Robert Bow, Sarah Bow
Movies It, Call Her Savage, The Saturday Night Kid, The Wild Party, Mantrap, Wings, Hula, The Plastic Age, Dancing Mothers, Down to the Sea in Ships, Black Oxen, True to the Navy, Children of Divorce, Maytime, Beyond the Rainbow, Get Your Man, My Lady of Whims, Hoop-La, Rough House Rosie, Helen's Babies, Dangerous Curves, Her Wedding Night, Kid Boots, Red Hair, Ladies of the Mob, Three Weekends, My Lady's Lips, The Lawful Cheater, Kiss Me Again, The Ancient Mariner, The Best Bad Man, No Limit, The Runaway, Wine, Black Lightning, The House That Shadows Built, Free to Love, Enemies of Women, Parisian Love, Love Among the Millionaires, Kick In, The Daring Years, The Fleet's In, Daughters of Pleasure, Poisoned Paradise: The Forbidden Story of Monte Carlo, Eve's Lover, The Scarlet West, Shadow of the Law, Gaslight Follies
Star Sign Leo

  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1Prince refers to her in his song "Condition of the Heart". The line goes, "There was a woman from the ghetto who made funny faces just like Clara Bow".
2Was considered for the role of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939).
3She had a rare singing role (sang "I'm True To The Navy") in Paramount on Parade (1930).
4Had a turbulent love affair with actor Bela Lugosi (who had yet to deliver his legendary screen performance in Dracula (1931)) in the late '20s. Lugosi had a nude portrait of Bow hanging in the bedroom of his small Hollywood apartment for the rest of his life.
5Her father, Robert Bow, was rarely present and may have had a mental impairment. Whenever he returned home, he was verbally and physically abusive to both wife and daughter. Reportedly he raped Clara when she was 15 or 16 years old.
6Her mother, Sarah Gordon, was an occasional prostitute who suffered from mental illness and epilepsy. She was noted for her frequent public affairs with local firemen.
7As soon as Bow started to make money, she brought her father to live with her in Hollywood. For the next few years, she funded numerous business ventures for him, including a restaurant and a dry cleaners, all of which failed. He soon became a drunken nuisance on her sets, where he would try to pick up young girls by telling them his daughter was Clara Bow.
81994: She was honored with an image on a United States postage stamp designed by caricaturist Al Hirschfeld.
91949: After being diagnosed with schizophrenia, her regimen included shock treatments. Later in her life her husband sent her to one of the top mental institutions in the nation.
101928: She became the highest paid movie star, receiving $35,000 per week.
11Fellow actress Jeanine Louise DeName was born and raised in a neighborhood that Clara had briefly resided in as a youth, in Brooklyn, NY.
12Became a lifelong insomniac after her mother tried to kill her in her sleep.
13Preferred playing poker with her cook, maid, and chauffeur over attending her movie premieres.
14Clara applied her red lipstick in the shape of a heart. Women who imitated this shape were said to be putting a "Clara Bow" on their mouths.
15Hollywood's first It-girl
16Was billed as "The Hottest Jazz Baby in Films" by independent producer B.P. Schulberg for The Plastic Age (1925).
17Kristin Hersh wrote a song about her for the band 50 Foot Wave entitled "Clara Bow." It appears on the band's debut album "Golden Ocean".
18The stories about her being a rather loose and unrestrained free spirit earned her a somewhat notorious reputation that would follow her for the rest of her life. Many legends and rumors grew up around her, thanks in large part to the tabloid press. After her death there were rumors that she had faked her death, and some had reported seeing her visiting her own grave.
19Refused to write her memoirs on the grounds there were many things that might embarrass her two sons and their families. She felt all the money in the world would not compensate for the embarrassment.
20WAMPAS Baby Star of 1924.
21Her mother was mentally ill and was committed to a mental institution where she died when Clara was still relatively young.
22Mother of actor Rex Bell Jr.
23Pictured on one of ten 29¢ US commemorative postage stamps celebrating stars of the silent screen, issued 27 April 1994. Designed by caricaturist Al Hirschfeld, this set of stamps also honored Rudolph Valentino, Charles Chaplin, Lon Chaney, John Gilbert, Zasu Pitts, Harold Lloyd, Theda Bara, Buster Keaton, and the Keystone Kops.
24She worked at a hot dog stand on Coney Island as a teenager, run by a man named Nathan Handwerker, who later founded Nathan's Franks. However, contrary to legend, she was not discovered there.
25Interred at Forest Lawn, Glendale, CA, in the Freedom Mausoleum, Sanctuary of Heritage, next to George Burns and Gracie Allen.
26She lived in a seven-room bungalow at 512 N. Bedford Dr. in Beverly Hills.
27Unlike many movie stars of her era she did not flaunt her wealth, but lived on par with the middle class.
28Born at 4:45pm-EST
29Sons Rex Bell Jr. (b. 1934) and George Robert (b. 1938).
30Before she was known as "The It Girl", she was known as "The Brooklyn Bonfire".


