Clara Bow

"People used to say that I had a feeling of closeness, a great warmth of loving everybody, that they could tell me their troubles."

Elaina Smith P.2


Clara Bow was a popular actress in the 1920's, often referred to as the "It" girl. She acted in silent films, often playing waitresses, manicurists, and salesgirls. Her characters usually had a main goal to win over a man, in which her vivaciousness, irresistible charm, and sensuousness always worked to her advantage in the roles. Clara was a well renowned sex symbol, being the first actress to visibly flaunt their sex appeal on the screen. This made her one of the most talked about actresses in Hollywood at the time. However, her childhood was not as glamorous. She was born in Brooklyn in 1905 during one of the worst heat waves New York had ever experienced. Her mother and grandmother both mentally ill, and her father wanted nothing to do with any of them. Her mother hoped that the heat would kill both her and Clara, who was then an infant, and didn't even bother to sign a birth certificate. Throughout her childhood, she would escape the tough aspects of her home life by imitating her favorite actresses from TV in the mirror.

Clara had a very glamorous look most of the time.

After years of searching New York for talents contests and agents, she became discovered when she won the Fame and Fortune Contest in Motion Picture Magazine. They said even at the age of 16, she was full of confidence, ambition, and determination. A part of her prize was a role in a motion picture, which led to her stardom.


Some of Clara's most famous films include Black Oxen (1923), Dancing Mothers (1926), The Daring Years (1923), and Down to the Sea in Ships (1922).

Above is a scene from "Goes to Dinner".

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