The “It” girl; Clara Bow, 1950 age 41 (top)
Clara, c. 1926 portrait by Eugene Robert Richee (bottom)
Clara Bow, the “It” girl, the “jazziest product of the jazz age”, made a slew of movies, 46 silent films and 11 “Talkies”. In the process she became the leading sex symbol of the 1920s. Clara received more than 45,000 fan letters in 1929 alone. With the birth of “Talkies”, Clara, along with many silent actors, struggled a bit getting used to the new scene. “I have to do the best I can.” she said concerning the matter and refused to give in to fear of the unknown. Contrary to popular belief, Clara Bow hung in there and went on to make two handfuls of talkies that were quite well received by her fans and the public.
Over the last 90 years Clara’s true life story has been twisted, ravaged and downright re-written with the help of sleazy tabloids and other no account blockheads. Sadly, as is often the case, untruth prevails. "Rumors and legend have a way of superceding the truth. They have a way of distorting the facts and thereby eliminating any knowledge of what made Clara the truly talented phenomenon that she actually was." (William Cramer; www.clarabow.net)
Clara Bow deserves to be known for who she truly was. Not as the crazed, hedonistic, morally unfit, low life that the tabloids (specifically the Coast Reporter, Frederic Girnau; proprieter, who was sentenced to 8 years in prison for blackmail among other things in connection with the case) originally created her to be but as the girl who through sheer will, tenacity and old fashioned hard work, rose up out of the poverty and neglect she suffered as a child and proved herself to be one of the most intelligent, beautiful, naturally gifted, magnetic, dedicated, professional actors of her time.
Thankfully there are some great sites out here dedicated to Clara Bow and the truth behind her name. www.clarabow.net is only one of them, here is an excellent article about Clara. Spend a little time learning about the great Clara Bow.