She was one of the most actresses in the of silent movies. She was a sex symbol of Marilyn Monroe stature. A good biography of a tragic star. Not too much fun to read about, especially as I kept waiting for that big break, but each big break was just a precursor to another chapter of naive young woman, looking for love and support; studio bosses taking advantage; bad decisions, terrible movies, stress, etc. Clara Bow has been ignored for decades. It promised a part in a film and lots of publicity. I'm so glad I found her.
. She married Rex Bell and settled on a ranch out in the desert. Even though she triumphed for a few brief years, her life was, in the end, a tragedy. At age five, Clara saw her beloved Scottish grandfather drop dead before her. Though she was the third child of her parents, she was the only one to live past infancy. There's really no way to avoid the fact that Bow's life was an utter mess.
She had made them loads of money but they paid her poorly and took advantage of her lack of education to exploit her as badly as any actor has been exploited. Rise To Stardom Sooner or later, Clara Bow signed a career-changing deal with Preferred Pictures. Mental disease in the family members was considered even more shameful than unmarried pregnancy. Other stars were not so fortunate. From abusive, and sometimes even murderous, parents to a studio contract that used her and abused her, to relatives and friends who took advantage of her generosity and casual nature towards money, to her state of mental health wrecked from life experience and her own insecurities, Bow's choice to make movies seems an escape from reality--u This is not any easy biography to read.
Her lovers included her current leading men, John Gilbert, Charles Farrell, Frederic March, Gilbert Roland, Eddie Cantor, and even Bela Lugosi, who kept a nude portrait of Bow after their affair ended. Bow became a household name as a result of her imagery portrayal in the movie. Bow was born in Prospect Heights. When she was 16 years old, her mother suffered a head injury resulting from the fall she made from a second-story building. Yes, I do read those Kenneth Anger books too.
Stenn doesn't only concentrate on relating what happened to or what Clara did. When he mentions Marilyn Monroe, he states that Bow never exploited her childhood for sympathy. Yet just because I am Clara Bow and it is always printed, it sounds as though I were a regular flapper vamp. She felt that life had played a cruel trick on her. She wrote her successful autobiography in 1968 and passed away in 1988 a wealthy and fulfilled matron.
What you're reading is an authentic story of a real person. The greatest box-office draw of her day she once received 45,000 fan letters in a single month, Clara Bow's on screen vitality and allure that beguiled thousands, however, would be her undoing off-camera. Clara won a part in the The Daring Years 1923 and another tomboy role in Grit 1924 — a story written by F Scott Fitzgerald. David Stenn is a good author and his portrayal of Clara Bow's life is at once objective and sympathetic. After her death there were rumors that she had faked her death, and some had reported seeing her visiting her own grave. The characters she played were not out of place with her Brooklyn accent which she learned to refine and she had personality. There is one attribute of the book that some might consider a flaw: Stenn's opinion.
Instead, it's a fascinating and engrossing story of a damaged little girl who grew up to become Paramount's biggest female box office draw of the 1920's, but continued to fight her demons all her life. Clara Bow won a movie magazine contest and arrived in Hollywood in 1922. She attended every home game in Los Angeles followed by regular entertainment at 512 Bedford Drive, Beverly Hills. Unfortunately, Bow was not able to derive strength and power from her movie-star status. I had no idea how shockingly bad Clara Bow's tenement childhood in Brooklyn was, making her ascent to Box Office Blockbuster truly remarkable. Bow's mother, Sarah, had for years suffered from mental illness, a condition worsened by the infant deaths of two girls born prior to Clara, and a severe head injury sustained in a fall at the age of 16.
She perished on September 27, 1965. She was devoted to her husband and children and tried desperately to be an ideal mother. With time, Bow dropped out of school. It was not sound that destroyed Clara Bow's career but heredity and the horrors of her childhood. First off, Clara Bow had a devastatingly sad life. I am fascinated with the path her life took. Clara Bow came from abject poverty, an abusive home, and had a mentally ill mother and an alcoholic, sexually and physically abusive father.
After asking to be released from the final film in her contract with Paramount, she was admitted into a sanitarium in the spring of 1931. She grew up in the slums of Brooklyn at the turn of the century, emotionally, physically, and sexually abused by both her parents. They are not the timeless stars like Garbo or Dietrich, but stars who represent their own time. Unlike many books which touch on complicated subjects such as schizophrenia, Stenn's helps to understand the illness and explains how it related to Clara's behavior. Bow starred in several other movies with Fox Studios before retiring from playing in 1933.