May 12, 2010 Leave a comment
in Rough House Rosie (1927)
July 29, 1905(1905-07-29)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
West Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Clara Gordon Bow (July 29, 1905 – September 27, 1965) was an American actress who rose to stardom in the silent film era of the 1920s. Her acting artistry and high spirits made her the premier flapper and the film It (1927) made her world famous as the “It Girl”. Bow came to personify the “roaring twenties” and is described as its leading sex symbol.
Sarah Bow 1895Bow was born 1905 in a tenement in Brooklyn slums,  New York. She was the third child; the first two, also daughters, born in 1903 and 1904, died in infancy. Her mother Sarah Bow (1880–1923) was told by a doctor not to become pregnant again, because this time she might die as well. Despite this, Bow was conceived in fall of 1904. According to Bow her mother became “almost mad with apprehension and fear.” The delivery proved to be as difficult as feared; “At first, they thought I was dead… I don’t suppose two people ever looked death in the face more clearly than my mother and I the morning I was born. We were both given up, but somehow we struggled back to life.”At sixteen, Sarah fell from a second-story window and suffered a severe head injury. Later she was diagnosed with “psychosis due to epilepsy“, which apart from the seizures can cause disordered thoughts, delusional ideas, paranoia and aggressive behavior.From her earliest years, Bow learned how to care for her mother during seizures and how to deal with psychotic and hostile episodes. She said her mother could be “mean” to her, but “didn’t mean to…she couldn’t help it”. Still, Bow felt deprived of her childhood, stating “As a kid I took care of my mother, she didn’t take care of me”. Sarah worsened gradually, and when she realized her daughter was set for a movie career, she told her she “would be much better off dead”. One night in February 1922, Bow awoke with a butcher knife against her throat; when her mother hesitated, Bow fended her off and locked her up. In the morning, Sarah had no recollection of the episode and was later committed to a charity hospital.
Clara Bow circa 1917Bow said that her father Robert (1874–1959) possessed a quick, keen mind and all the natural qualifications to make something of himself, but didn’t. Robert seldom managed to hold on to a job and the family income varied drastically. Between 1905 and 1923, the Bows lived at least 14 different addresses. Aside from being a weak provider, Robert was often absent, leaving his family without means to survive.
|“||It was snowing. My mother and I were cold and hungry. We had been cold and hungry for days. We lay in each others arms and cried and tried to keep warm. It grew worse and worse. So that night my mother – but I can’t tell you about it. Only when I remember it, it seems to me I can’t live.||”|
Sarah died on January 5, 1923. When relatives gathered for the funeral, Bow accused them of not being supportive when it counted. She was so angry she even tried to jump after her mother down the grave.Bow never had a doll in her life, but treasured her roller skates. As she grew up she felt shy among other girls who teased her for her worn-out clothes and “carrot-top” hair. But she had no use for their company, “sissy” attitudes or games. Instead, from first grade, she enjoyed the society of boys and their sports, stunts and fighting “I could lick any boy my size. My right arm was quite famous. My right arm
as developed from pitching so much … Once I hopped a ride on behind a big fire engine. I got a lot of credit from the gang for that”. Bow’s athletic prowess also made her a track racing champion in high-school and her proposed arm strength, Louella Parsons examined; “…curiously enough, she have muscles on her arms that stand out like whip-cord”.
Portrait 1921In the early 1920s, roughly 50 million Americans, or half the population, attended the movies every week. Bow added to the statistics with every cent she got. Budding womanhood had made her stature as a “boy” in her old gang “impossible”, she didn’t have any girlfriends, and school was a “heartache” and home “miserable”. But on the silver screen, Bow found consolation; “For the first time in my life I knew there was beauty in the world. For the first time I saw distant lands, serene, lovely homes, romance, nobility, glamor”. And Bow saw further than that; “I always had a queer feeling about actors and actresses on the screen…I knew I would have done it differently. I couldn’t analyze it, but I could always feel it”. At sixteen Bow “knew” she wanted to be a motion pictures actress, even if she was “a square, awkward, funny-faced kid.”
