Wednesday, September 30, 2015

O.J. Attorney Robert Kardashian 2003 Inglewood Park Cemetery

Robert George Kardashian (February 22, 1944 – September 30, 2003) was an American attorney and businessman. He gained national recognition as O. J. Simpson's friend and defense attorney during the latter's 1995 murder trial.

Personal life

Robert Kardashian was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of Armenian-American parents Helen (née Arakelian) and Arthur Kardashian.[2][3] His grandparents, Sam and Harom Kardaschoff, were ethnic Armenian Molokan "Jumpers" from Karakale, Kars, Russian Empire (now Turkey). They migrated to the United States in 1913, just before the Armenian Genocide. Their son Tatos anglicized his name to Tom, started a business in rubbish collection in Los Angeles and married another Karakale Jumper immigrant, Hamas Shakarian.[4]

Kardashian earned a law degree from the University of San Diego School of Law and practiced for about a decade; after that, he went into business. When he presented the O.J. Simpson case in 1995, it had been over 20 years since Kardashian had last practiced law.[5]

With his former wife, Kris Jenner, he had four children: Kourtney, Kimberly, Khloé, and Robert, Jr., all of whom have achieved fame after his death, mainly through the E! cable network reality television show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and related programs.

After Kardashian's divorce from his first wife, Kris, was finalized, he married Jan Ashley. That marriage did not last, and he later married his third wife, Ellen, two months before he died.[5]

O. J. Simpson case

Kardashian and Simpson first met in the early 1970s and became close friends.[5]

Simpson stayed in Kardashian's house during the days following the June 12, 1994, murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. Kardashian was the man seen carrying Simpson's garment bag the day that Simpson flew back from Chicago. Prosecutors speculated that the bag may have contained Simpson's bloody clothes or the murder weapon.[6]

Simpson failed to turn himself in at 11 a.m. on June 17, 1994, and Kardashian read a letter by Simpson to the collected media. The letter was interpreted by many as a suicide note.[7]

Simpson was charged with the murders and subsequently acquitted of all criminal charges in a controversial criminal trial. Kardashian had let his license to practice law become inactive before the Simpson case. He reactivated his license to aid in Simpson's defense as a volunteer assistant on his legal team.[1] He sat by Simpson throughout the trial.[5]

The New York Times reported that, "Mr. Kardashian said in a 1996 ABC interview that he questioned Mr. Simpson's innocence: 'I have doubts. The blood evidence is the biggest thorn in my side; that causes me the greatest problems. So I struggle with the blood evidence.'"[1]


Kardashian died of esophageal cancer on September 30, 2003 at the age of 59.[8] He is buried at Inglewood Memorial Park Cemetery.


1.^ "Robert Kardashian, a Lawyer For O. J. Simpson, Dies at 59". The New York Times. October 3, 2003. Retrieved November 22, 2010.

2.^ "Obituaries". The Desert Sun. May 28, 2008.

3.^ "Helen Kardashian - Kim Kardashian: Official website". Retrieved 2012-07-25.

4.^ Harvey, Oliver (March 16, 2012). "Kim Kardashian is keeping up with the Armenians". The Sun (London). Retrieved September 3, 2012.

5.^ Reed, Christopher (October 6, 2003). "Obituary: Robert Kardashian". The Guardian (London). Retrieved November 22, 2010.

6.^ "O.J. Simpson trial: Testimony about Simpson's trip to Chicago". CNN. October 11, 2007. Retrieved October 17, 2011.

7.^ Lowry, Brian (June 21, 2010). "From the couch: O.J.'s legacy continues". Fox Sports. Retrieved November 22, 2010.

8.^ "Former O.J. Simpson lawyer, Kardashian, dies". CNN. October 1, 2003. Retrieved November 22, 2010.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

"The It Girl" Actress Clara Bow 1965 Forest Lawn Glendale Cemetery

Clara Gordon Bow (July 29, 1905 – September 27, 1965) was an American actress who rose to stardom in silent film during the 1920s. It was her appearance as a plucky shopgirl in the film It that brought her global fame and the nickname "The It Girl."[1] Bow came to personify the Roaring Twenties[2] and is described as its leading sex symbol.[3]

She appeared in 46 silent films and 11 talkies, including hits such as Mantrap (1926), It (1927) and Wings (1927). She was named first box-office draw in 1928 and 1929 and second box-office draw in 1927 and 1930.[4][5] Her presence in a motion picture was said to have ensured investors, by odds of almost 2-to-1, a "safe return."[6] At the apex of her stardom, she received more than 45,000 fan letters in a single month (January 1929).[7]

After marrying actor Rex Bell in 1931, Bow retired from acting and became a rancher in Nevada. Her final film, Hoop-La, was released in 1933. In September 1965, Bow died of a heart attack at the age of 60.

