Clara Bow

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Clara Bow
Clara Gordon Bow
BirthplaceBrooklyn, New York, U.S.
EducationP.S. 111 P.S. 9 P.S. 98 H.S. Bay Ridge
Known for The original "IT-girl"

Bow, Clara

(1905–65) movie actress; born in New York City. At age 16 she won a fan magazine beauty contest and by 1922 she was making her first movie. Mantrap (1926) was her first major hit and she was suddenly the epitome of the Roaring Twenties, the "It Girl" (referring to her sex appeal), and her kewpie-doll appearance was imitated by thousands of young women; a 1928 poll named her America's most popular female movie star. But by 1930 she was at the center of scandals involving adultery, gambling, drink, and drugs and her career burned out as fast as it began. She married cowboy star Rex Bell in 1931, who later became lieutenant governor of Nevada, but by then she was suffering recurrent breakdowns.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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