Born: July 29, 1905 in Brooklyn, NY, USA
Died: September 27, 1965 in West Los Angeles, CA, USA
|~Read More About Clara Bow~
|~Los Angeles Times, 1998~
Clara Bow was the screen's first sex symbol. Cinema's "It" girl exuded sex appeal, enticement and
Despite the adulation and love of her fans, Bow couldn't shake off the demons of her childhood, and
when her on-screen life began to parallel her wild screen image, many in Hollywood turned their
back on her. Washed up at 28, she died in seclusion in 1965.
"She had her moment in the sun," said Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, who was executive producer
of the documentary "Clara Bow: Discovering the 'It' Girl." "But even at the height of her popularity,
she was an outsider."
Audiences hadn't seen anyone quite like Bow when she burst upon the scene in the mid-'20s. Good
girls like Mary Pickford and Lillian Gish were the top female stars of the day. Bow, though, was the
epitome of the Roaring '20s flapper.
"Clara Bow was sexually aggressive and confident — a real role model," said David Stenn, author of
"Clara Bow: Running Wild." "Marilyn Monroe sort of took that back because she was sort of a Barbie
doll. Clara Bow was in charge. She domesticated the men. She taught men to come to her. She never
gave up her autonomy or her independence."
One of Bow's earliest successes was the delightful "The Plastic Age" from 1925. Bow is at her jazz
baby best in this rollicking little college comedy.
Bow's most famous picture was the sexy 1927 romantic comedy "It." Bow, who was called the "It"
girl because of her sex appeal, stars in this tale inspired by writer Elinor Glyn, who coined the
In the film, Bow plays a high-spirited lingerie salesgirl who sets her sights on the handsome owner
(Antonio Moreno) of the department store in which she works. The two fall madly in love during a
date on Coney Island. But true love never runs smoothly and she nearly loses him when she's
mistaken for an unwed mother.
But Bow's life soon began to mirror the racy exploits of the characters she was portraying.
Her rise was meteoric and so was her descent. Though she made more than 40 films from 1924 to
1929, she ended up quitting the movie business at age 28 in 1933, a victim of sound films, sex
scandals and mental problems.
Bow spent much of the rest of her life in sanatoriums, often sending out Christmas cards with the
pathetic handwritten query, "Do you remember me? Clara Bow."
— Susan King and Stephen Lemons June 12, 1999, Aug. 5, 1999, and June 28, 1998
|Clara Bow, Jul. 7 1930, Chicago.
|... aka Three Week Ends (USA: poster title)
The Fleet's In (1928) .... Trixie Deane
Ladies of the Mob (1928) .... Yvonne
Red Hair (1928) .... Bubbles McCoy
Get Your Man (1927) .... Nancy Worthington
Hula (1927) .... Hula Calhoun
Wings (1927) .... Mary Preston
Rough House Rosie (1927) .... Rosie O'Reilly
Children of Divorce (1927) .... Kitty Flanders
It (1927) .... Betty Lou Spence
Kid Boots (1926) .... Clara McCoy
Mantrap (1926) .... Alverna
The Runaway (1926) .... Cynthia Meade
Fascinating Youth (1926) .... Clara Bow
Dancing Mothers (1926) .... Kittens Westcourt
Two Can Play (1926) .... Dorothy Hammis
Shadow of the Law (1926) .... Mary Brophy
Dance Madness (1926)
My Lady of Whims (1925) .... Prudence Severn
The Ancient Mariner (1925) .... Doris
The Plastic Age (1925) .... Cynthia Day
The Best Bad Man (1925) .... Peggy Swain
Free to Love (1925) .... Marie Anthony
The Primrose Path (1925) .... Marilyn Merrill
The Keeper of the Bees (1925) .... Lolly Cameron
Kiss Me Again (1925) .... Grizette
Parisian Love (1925) .... Marie
My Lady's Lips (1925) .... Lola Lombard
The Scarlet West (1925) .... Miriam
The Lawful Cheater (1925) .... Molly Burns
Eve's Lover (1925) .... Rena D'Arcy
The Adventurous Sex (1925) .... The Girl
Capital Punishment (1925) .... Delia Tate
Black Lightning (1924) .... Martha Larned
This Woman (1924) .... Aline Sturdevant
Helen's Babies (1924) .... Alice Mayton
Empty Hearts (1924) .... Rosalie
Wine (1924) .... Angela Warriner
Daughters of Pleasure (1924) .... Lila Millas
... aka Beggar on Horseback (USA)
Poisoned Paradise (1924) .... Margot LeBlanc
... aka Poisoned Paradise: The Forbidden Story of Monte Carlo (USA)
... aka The Forbidden Story of Monte Carlo
Grit (1924) .... Orchid McGonigle
Black Oxen (1923) .... Janet Ogelthorpe
Maytime (1923) .... Alice Tremaine
The Daring Years (1923) .... Mary
Enemies of Women (1923) .... Girl dancing on table
Down to the Sea in Ships (1922) .... 'Dot' Morgan
Beyond the Rainbow (1922) .... Virginia Gardener