Early life

Bow was born in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, New York at 697 Bergen Street.[8] Her birth year, according to the US Census of 1910 and 1920 was given as 1905.[9] In the Census of 1930, Bow claims she was born in 1906[10] and on her gravestone of 1965 the inscription says 1907.

Bow was her parents' third child; her two older sisters, born in 1903 and 1904 respectively, died in infancy.[11] Her mother, Sarah Bow (née Gordon, 1880–1923), was told by a doctor not to become pregnant again for fear the next baby might die as well. Despite the doctor's warning, Sarah became pregnant with Clara in the fall of 1904. In addition to the risky pregnancy, a heat wave besieged New York in July 1905 and temperatures peaked around 100 °F (38 °C);[12] "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."[13]

Bow's parents were descended from English-Irish and Scottish immigrants who had come to America the generation before.[14] Bow said that her father, Robert (1874–1959), "had a quick, keen mind ... all the natural qualifications to make something of himself, but didn't...everything seemed to go wrong for him, poor darling."[13] Between 1905 and 1923, the family lived at 14 different addresses but seldom outside Prospect Heights. Robert was often absent.[15] "I do not think my mother ever loved my father. He knew it. And it made him very unhappy, for he worshiped her, always."[13]

When Bow was sixteen, her mother Sarah fell from a second-story window and suffered a severe head injury. She was later diagnosed with "psychosis due to epilepsy,"[16] a condition apart from the seizures that is known to cause disordered thinking, delusion, paranoia, and aggressive behavior.[17]

From her earliest years, Bow learned how to care for her mother during the seizures as well as how to deal with the psychotic and hostile episodes. She said her mother could be "mean" to her, but "didn't mean to ... she couldn't help it."[13] Still, Bow felt deprived of her childhood; "As a kid I took care of my mother, she didn't take care of me."[18] Sarah worsened gradually, and when she realized her daughter was set for a movie career, Bow's mother told her she "would be much better off dead." One night in February 1922, Bow awoke to a butcher knife held against her throat. She was able to fend off the attack and locked her mother up. In the morning, Sarah had no recollection of the episode but was later committed to a sanatorium by Robert.[13]

Clara spoke about the incident later:

"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."[19]

On January 5, 1923, at the age of 43, Sarah died from her epilepsy. When relatives gathered for the funeral, Bow accused them of being "hypocrites" and became so mad she even tried to jump into the grave.[13]

Bow attended P.S. 111, P.S. 9 and P.S. 98.[11] As she grew up, she felt shy among other girls, who teased her for her worn-out clothes and "carrot-top" hair. She said about her childhood "I never had any clothes. ... And lots of time didn't have anything to eat. We just lived, that's about all. Girls shunned me because I was so poorly dressed."[20] From first grade, Bow preferred the company of boys, stating, "I could lick any boy my size. My right arm was quite famous. My right arm was 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."[13] A close friend, a younger boy who lived in her building, burned to death in her presence after an accident.[13]

In 1919, Bow enrolled in Bay Ridge High School for girls. "I wore sweaters and old skirts...didn't want to be treated like a girl...there was one boy who had always been my pal... he kissed me... I wasn't sore. I didn't get indignant. I was horrified and hurt."[13]

Bow's interest in sports and her physical abilities made her plan for a career as an athletics instructor. She won five medals "at the cinder tracks" and credited her cousin Homer Baker – the national half-mile champion (1913 and 1914) and 660 yards world-record holder – for being her trainer.[21] The Bows and Bakers shared the house – still standing – at 33 Prospect Place in 1920.[16][22][23] 