Contest form 1921Every year Brewster publications Motion Picture Classic and Shadowland, held a nationwide acting contest, Fame and Fortune, and several of its former winners had found work in the pictures afterwards. With her father’s support but against her mother’s wishes, she competed and won. In the final screen test Bow was up against an already scene-experienced woman, who went first and did “a beautiful piece of acting”, but when Bow did the scene she actually became her character and “lived it”. In the January issues 1922 of Motion Picture Classics the jury concluded:
|“||“She is very young, only 16. But she is full of confidence, determination and ambition. She is endowed with a mentality far beyond her years. She has a genuine spark of divine fire. The five different screen tests she had, showed this very plainly, her emotional range of expression provoking a fine enthusiasm from every contest judge who saw the tests. She screens perfectly. Her personal appearance is almost enough to carry her to success without the aid of the brains she indubitably possesses”.||”|
Bow won an evening gown and a silver trophy and the publisher committed to help her “gain a role in films”. But nothing happened. Bow’s father told her to “haunt” Brewster’s office (located in Brooklyn) until they came up with something. “To get rid of me, or maybe they really meant to (give me) all the time and were just busy”, Bow was introduced to director Christy Cabanne who cast her in Beyond the Rainbow, produced late 1921 in New York City and released February 19, 1922. Bow did five scenes, impressed Cabanne with true theatrical tears, but was eventually cut from the print. Bow wasn’t told, but found out when she saw the movie at a theater in Brooklyn. “I was sick to my stomach”, she recalled and thought her mother was right about the movie business. Bow, who dropped out of school after she was notified about winning the contest, possibly in October 1921, got an ordinary office job. However, movie ads and newspaper editorial comments from 1922–1923 suggest that Bow was not cut from Beyond the Rainbow. Her name is on the cast list among the other stars, usually tagged “Brewster magazine beauty contest winner” and sometimes even with a picture.
Tomboy Bow undercover in Down to the Sea in Ships (1923)
Early advertEncouraged by her father, Bow started to run around studio agencies asking for parts. “But there was always something. I was too young, or too little, or too fat. Usually I was too fat.” Eventually director Elmer Clifton needed a tomboy for his movie Down to the Sea in Ships, saw Bow in Motion Picture Classic magazine and sent for her. In an attempt to overcome her youthful looks, Bow put her hair up and arrived in a dress she ‘sneaked’ from her mother. Clifton said she was too old, but broke into laughter as the stammering Bow made him believe she was the girl in the magazine. Clifton decided to bring Bow with him and offered her $50 a week, but added he couldn’t say whether or not she would “fit the part”.
Late advert.Down to the Sea in Ships was shot on location, New Bedford Massachusetts, produced by ‘the whaling film corporation’ and intended to document the life, love and work in a whale-hunter community. The production relied on a few unknown actors and local talents. Director Clifton needed twelve weeks to shoot it and several months to bring it together. At first it was advertised with full page action scenes, omitting the cast. In the end, when it had boiled down to its essence, there was Bow. Critics sang her praise.
- “Miss Bow will undoubtedly gain fame as a screen comedienne”
- “She scored a tremendous hit in Down to the Sea in Ships..(and)..has reached the front rank of motion picture principal players…”
- “With her beauty, her brains, her personality and her genuine acting ability it should not be many moons before she enjoys stardom in the fullest sense of the word. You must see Down to the Sea in Ships”
- “In movie parlance, she “stole” the picture…”
Bow was chosen the foremost “baby” by the WAMPAS Bow found herself walking time after time by a Broadway movie theater, starring at her name in shimmering electric light above the entrance. “I can never tell you what happiness I felt, life had been so terrible hard and it seemed to me that now all my troubles were to be in the
Three months before Down to the Sea in Ships was released, while her mother was dying at home, Bow danced half nude, on a table, unaccredited in Enemies of woman. In spring she got a part in The Daring Years and in the summer, she got a “tomboy” part in Grit, a story, which dealt with juvenile crime and was written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Bow met her first boyfriend, cameraman Arthur Jacobson, and she got to know director Frank Tuttle, with whom she worked in five later productions.
Young Bow in GritTuttle remembered; “Her emotions were close to the surface..she was dynamite, full of nervous energy and vitality and pitifully eager to please everyone”. Grit was released in January 1924. Variety wrote; “..Clara Bow lingers in the eye, long after the picture has gone..”While shooting Grit at Pyramid Studios, in Astoria, New York, Bow was approached by Jack Bachman, associated producer at Preferred Pictures in Hollywood. He wanted to contract her for a three months trial, fare paid and $50 a week. “It can’t do any harm”, he said, but Bow hesitated, as she enjoyed her life in New York. “Why can’t I stay in New York and make movies?”, she asked her father, but again he encouraged her to move ahead.On July 21, 1923 she befriended Louella Parsons, who interviewed her for The New York Morning Telegraph. In 1930/1931 when Bow came under tabloid scrutiny, Parsons defended her and stuck to her first opinion on Bow:
|“||She is as refreshingly unaffected as if she had never faced a means to pretend. She hasn’t any secrets from the world, she trusts everyone… she is almost too good to be true…(I) only wish some reformer who believes the screen contaminates all who associate with it could meet this child. Still on second thought it might not be safe: Clara uses a dangerous pair of eyes.||”|
The interview also revealed that Bow already was cast in Maytime and in great favor of Chinese cuisine.