Actress

Actress

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Screen Snapshots 1860: Howdy, Podner1949ShortClara Bow
Hoop-La1933Lou
Call Her Savage1932Nasa Springer
Kick In1931Molly Hewes
No Limit1931Helen 'Bunny' O'Day
Her Wedding Night1930Norma Martin
Galas de la Paramount1930Episode 'True to the Navy'
Love Among the Millionaires1930Pepper Whipple
True to the Navy1930Ruby Nolan
The Saturday Night Kid1929Mayme Barry
Dangerous Curves1929Pat Delaney
The Wild Party1929Stella Ames
Three Weekends1928Gladys O'Brien
The Fleet's In1928Trixie Deane
Ladies of the Mob1928Yvonne
Red Head1928Bubbles McCoy
Get Your Man1927Nancy Worthington
Hula1927Hula Calhoun
Wings1927Mary Preston
Rough House Rosie1927Rosie O'Reilly
Children of Divorce1927Kitty Flanders
It1927Betty Lou
Kid Boots1926Clara McCoy
Mantrap1926Alverna
The Runaway1926Cynthia Meade
Dancing Mothers1926Kittens Westcourt
Two Can Play1926Dorothy Hammis
Shadow of the Law1926Mary Brophy
The Ancient Mariner1925Doris
The Plastic Age1925Cynthia Day
My Lady of Whims1925Prudence Severn
The Best Bad Man1925Peggy Swain
Free to Love1925Marie Anthony
The Primrose Path1925Marilyn Merrill
The Keeper of the Bees1925Lolly Cameron
Kiss Me Again1925Grizette
Parisian Love1925Marie
The Scarlet West1925Miriam
The Lawful Cheater1925Molly Burns
Eve's Lover1925Rena D'Arcy
My Lady's Lips1925Lola Lombard
The Adventurous Sex1925The Girl
Capital Punishment1925Delia Tate
Black Lightning1924Martha Larned
Helen's Babies1924Alice Mayton
This Woman1924Aline Sturdevant
Empty Hearts1924Rosalie
Wine1924Angela Warriner
Daughters of Pleasure1924Lila Millas
Poisoned Paradise: The Forbidden Story of Monte Carlo1924Margot LeBlanc
Grit1924Orchid McGonigle
Black Oxen1923Janet Ogelthorpe
Maytime1923Alice Tremaine
The Daring Years1923Mary
The Pill Pounder1923Short
Enemies of Women1923Girl Dancing on Table
Down to the Sea in Ships1922'Dot' Morgan
Beyond the Rainbow1922Virginia Gardener

Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Love Among the Millionaires1930performer: "Believe It or Not, I've Found My Man", "Love Among the Millionaires", "Rarin' to Go", "That's Worth While Waiting For"
Paramount on Parade1930performer: "I'm True to the Navy Now"

Music Department

Music Department

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Hollywood on Parade No. B-91934Short theme music

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Screen Snapshots Series 28, No. 61948ShortHerself
Screen Snapshots Series 20, No. 11940ShortHerself
Screen Snapshots Series 16, No. 91937Documentary shortHerself
Screen Snapshots Series 12, No. 121932ShortHerself
Paramount on Parade1930Herself (True to the Navy)
Screen Snapshots Series 9, No. 111930ShortHerself
Hollywood Snapshots #111929Documentary shortHerself
A Trip Through the Paramount Studio1927Documentary shortHerself
Fascinating Youth1926Herself - Clara Bow
Screen Snapshots Series 5, No. 41924Documentary shortHerself
Screen Snapshots, Series 4, No. 151924Documentary shortHerself