Early years

In the early 1920s, roughly 50 million Americans—half the population at that time—attended the movies every week.[24] As Bow grew into womanhood, her stature as a "boy" in her old gang became "impossible." As well, she didn't have any girlfriends, school was a "heartache" and home "miserable." On the silver screen, however, she 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 further; "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."[13] "I'd go home and be a one girl circus, taking the parts of everyone I'd seen, living them before the glass."[25] At sixteen Bow says she "knew" she wanted to be a motion pictures actress, even if she was a "square, awkward, funny-faced kid."[13]

Against her mother's wishes but with her father's support, Bow competed in Brewster publications' magazine's annual nationwide acting contest; "Fame and Fortune," in fall 1921. In previous years, other contest winners had found work in the movies.[26] In the contest's final screen test Bow was up against an already scene-experienced woman who did "a beautiful piece of acting." A set member later stated that when Bow did the scene she actually became her character and "lived it."[27] In the January issues 1922 of Motion Picture Classics the contest jury, Howard Chandler Christy, Neysa Mcmein, and Harrison Fisher, 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.[28] Bow did five scenes, impressed Cabanne with true theatrical tears,[13] but was cut from the final print. "I was sick to my stomach," she recalled and thought her mother was right about the movie business. Bow, who dropped out of school (senior year) after she was notified about winning the contest, possibly in October 1921, got an ordinary office job.[29] However, movie ads and newspaper editorial comments from 1922 to 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.[30]

Silent films

Encouraged by her father, Bow continued to visit 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."[13] 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 $35 a week. Bow held out for $50 and Clifton agreed, but he could not say whether she would "fit the part."[27] Bow later learned that one of Brewsters' sub-editors had urged Clifton to give her a chance.[31]

Down to the Sea in Ships was shot on location in New Bedford, Massachusetts, produced by Independent "The Whaling Film Corporation," and documented the life, love and work in the whale-hunter community. The production relied on a few less-known actors and local talents. It premiered at "Olympia," New Bedford, on September 25, and went on general distribution on March 4, 1923. Bow was billed 10th in the film, but shone through:

"Miss Bow will undoubtedly gain fame as a screen comedienne."[32]

"She scored a tremendous hit in Down to the Sea in Ships..(and).. has reached the front rank of motion picture principal players."[33]

"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.'"[34]

"In movie parlance, she 'stole' the picture ... "[35]

Bow was chosen the foremost "baby" by WAMPAS[36]

Clara Bow was cartooned as "Orchid McGonigle" in Grit, having a hard time keeping her boyfriend "Kid Hart" (Glenn Hunter) on track.[37] 

By mid-December 1923, primarily due to her merits in Down to the Sea in Ships, Bow was chosen the most successful of the 1924 WAMPAS Baby Stars.[38] Three months before Down to the Sea in Ships was released, Bow danced half nude, on a table, uncredited in Enemies of Women (1923).[39] In spring she got a part in The Daring Years (1923), where she befriended actress Mary Carr, who taught her how to use make-up.[27]

In the summer, she got a "tomboy" part in Grit, a story that 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. Tuttle remembered:

"Her emotions were close to the surface. She could cry on demand, opening the floodgate of tears almost as soon as I asked her to weep. She was dynamite, full of nervous energy and vitality and pitifully eager to please everyone."[27]

Grit was released on January 7, 1924. Variety reviewed;

"... Clara Bow lingers in the eye, long after the picture has gone."[40] 

While shooting Grit at Pyramid Studios, in Astoria, New York, Bow was approached by Jack Bachman of independent Hollywood studio Preferred Pictures. He wanted to contract her for a three months trial, fare paid and $50 a week. "It can't do any harm,"[13] he tried. "Why can't I stay in New York and make movies?" Bow asked her father, but he told her not to worry.[41]

On July 21, 1923, she befriended Louella Parsons, who interviewed her for The New York Morning Telegraph. In 1931, when Bow came under tabloid scrutiny, Parsons defended her and stuck to her first opinion on Bow:[27]

"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.[42]

Preferred Pictures

On July 22, 1923, Bow left New York, her father, and her boyfriend behind for Hollywood.[27] As chaperone for the journey and her subsequent southern California stay, the studio appointed writer/agent Maxine Alton, whom Bow later branded a liar.[13] 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."[43] She was tested and a press-release from early August says Bow had become a member of Preferred Picture's "permanent stock."[44] She and Alton rented an apartment at The Hillview near Hollywood Boulevard.[27] Preferred Pictures was run by Schulberg, who had 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. As a result, he founded Preferred in 1919, at the age of 27.[45]