Frame from newly rediscovered (May 2010, New Zealand) copy of Maytime. Bow comforting Ethel Shannon.July 22, 1923, Bow left New York, her father and her boyfriend behind. As chaperon for the journey and stay in Hollywood, the studio appointed writer / agent Maxine Alton, who Bow later branded a liar. In late July Bow entered studio chief B. P. Schulberg‘s office wearing a simple high-school uniform in which she “had won several gold medals on the cinder track”. She was tested and a press-release from early August says Bow had become a member of Preferred Picture’s permanent stock. She and Alton rented an apartment at Hillview near Hollywood Boulevard. Preferred Pictures was run by Schulberg who started as a publicity manager at Famous Players Lasky, but in the aftermath of the power struggle around the formation of United Artists ended up on the losing side and lost his job. In 1919, at age 27, he founded Preferred Pictures.
Bow’s first Hollywood picture was an adaptation of the popular operetta Maytime. She essayed “Alice Tremaine”, a second lead character who appears in the first half of the play. Before Maytime was finished Schulberg announced that Bow was given the lead in the studio’s biggest seasonal assessment, Poisoned Paradise, but first she was lent to First National Pictures to co-star in the adaptation of Gertrude Atherton‘s 1923 bestseller Black Oxen, shot in October, and to co-star with Colleen Moore in Painted People, shot in November.
Bow as Janet Oglethorpe, the “horrid” flapper in Black Oxen, holding Flaming Youth to her chest. With Kate Lester and Tom RickettsDirector Frank Lloyd was casting for the part of high society flapper “Janet Oglethorpe”. More than 50 women, most with previous screen experience, auditioned. Bow reminisced, “He had not found exactly what he wanted and finally somebody suggested me to him. When I came into his office a big smile came over his face and he looked just tickled to death”. Lloyd told the press, “Bow is the personification of the ideal aristocratic flapper, mischievous, pretty, aggressive, quick-tempered and deeply sentimental” Black Oxen was released December 29 and critics agreed it was a good adaptation of the book. Corinne Griffith and Conway Tearle top starred, but Bow gave them a close race for the approval of the audience.
- “[The] … horrid little flapper is adorably played”.
- “Clara Bow as Janet… the very apotheosis of youth… an excellent performance”.
Colleen Moore made her flapper debut in a successful adaptation of the daring novel Flaming Youth, released November 12, 1923, six weeks before Black Oxen. Both films were produced by First National Pictures, and while Black Oxen still was edited and Flaming Youth not yet released, Bow was requested to co-star Moore as her kid sister in Painted People.As the portrayed family was poor and Moore essayed the Baseball-playing tomboy, Bow told her they should switch parts. Moore, a well-established star earning $1200 a week–Bow got $200–took offense and blocked the director from doing a close-up on Bow. Moore was married to a studio executive and Bow’s protests fell short. “I’ll get that b***h”, she told her boyfriend Jacobson, who had arrived from New York. Bow had sinus problems and decided to have them attended to immediately. A bandaged Bow left the studio with no options but to recast her part.
Robert and Clar
a Bow 1931During 1924 Bow’s “horrid” flapper raced against Moore’s “whimsical”. In May Moore renewed her efforts in The Perfect Flapper, produced by her husband, but despite good reviews she suddenly withdrew. “No more flappers…they have served their purpose…people are tired of soda-pop love affairs”, she told the Los Angeles Times, that commented a month earlier, “Clara Bow is the one outstanding type. She has almost immediately been elected for all the recent flapper parts” In November 1933, Bow described the Hollywood years as a French Revolution picture, where “women are hollering and waving pitchforks twice as violently as any of the guys…the only ladies in sight are the ones getting their heads cut off”.
