Clara Gordon Bow was born in Brooklyn, New York on July 29 th 1905. She was born into poverty and violence, and her own mother even tried to slit Clara’s throat when she found out that her daughter was trying to get into the movies. However, even this did not stop the stunning and ambitious Clara, who was set to become the IT girl of the silent era.
Between 1922 and 1944 Clara notched up nearly sixty movies, although she had to work hard to get as far as she did. She was frequently underpaid and overworked, but this didn’t stop her making it to the top. She was admired by women everywhere, and had a vast male following as befits the first sex symbol of Hollywood.
After attempting to kill her daughter, Clara’s mother had been institutionalised and had died not long after. She had been schizophrenic. It was later discovered that Clara suffered the same affliction. Clara had suffered during her childhood, and the fact that she happily talked about her childhood in Hollywood actually made her unpopular with others, who preferred to hide away their poor or disturbed childhoods. Hollywood was also unimpressed by the public scandal that seemed to surround Hollywood’s first sex symbol, and she was involved in several court battles, including one with her assistant who was found to be embezzling from her.
She finished her career a very troubled woman, who spend time in the sanatorium and was fighting weight issues and mental instability. She has also battled with gambling and tax issues, part of the many scandals that shrouded her.
She died on September 26 th 1965 from a heart attack in Los Angeles.
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