Classic Movie Hub (CMH)


Clara Bow

Clara Bow

Kristin Hersh wrote a song about her for the band 50 Foot Wave entitled "Clara Bow." It appears on the band's debut album "Golden Ocean."

1928: She became the highest paid movie star, receiving $35,000 per week.

1949: After being diagnosed with schizophrenia, her regimen included shock treatments. Later in her life her husband sent her to one of the top mental institutions in the nation.

1994: She was honored with an image on a United States postage stamp designed by caricaturist Al Hirschfeld.

As soon as Bow started to make money, she brought her father to live with her in Hollywood. For the next few years, she funded numerous business ventures for him, including a restaurant and a dry cleaners, all of which failed. He soon became a drunken nuisance on her sets, where he would try to pick up young girls by telling them his daughter was Clara Bow.

Became a lifelong insomniac after her mother tried to kill her in her sleep.

Before she was known as "The It Girl", she was known as "The Brooklyn Bonfire".

Born at 4:45pm-EST

Clara applied her red lipstick in the shape of a heart. Women who imitated this shape were said to be putting a "Clara Bow" on their mouths.

Fellow actress Jeanine Louise DeName was born and raised in a neighborhood that Clara had briefly resided in as a youth, in Brooklyn, NY.

Had a turbulent love affair with actor Bela Lugosi (who had yet to deliver his legendary screen performance in Dracula (1931)) in the late '20s. Lugosi had a nude portrait of Bow hanging in the bedroom of his small Hollywood apartment for the rest of his life.

Her father, Robert Bow, was rarely present and may have had a mental impairment. Whenever he returned home, he was verbally and physically abusive to both wife and daughter. Reportedly he raped Clara when she was 15 or 16 years old.

Her mother was mentally ill and was committed to a mental institution where she died when Clara was still relatively young.

Her mother, Sarah Gordon, was an occasional prostitute who suffered from mental illness and epilepsy. She was noted for her frequent public affairs with local firemen.

Her reputation for being a rather loose and unrestrained free spirit earned her a somewhat sour reputation that would follow her for the rest of her life. Many legends and rumors grew up around her thanks in large part to the tabloid press. After her death there were rumors that she had faked her death and some had reported seeing her visiting her own grave.

Hollywood's first It-girl

Interred at Forest Lawn, Glendale, California, USA, in the Freedom Mausoleum, Sanctuary of Heritage, next to George Burns and Gracie Allen.

Mother of actor Rex Bell Jr.

Pictured on one of ten 29¢ US commemorative postage stamps celebrating stars of the silent screen, issued 27 April 1994. Designed by caricaturist Al Hirschfeld, this set of stamps also honored Rudolph Valentino, Charles Chaplin, Lon Chaney, John Gilbert, Zasu Pitts, Harold Lloyd, Theda Bara, Buster Keaton, and the Keystone Kops.

Preferred playing poker with her cook, maid, and chauffeur over attending her movie premieres.