By New Year 1924 Bow defied the possessive Maxine Alton and brought her father to Hollywood. Bow remembered their reunion; “I didn’t care a rap, for (Maxine Alton), or B. P. Schulberg, or my motion picture career, or Clara Bow, I just threw myself into his arms and kissed and kissed him, and we both cried like a couple of fool kids. Oh, it was wonderful”. Bow felt Alton had misused her trust; “She wanted to keep a hold on me so she made me think I wasn’t getting over and that nothing but her clever management kept me going”. Bow and her father moved in at 1714 North Kingsley Drive in Beverly Hills, together with Jacobson, whom by then, also worked for “Preferred”. When Schulberg learned of this arrangement, he fired Jacobson for potentially getting “his big star” into a scandal. When Bow found out, “She tore up her contract and threw it in his face and told him he couldn’t run her private life”. Jacobson concluded, “[Clara] was the sweetest girl in the world, but you didn’t cross her and you didn’t do her wrong In September 7th, 1924, The Los Angeles Times, in a significant article “A dangerous little devil is Clara, impish, appealing, but oh, how she can act!”, her father is titled “Business manager” and Jacobson referred to as her brother.
In 1925, Schulberg cast Bow in The Plastic Age. The movie was a huge hit. She also began to date her co-star Gilbert Roland, who would become the first of many fiancees. Bow followed her first big success with Mantrap (1926), directed by Victor Fleming. Though he was twice her age, Bow quickly fell in love with her director. She began seeing both Roland and Fleming at the same time.
Publicity photo, circa 1924In 1927, Bow reached the heights of her popularity with the film It; the film was based on a story written by Elinor Glyn, and upon the film’s release, Bow became known as “The It Girl“. In Glyn’s story, It, a character explains what “It” really is: “It…that strange magnetism which attracts both sexes… [e]ntirely unself-conscious…full of self-confidence… [i]ndifferent to the effect… [s]he is producing and uninfluenced by others.”Many Hollywood insiders considered her socially undesirable. Bow was not liked by other women in Hollywood, and her presence at social functions was taboo, including her own premieres. Bow’s bohemian lifestyle, thick Brooklyn accent and “dreadful” manners were considered reminders of the Hollywood Elite’s uneasy position in high society, and they shunned her for it. Budd Schulberg, wrote in his memoir, Moving Pictures, “Hollywood was a cultural schizophrene: The anti-movie Old Guard with their chamber music and their religious pageants fighting a losing battle against the more dynamic culture of the Ad Schulbergs who flaunted the bohemianism of Edna St. Vincent Millay and the socialism of Upton Sinclair. But there was one subject on which the staid old Hollywood establishment and the members of the new culture circle would agree: Clara Bow, no matter how great her popularity, was a low life and a disgrace to the community.”However, Bow was praised by critics for her beauty, vitality and enthusiasm — Adolph Zukor, head of Paramount, said that “She danced even when her feet weren’t moving. Some part of her was always in motion, if only her great, rolling eyes. It was an elemental magnetism, an animal vitality, that made her the center of attraction in any company.”
Wings (1927)In 1927, Bow starred in Wings, a war picture largely rewritten to accommodate her, as she was Paramount’s biggest star at the time. The film went on to win the first Academy Award for Best Picture. In 1928, Bow wrote the foreword for a novelization of her film The Fleet’s In. Between 1927 and 1930, Bow was one of Hollywood’s top five box office attractions.Bow’s career continued into the early sound film era. Legend contends that her first talkie, The Wild Party, directed by Dorothy Arzner, was a disaster, but audiences crammed into theatres to see it, and the reviews, though they gave the film itself poor marks, commented that her voice suited her screen image well. However, Bow began experiencing microphone fright on the sets of her sound films. A visibly nervous Bow had to do a number of retakes in The Wild Party because her eyes kept wandering up to the microphone overhead; Arzner took credit for being the first director to hang the microphone from overhead. However, her performances in her sound films improved rapidly, and she continued to be a box office success.While MGM had given their biggest star, Greta Garbo, two years to prepare for her first sound film, Paramount gave Bow two weeks. Paramount began canceling her films, docking her pay, charging her for unreturned costumes, and insisting that she pay for her publicity photographs. As she slipped closer and closer to a major breakdown, her manager B.P. Schulberg began referring to her as “Crisis-A-Day-Clara”.The pressures of fame, public scandals, overwork and a damaging court trial involving former assistant Daisy DeVoe took their toll on Bow’s already fragile emotional health. She ended up in a sanatorium in April 1931 with a case of shattered nerves. Paramount released her from her contract a short while later. Following a brief period away from Hollywood to recover, Bow signed a two-picture deal with Fox Film Corporation and returned to the screen in the early talkie Call Her Savage (1932). Although the film was a success, Bow opted for marriage and motherhood, and ended her film career after the release of Hoop-La the following year.