Maytime was Bow's first Hollywood picture, an adaptation of the popular operetta Maytime in which she essayed "Alice Tremaine." Before Maytime was finished, Schulberg announced that Bow was given the lead in the studio's biggest seasonal assessment, Poisoned Paradise,[43] but first she was lent to First National Pictures to co-star in the adaptation of Gertrude Atherton's 1923 best seller Black Oxen, shot in October, and to co-star with Colleen Moore in Painted People, shot in November.[46]

Director Frank Lloyd was casting for the part of high society flapper Janet Oglethorpe, and more than fifty women, most with previous screen experience, auditioned.[27] 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."[13] Lloyd told the press, "Bow is the personification of the ideal aristocratic flapper, mischievous, pretty, aggressive, quick-tempered and deeply sentimental."[47] It was released on January 4, 1924.

The New York Times said "The flapper, impersonated by a young actress, Clara Bow, had five speaking titles, and every one of them was so entirely in accord with the character and the mood of the scene that it drew a laugh from what, in film circles, is termed a "hard-boiled" audience,"[48] while the Los Angeles Times commented that "Clara Bow, the prize vulgarian of the lot...was amusing and spirited...but didn't belong in the picture."[49] and Variety said that "[...] the horrid little flapper is adorably played [...]."[50]

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 was still being edited and Flaming Youth not yet released, Bow was requested to co-star with Moore as her kid sister in Painted People (AKA The Swamp Angel).[51] Moore essayed the baseball-playing tomboy and Bow, according to Moore, said "I don't like my part, I wanna play yours."[52] Moore, a well-established star earning $1200 a week—Bow got $200—took offense and blocked the director from shooting close-ups of Bow. Moore was married to the film's producer and Bow's protests were futile. "I'll get that bitch," she told her boyfriend Jacobson, who had arrived from New York. Bow had sinus problems and decided to have them attended to that very evening. With Bow's face now in bandages, the studio had no choice but to recast her part.[53]

During 1924, Bow's "horrid" flapper raced against Moore's "whimsical."[54] In May, Moore renewed her efforts in The Perfect Flapper, produced by her husband. However, 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,[54] which had commented a month earlier, "Clara Bow is the one outstanding type. She has almost immediately been elected for all the recent flapper parts."[55] In November 1933, looking back to this period of her career, Bow described the atmosphere in Hollywood as like a scene from a movie about the French Revolution, 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."[56]

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."[13] 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."[13] Bow and her father moved in at 1714 North Kingsley Drive in Hollywood, together with Jacobson, who 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."[57] On September 7, 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.[58]

Bow appeared in eight releases in 1924.

In Poisoned Paradise, released on February 29, 1924, Bow got her first lead. "... the clever little newcomer whose work wins fresh recommendations with every new picture in which she appears."[59] In a scene described as "original," Bow adds "devices" to "the modern flapper": she fights a villain using her fists, and significantly, does not "shrink back in fear."[60] In Daughters of Pleasure, also released on February 29, 1924, Bow and Marie Prevost "flapped unhampered as flappers De luxe ... I wish somebody could star Clara Bow. I'm sure her 'infinite variety' would keep her from wearying us no matter how many scenes she was in."[61]

Loaned out to Universal, Bow top-starred, for the first time, in the prohibition, bootleg drama/comedy Wine, released on August 20, 1924. The picture exposes the widespread liquor traffic in the upper classes, and Bow portrays an innocent girl who develops into a wild "red-hot mama."

"If not taken as information, it is cracking good entertainment," Carl Sandburg reviewed September 29.[62] "Don't miss Wine. It's a thoroughly refreshing draught ... there are only about five actresses who give me a real thrill on the screen—and Clara is nearly five of them."[63]

Alma Whitaker of The Los Angeles Times observed on September 7, 1924:

"She radiates sex appeal tempered with an impish sense of humor ... She hennas her blond hair so that it will photograph dark in the pictures ... Her social decorum is of that natural, good-natured, pleasantly informal kind ... She can act on or off the screen—takes a joyous delight in accepting a challenge to vamp any selected male—the more unpromising specimen the better. When the hapless victim is scared into speechlessness she gurgles with naughty delight and tries another."

