Bow, Clara (1905–1965)

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Clara Bow (1905–1965)


Clara Bow was a tremendously popular actress of the silent film era. She was the ultimate symbol of the flapper (see entry under 1920s—Fashion in volume 2)—the unconventional, independent girl in the 1920s. Bow began her career in motion pictures in 1922. She was said to have "It" (sex appeal). By the 1926 film Mantrap, she was one of the top box office stars in Hollywood.

Unfortunately, no other star in early Hollywood was more a product of her time. The 1920s was a time of prosperity in America. However, when the depression began in 1929, her career quickly faded. By 1933, she retired from the screen. She married cowboy actor Rex Bell (1903–1962) in 1931. Bow died in 1965 largely forgotten by the public.


—Jill Gregg Clever

For More Information

"Clara Bow." The Silents Majority.http://www.mdle.com/ClassicFilms/Featured Star/star9.htm (accessed January 23, 2002).

The Clara Bow Page.http://www.clarabow.net (accessed January 23, 2002).

Neely, Hugh Munro, and Elaina B. Archer. ClaraBow: Discovering the "It" Girl. New York: Kino on Video, 1999.

Stenn, David. Clara Bow: Runnin' Wild. New York: Doubleday Publishing, 1988.