Bow and cowboy actor Rex Bell (actually George F. Beldam), later a Lieutenant Governor of Nevada, married in 1932 and had two sons, Tony Beldam (born 1934, changed name to Rex Anthony Bell, Jr.) and George Beldam, Jr. (born 1938). Bow retired from acting in 1933. Her last public exposure, albeit fleeting, was a guest appearance on the radio show Truth or Consequences in 1947; Bow provided the voice of “Mrs. Hush”.
Clara Bow’s crypt at Forest Lawn GlendaleIn 1944, while Bell was running for the U.S. House of Representatives, Bow tried to commit suicide. In 1949 she checked into The Institute of Living to be treated for her chronic insomnia. Shock treatment was tried and numerous psychological tests performed. Bow’s IQ was measured “bright normal” (pp. 111–119), while others claimed she was unable to reason, had poor judgment and displayed inappropriate or even bizarre behavior. Bow was diagnosed with schizophrenia, despite experiencing no hallucinations or psychosis. Her insomnia was a result of childhood trauma, the analysts said, but Bow rejected psychological explanations for both her sleep disorder and her physical pains.Bow spent her last years in a modest house in Los Angeles under the constant care of a nurse, living off an estate worth about $500,000 at the time of her death. She died on September 27, 1965, aged 60, of a heart attack while watching a Gary Cooper movie. The autopsy revealed that Bow suffered from atherosclerosis (death certificate), a heart disease established in early adolescence. Bow’s heart bore scars from an earlier undiagnosed heart attack. She was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.
For her contributions to the motion picture industry, Bow was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1994, she was honored with an image on a United States postage stamp designed by caricaturist Al Hirschfeld.
The book Hollywood Babylon spread the contemporary legend that Bow’s friendship with members of the 1927 University of Southern California football team included group sex with the entire team. This was finally proved incorrect by her biographer, David Stenn, who interviewed still-living members of that year’s team while researching his book.During her lifetime, Bow was the subject of wild rumors regarding her sex life; most of them were untrue. A tabloid called The Coast Reporter published lurid allegations about her in 1931, accusing her of exhibitionism, incest, lesbianism, bestiality, drug addiction, alcoholism, and having contracted venereal disease. The publisher of the tabloid then tried to blackmail Bow, offering to cease printing the stories for $25,000, which led to his arrest by federal agents, and later an eight-year prison sentence.
Clara Bow, publicity shot, 1930
- The alternative rock band 50 Foot Wave entitled a song “Clara Bow” on their CD Golden Ocean.
- Bow is mentioned in the lyrics of the song “Condition of the Heart” by Prince on his album Around the World in a Day.
- Bow is mentioned in the lyrics of the song “Chop Suey” in Rodgers & Hammerstein‘s musical comedy Flower Drum Song.
- Bow is mentioned in the lyrics of the song “I’maman” by Jobriath on his self-titled debut album.
- Max Fleischer‘s cartoon character Betty Boop was modeled after Bow and entertainer Helen Kane (the “boop-boop-a-doop-girl”).
- Bow’s mass of tangled red hair was one of her most famous features. When fans of the new star found out she put henna in her hair, sales of the dye tripled.
- Bow 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.
- She is Effy’s idol in the popular E4 show Skins.
- An autographed picture of Bow is offered as a consolation prize of a beauty contest in the 1931 George Gershwin musical Of Thee I Sing.
- In an episode of the Fox TV series, Bones, forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan’s undercover persona “Roxie”, is based on Brennan’s memories of watching Bow’s films as a child. Her partner mentions that Clara Bow was a silent screen star, to which Brennan replies that she was imitating what she imagined Bow sounded like. Obviously, Brennan had never seen Bow’s “talkie” work.
- In the novel Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank, the character Florence Wechek is described as looking like Clara Bow.
- In the 1990 novel Vineland by Thomas Pynchon, the character Zoyd Wheeler refers to his daughter watching Pia Zadora in the fictitious movie The Clara Bow Story.
- Two graphic adventure games by Sierra star a heroine named, Laura Bow, who is a clear homage to Clara Bow.
- In the film, The Rules of Attraction directed by Roger Avary and based on the novel of the same name by Bret Easton Ellis, the character Lauren is told by a NYU film school student at a party that she looks like Clara Bow.
- In the song “straight girl of the Universe” by Alternative rock group The Exies Clara Bow is referred to.
- The British pop/rock band Cleaners From Venus recorded a song about her (“Clara Bow”) which was released in 1987 on the album Going to England.