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Hollywood Rebellen2013TV Movie documentary
Clara Bow: Hollywood's Lost Screen Goddess2012TV Movie documentaryHerself / Various Characters
Arena2012TV Series documentary
Fragments: Surviving Pieces of Lost Films2011TV Movie documentaryHerself
Love Lust2011TV Series documentaryHerself
Shooting the Hollywood Stars2011TV Movie documentaryHerself
Moguls & Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood2010TV Mini-Series documentaryHerself
Flappers, Speakeasies, and the Birth of Modern Culture2010DocumentaryHerself
Why Be Good? Sexuality & Censorship in Early Cinema2007DocumentaryHerself
Biography2002TV Series documentaryHerself
Sex in the 20th Century2001TV Movie documentaryHerself
Clara Bow: Discovering the It Girl1999TV Movie documentaryHerself / Various Roles (uncredited)
The 20th Century: A Moving Visual History1999TV Mini-Series documentaryHerself
Sharon Stone - Una mujer de 100 caras1998TV Movie documentaryHerself (uncredited)
E! Mysteries & Scandals1998TV Series documentaryHerself
Cinema Europe: The Other Hollywood1995TV Mini-Series documentaryVarious roles
The First 100 Years: A Celebration of American Movies1995TV Movie documentaryHerself
Betty Boop: Queen of the Cartoons1995DocumentaryHerself
The Casting Couch1995Video documentary
100 Years at the Movies1994TV Short documentaryHerself
Marilyn Monroe: Beyond the Legend1987DocumentaryActress in Movie Clip
Hollywood1980TV Mini-Series documentaryHerself
All You Need Is Love1977TV Series documentaryHerself
The Age of Ballyhoo1973Video documentaryHerself (clip from "It")
The Love Goddesses1965DocumentaryHerself
Hollywood Without Make-Up1963DocumentaryHerself
Hollywood: The Golden Years1961TV Movie documentaryActress 'It' (uncredited)
Movies Golden Age1961TV Movie documentaryPrudence Severn
Screen Snapshots: Ramblin' Round Hollywood1955Documentary shortHerself
Yesterday and Today1953
Screen Snapshots Series 17, No. 11937Documentary shortHerself
Fashions in Love1936Documentary short
March of the Movies1933Herself, film clip (uncredited)
The House That Shadows Built1931Documentary

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1960Star on the Walk of FameWalk of FameMotion PictureOn 8 February 1960. At 1500 Vine Street.

TitleSalary
Call Her Savage (1932)$125,000
The Wild Party (1929)$5,000 /week
Two Can Play (1926)$1,750 /week
Down to the Sea in Ships (1922)$35 /week
Beyond the Rainbow (1922)$50 /week

#Quote
1[asked for her thoughts on Marilyn Monroe after Monroe's death] A sex symbol is a heavy load to carry when one is tired, hurt and bewildered.
2[on her poverty-stricken childhood in Brooklyn] No one wanted me in the first place. Often I was lonesome, frightened and miserable. I never had a doll in my life. I never had any clothes, and lots of times didn't have anything to eat. We just lived, and that'a about all. Girls shunned me because I was so poorly dressed - the worst looking kid on the street. I decided that girls weren't any good, and being lonely and needing child friends, cast my lot with the neighborhood boys. I became a regular tomboy - played baseball, football and learned to box.
3[on the death of her grandfather when she was five] The first night, as he lay in his coffin in the dining room, I crept out of my bed and lay down on the floor beside him because I had the feeling that he might be lonely. My father found me there in the morning, almost frozen. I said, 'Hush, you mustn't wake grandfather. He's sleeping.'
4People used to say that I had a feeling of closeness, a great warmth of loving everybody, that they could tell me their troubles.
5When I decided to leave the screen, I told Ben Schulberg [producer B.P. Schulberg] I would not finish my contract or ever work again for anyone. He yelled and threatened to sue me and I said, "Go ahead, Ben, sue me. I've fought a thief and a blackmailer and, if after such heartaches I am forced to fight you and the studio, so be it".
6We had individuality. We did as we pleased. We stayed up late. We dressed the way we wanted. I used to whiz down Sunset Boulevard in my open Kissel, with several red Chow dogs to match my hair. Today, they're sensible and end up with better health. But we had more fun.
7A sex symbol is a heavy load to carry when one is tired, hurt and bewildered.
8[when asked what "It" was, replying in her perfect Brooklyn accent] I ain't real sure.
9[on director Victor Fleming] Of all the men I've known, there was a man.
10The more I see of men, the more I like dogs.


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