Bow remembered: "All this time I was 'running wild', I guess, in the sense of trying to have a good time ... maybe this was a good thing, because I suppose a lot of that excitement, that joy of life, got onto the screen."[13]

In 1925, Bow appeared in fourteen productions: six for her contract owner, Preferred Pictures, and eight as an "out-loan."

"Clara Bow ... shows alarming symptoms of becoming the sensation of the year ... ," Motion Picture Classic Magazine wrote in June, and featured her on the cover.[64] 

"I'm almost never satisfied with myself or my work or the time I'm ready to be a great star I'll have been on the screen such a long time that everybody will be tired of seeing me...[65]

I worked in two and even three pictures at once. I played all sorts of parts in all sorts of pictures ... It was very hard at the time and I used to be worn out and cry myself to sleep from sheer fatigue after eighteen hours a day on different sets, but now [late 1927] I am glad of it."[13]

Preferred Pictures loaned Bow to producers "for sums ranging from $1500 to $2000 a week"[66] while paying Bow a salary of $200 to $750 a week. The studio like any other independent studio or theater at that time, was under attack from "The Big Three," MPAA, who had formed a trust to block out Independents and enforce the monopolistic studio system.[67] On October 21, 1925, Schulberg filed Preferred Pictures for bankruptcy, with debts at $820,774 and assets $1,420.[68] Three days later, it was announced that Schulberg would join with Adolph Zukor to become associate producer of Paramount Pictures, "...catapulted into this position because he had Clara Bow under personal contract."[69]

Adolph Zukor, Paramount Picture CEO, wrote in his memoirs: "All the skill of directors and all the booming of press-agent drums will not make a star. Only the audiences can do it. We study audience reactions with great care."[70] Adela Rogers St. Johns had a different take: in 1950, she wrote, "If ever a star was made by public demand, it was Clara Bow."[71] And Louise Brooks (from 1980): "(Bow) became a star without nobody's help ..."[72]

The Plastic Age was Bow's final effort for Preferred Pictures and her biggest hit up to that time. Bow starred as the good-bad college-girl, Cynthia Day, against Donald Keith. It was shot on location at Pomona College in the summer of 1925, and released on December 15. But due to block booking, it was not shown in New York until July 21, 1926.

Photoplay was displeased: "The college atmosphere is implausible and Clara Bow is not our idea of a college girl."[73] 

Theater owners, however, were happy: "The picture is the biggest sensation we ever had in our theater ... It is 100 per cent at the box-office."[74]

Some critics felt Bow had conquered new territory: "(Bow) presents a whimsical touch to her work that adds greater laurels to her fast ascending star of screen popularity."[75]

Time magazine singled out Bow: "Only the amusing and facile acting of Clara Bow rescues the picture from the limbo of the impossible."[76]

Bow began to date her co-star Gilbert Roland, who became her first fiancé. In June 1925, Bow was credited for being the first to wear hand-painted legs in public, and was reported to have many followers at the Californian beaches.[77]

Throughout the 1920s, Bow played with gender conventions and sexuality in her public image. Along with her tomboy and flapper roles, she starred in boxing films and posed for promotional photographs as a boxer. By appropriating traditionally androgynous or masculine traits, Bow presented herself as a confident, modern woman.[78]

Paramount Pictures

"Rehearsals sap my pep," Bow explained in November 1929,[79] and from the beginning of her career she relied on immediate direction: "Tell me what I have to do and I'll do it."[80] Bow was keen on poetry and music but according to Rogers St. Johns, her attention span did not allow her to appreciate novels.[81] Bow's focal point was the scene, and her creativity made directors call in extra cameras to cover her spontaneous actions, rather than holding her down.[80]

Years after Bow left Hollywood, director Victor Fleming compared Bow to a Stradivarius violin: "Touch her, and she responded with genius."[71] Director William Wellman was less poetic: "Movie stardom isn't acting ability—it's personality and temperament ... I once directed Clara Bow (Wings). She was mad and crazy, but WHAT a personality!"[82] And in 1981, Budd Schulberg described Bow as "an easy winner of the dumbbell award" who "couldn't act," and compared her to a puppy that his father B. P. Schulberg "trained to become Lassie."[83]

In 1926, Bow appeared in eight releases: five for Paramount, including the film version of the musical Kid Boots with Eddie Cantor, and three loan-outs that had been filmed in 1925.