- Bow is mentioned in an episode of M*A*S*H when Hawkeye and Colonel Potter are behind enemy lines. They are drunk and trying to convince American infantrymen that they are ‘one of them’. Hawkeye references ‘apple pie’ and ‘Betty Grable’. When Potter references ‘Clara Bow’, Hawkeye remarks, “Clara Bow? Frank’s right, you are old.”
- In the novel The Witching Hour, author Anne Rice says Stella Mayfair looks like Clara Bow.
- . The Song “Clara Bow” was on Golden Carillo’s album “Back For More.” It is still performed by Annie Golden solo.
|1922||Beyond the Rainbow||Virginia Gardener|
|1922||Down to the Sea in Ships||Dot Morgan|
|1923||Enemies of Women||Girl dancing on table|
|1923||Daring Years, TheThe Daring Years||Mary|
|1923||Black Oxen||Janet Ogelthorpe|
|1924||Poisoned Paradise||Margot LeBlanc|
|1924||Daughters of Pleasure||Lila Millas||Alternative title: Beggar on Horseback|
|1924||Helen’s Babies||Alice Mayton|
|1924||This Woman||Aline Sturdevant|
|1924||Black Lightning||Martha Larned|
|1925||Capital Punishment||Delia Tate|
|1925||Adventurous Sex, TheThe Adventurous Sex||The Girl|
|1925||Eve’s Lover||Rena D’Arcy|
|1925||Lawful Cheater, TheThe Lawful Cheater||Molly Burns|
|1925||Scarlet West, TheThe Scarlet West||Miriam|
|1925||My Lady’s Lips||Lola Lombard|
|1925||Kiss Me Again||Grizette|
|1925||Keeper of the Bees, TheThe Keeper of the Bees||Lolly Cameron|
|1925||Primrose Path, TheThe Primrose Path||Marilyn Merrill|
|1925||Free to Love||Marie Anthony|
|1925||Best Bad Man, TheThe Best Bad Man||Peggy Swain|
|1925||Plastic Age, TheThe Plastic Age||Cynthia Day|
|1925||Ancient Mariner, TheThe Ancient Mariner||Doris|
|1925||My Lady of Whims||Prudence Severn|
|1926||Shadow of the Law||Mary Brophy|
|1926||Two Can Play||Dorothy Hammis|
|1926||Dancing Mothers||Kittens Westcourt|
|1926||Fascinating Youth||Clara Bow|
|1926||Runaway, TheThe Runaway||Cynthia Meade|
|1926||Kid Boots||Clara McCoy|
|1927||It||Betty Lou Spence|
|1927||Children of Divorce||Kitty Flanders|
|1927||Rough House Rosie||Rosie O’Reilly|
|1927||Get Your Man||Nancy Worthington|
|1928||Red Hair||Bubbles McCoy|
|1928||Ladies of the Mob||Yvonne|
|1928||Fleet’s In, TheThe Fleet’s In||Trixie Deane|
|1928||Three Weekends||Gladys O’Brien|
|1929||Wild Party, TheThe Wild Party||Stella Ames|
|1929||Dangerous Curves||Pat Delaney|
|1929||Saturday Night Kid, TheThe Saturday Night Kid||Mayme||Alternative title: Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em|
|1930||True to the Navy||Ruby Nolan|
|1930||Love Among the Millionaires||Pepper Whipple|
|1930||Her Wedding Night||Norma Martin|
|1931||No Limit||Helen “Bunny” O’Day|
|1931||Kick In||Molly Hewes|
|1932||Call Her Savage||Nasa Springer|
|1949||Screen Snapshots 1860: Howdy, Podner||Clara Bow – Resort Guest||Short subject|
- Basinger, Jeanine. “Flappers: Colleen Moore and Clara Bow”. Silent Stars (1ST edition ed.). Hanover, NH: Wesleyan University Press. ISBN.
- TCM Film Guide, “Leading Ladies: The 50 Most Unforgettable Actresses of the Studio Era”, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, California, 2006.
- Ball, Christina (March/April 2001). “The Silencing of Clara Bow”. Gadfly Online. http://www.gadflyonline.com/archive/MarchApril01/archive-clarabow.html.
- Clara Bow at the Internet Movie Database
- Clara Bow at the TCM Movie Database
- Clara Bow at Allmusic
- “Clara Bow”. Find a Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=119. Retrieved August 28, 2010.
- Photographs and bibliography
- Clara Bow My Life Story
- Clara Bow attends a premiere with Mae Murray