In late 1925, Bow returned to New York to co-star in the Ibsenesque[84] drama Dancing Mothers, as the good/bad "flapperish" upper-class daughter "Kittens." Alice Joyce starred as her "dancing mother," with Conway Tearle as "bad-boy" Naughton. The picture was released on March 1, 1926.[85]

"Clara Bow, known as the screen's perfect flapper, does her stuff as the child, and does it well."[86] 

"... her remarkable performance in Dancing Mothers ... "[87] 

Louise Brooks remembered: "She was absolutely sensational in the United States ... in Dancing Mothers ... she just swept the country ... I know I saw her ... and I thought ... wonderful."[72] 

On April 12, 1926, Bow signed her first contract with Paramount: " retain your services as an actress for the period of six months from June 6th, 1926 to December 6th, 1926, at a salary of $750.00 per week..."[88]

In Victor Fleming's comedy-triangle, Mantrap, Bow, as Alverna the manicurist, cures lonely hearts Joe Easter (Ernest Torrence), of the great northern, as well as pill-popping New York divorcee attorney runaway Ralph Prescott (Percy Marmont). Bow commented: "(Alverna)...was bad in the book, but—darn it!—of course, they couldn't make her that way in the picture. So I played her as a flirt."[89] The film was released on July 24, 1926.[90]

Variety: "Clara Bow just walks away with the picture from the moment she walks into camera range."[91] 

Photoplay: "When she is on the screen nothing else matters. When she is off, the same is true."[92] 

Carl Sandburg: "The smartest and swiftest work as yet seen from Miss Clara Bow."[62] 

The Reel Journal: "Clara Bow is taking the place of Gloria Swanson...(and)...filling a long need for a popular taste movie actress."[93]

On August 16, 1926, Bow's agreement with Paramount was renewed into a five-year deal: "Her salary will start at $1700 a week and advance yearly to $4000 a week for the last year."[66] Bow added that she intended to leave the motion picture business at the expiration of the contract, i.e., in 1931.[66]

In 1927, Bow appeared in six Paramount releases: It, Children of Divorce, Rough House Rosie, Wings, Hula and Get Your Man. In the Cinderella story It, the poor shop-girl Betty Lou Spence (Bow) conquers the heart of her employer Cyrus Waltham (Antonio Moreno). The personal quality —"It"— provides the magic to make it happen. The film gave Bow her nickname, "The 'It' Girl."

New York Times: "(Bow) vivacious and, as Betty Lou, saucy, which perhaps is one of the ingredients of 'It'."[94] 

The Film Daily: "Clara Bow gets a real chance and carries it off with honors...(and)...she is really the whole show."[95] 

Carl Sandburg: "'It' is smart, funny and real. It makes a full-sized star of Clara Bow."[62] 
Variety: "You can't get away from this Clara Bow girl. She certainly has that certain 'It'...and she just runs away with the film."[96] 

Dorothy Parker is often said to have referred to Bow when she wrote, "It, hell; she had Those."[97] Parker in actuality was not referring to Bow or to Bow's character in the film It, but to a different character, Ava Cleveland, in the novel of the same name.[98]

In 1927, Bow starred in Wings, a war picture rewritten to accommodate her, as she was Paramount's biggest star, but wasn't happy about her part: "(Wings is)..a man's picture and I'm just the whipped cream on top of the pie."[99] The film went on to win the first Academy Award for Best Picture. In 1928 Bow appeared in four Paramount releases: Red Hair, Ladies of the Mob, The Fleet's In and Three Weekends, all of which are lost.

Adela Rogers St. Johns, a noted screenwriter who had done a number of pictures with Bow, wrote about her:

"[T]here seems to be no pattern, no purpose to her life. She swings from one emotion to another, but she gains nothing, stores up nothing for the future. She lives entirely in the present, not even for today, but in the moment.[20]

Clara is the total nonconformist. What she wants she gets, if she can. What she desires to do she does. She has a big heart, a remarkable brain, and the most utter contempt for the world in general. Time doesn't exist for her, except that she thinks it will stop tomorrow. She has real courage, because she lives boldly. Who are we, after all, to say she is wrong?"[81]

Bow's bohemian lifestyle and "dreadful" manners were considered reminders of the Hollywood Elite's uneasy position in high society.[100] Bow fumed: "They yell at me to be dignified. But what are the dignified people like? The people who are held up as examples for me? They are snobs. Frightful snobs ... I'm a curiosity in Hollywood. I'm a big freak, because I'm myself!"[101]

MGM executive Paul Bern said Bow was "the greatest emotional actress on the screen," "sentimental, simple, childish and sweet," and considered her "hard-boiled attitude" a "defense mechanism."[102]

Sound films

With "talkies" The Wild Party, Dangerous Curves, and The Saturday Night Kid, Bow kept her position as the top box-office draw and queen of Hollywood.[103]

The quality of Bow's voice, her Brooklyn accent, was not an issue to Bow, her fans or Paramount.[70] However, Bow, like Charlie Chaplin, Louise Brooks and most other silent film stars, didn't embrace the novelty: "I hate talkies," she said, "they're stiff and limiting. You lose a lot of your cuteness, because there's no chance for action, and action is the most important thing to me."[104] 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. "I can't buck progress," Bow sighed. "I have to do the best I can."[104]

In October 1929, Bow described her nerves as "all shot," saying that she had reached "the breaking point," and Photoplay cited reports of "rows of bottles of sedatives" by her bed.[105]

According to the 1930 census, Bow lived at 512 Bedford Drive, together with her secretary and hair-dresser, Daisy DeBoe (later DeVoe), in a house valued $25,000 with neighbors titled "Horse-keeper," "Physician," "Builder." Bow stated she was 23 years old, i.e. born 1906, contradicting the censuses of 1910 and 1920.[10]

"Now they're having me sing. I sort of half-sing, half-talk, with hips-and-eye stuff. You know what I mean—like Maurice Chevalier. I used to sing at home and people would say, 'Pipe down! You're terrible!' But the studio thinks my voice is great."[104]

With Paramount on Parade, True to the Navy, Love Among the Millionaires, and Her Wedding Night, Bow was second at the box-office only to her chum, Joan Crawford, in 1930.[5] With No Limit and Kick In, Bow held the position as fifth at box-office in 1931. But the pressures of fame, public scandals, overwork, and a damaging court trial charging her secretary Daisy DeVoe with financial mismanagement, took their toll on Bow's fragile emotional health. As she slipped closer to a major breakdown, her manager B.P. Schulberg began referring to her as "Crisis-a-day-Clara."[106] In April, Bow was brought to a sanatorium, and at her request, Paramount released her from her final undertaking: City Streets. At 25, her career was essentially over.[20]

B. P. Schulberg tried to replace Bow with his girlfriend Sylvia Sidney, but Paramount went into receivership, lost its position as the biggest studio (to MGM), and fired Schulberg. David Selznick explained:

"...[when] Bow was at her height in pictures we could make a story with her in it and gross a million and a half, where another actress would gross half a million in the same picture and with the same cast."[107]

Bow left Hollywood for Rex Bell's ranch in Nevada, her "desert paradise," in June[108] and married him in then small-town Las Vegas in December.[109] In an interview on December 17, Bow detailed her way back to health: sleep, exercise, and food, and the day after[110] she returned to Hollywood "for the sole purpose of making enough money to be able to stay out of it."[111]

Soon, every studio in Hollywood (except for Paramount)[112] and even overseas[113] wanted her services. Mary Pickford stated that Bow "was a very great actress" and wanted her to play her sister in Secrets,[109] Howard Hughes offered her a three-picture deal,[112] and MGM wanted her to star in Red Headed Woman. Bow agreed to the script, but eventually rejected the offer since Irving Thalberg required her to sign a long-term contract.[114]

On April 28, 1932, Bow signed a two-picture deal with Fox Film Corporation: Call Her Savage (1932) and Hoop-La (1933). Both successful, Variety favored the latter:

"A more mature performance...she looks and photographs extremely well."[115] 

The October 1934 Family Circle Film Guide rated the film as "pretty good entertainment" and of Miss Bow said,

"This is the most acceptable bit of talkie acting Miss Bow has done." However, they also noted that "Miss Bow is presented in her dancing duds as often as possible, and her dancing duds wouldn't weigh two pounds soaking wet."[116] 

Bow commented on her revealing costume in Hoop-La: "Rex accused me of enjoying showing myself off. Then I got a little sore. He knew darn well I was doing it because we could use a little money these days. Who can't?"[56]

Bow reflected on her career:

"My life in Hollywood contained plenty of uproar. I'm sorry for a lot of it but not awfully sorry. I never did anything to hurt anyone else. I made a place for myself on the screen and you can't do that by being Mrs. Alcott's idea of a Little Woman."[56]

Retirement and later years

Bow and actor Rex Bell (later a Lieutenant governor of Nevada) had two sons, Tony Beldam (born 1934, changed name to Rex Anthony Bell, Jr., died July 8, 2011) and George Beldam, Jr. (born 1938). Bow retired from acting in 1933. In September 1937, she and Bell opened The 'It' Cafe on Vine Street near Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. It was closed shortly thereafter.[117] Her last public exposure, albeit fleeting, came in 1947 on the radio show Truth or Consequences. Bow was the mystery voice in the show's "Mrs. Hush" contest.

Health issues

Bow eventually began showing symptoms of psychiatric illness. She became socially withdrawn, and although she refused to socialize with her husband, she also refused to let him leave the house alone.[118] In 1944, while Bell was running for the U.S. House of Representatives, Bow tried to commit suicide.[119] A note was found in which Bow stated she preferred death to a public life.[120]

In 1949 she checked in to The Institute of Living to be treated for her chronic insomnia and diffuse abdominal pains. Shock treatment was tried and numerous psychological tests performed. Bow's IQ was measured "bright normal" while others claimed she was unable to reason, had poor judgment and displayed inappropriate or even bizarre behavior. Her pains were considered delusional and she was diagnosed with schizophrenia. She experienced neither auditory nor visual hallucinations. Analysts tied the onset of the illness as well as her insomnia to the "butcher knife episode" back in 1922, but Bow rejected psychological explanations and left the Institute.[121][122] Bow did not return to her family. After leaving the institution, Bow lived alone in a bungalow, which she rarely left, until her death.[118]

Bow's crypt at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale. The marker erroneously states Bow's year of birth as 1907 although she was born in 1905.


Bow spent her last years in Culver City, Los Angeles under the constant care of a nurse, living off an estate worth about $500,000 at the time of her death.[121] She died of a heart attack on September 27, 1965 at the age of 60. An autopsy revealed that she suffered from atherosclerosis, a disease of the heart that can begin in early adolescence.[123] Bow's heart showed scarring from an earlier undetected heart attack.[124]

She was interred in the Freedom Mausoleum, Sanctuary of Heritage at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.[125] Her pallbearers were Harry Richman, Richard Arlen, Jack Oakie, Maxie Rosenbloom, Jack Dempsey, and Buddy Rogers.[126]


In 1999 film historian Leonard Maltin said, "You think of Greta Garbo, Lillian Gish, all these great names, great actresses, Clara Bow was more popular in terms of box-office dollars, in terms of consistently bringing audiences into the theaters, she was right on top."[127] In 1999 the American Film Institute left Bow outside its final "100 Years...100 Stars" list,[128] although she was on the list of nominees.[129]

Film historian Kevin Brownlow did not mention Bow in his book on silent films, The Parade's Gone By (1968). Louise Brooks, who rated an entire chapter in the book, wrote to Brownlow, "You brush off Clara Bow for some old nothing like Brooks. Clara made three pictures that will never be surpassed: Dancing Mothers, Mantrap and It."[130] Brownlow made up for this omission by including an entire segment about Bow in his television documentary Hollywood: A Celebration of the American Silent Film (1980), for which he interviewed Brooks.

Awards and honors

For her contributions to the motion picture industry, Bow was awarded 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.

Urban myths

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.[131]

In popular culture

Max Fleischer's cartoon character Betty Boop was modeled after Bow and entertainer Helen Kane (the "boop-boop-a-doop-girl").[132] 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.[133] 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.[134] The lead character of Peppy Miller from the 2011 film The Artist was inspired principally by Clara Bow, and in playing the part actress Bérénice Bejo invoked many of Bow's screen mannerisms.[135] Bow is also mentioned in Prince's song "Condition of the Heart" from his 1985 Around the World in a Day album. The alternative rock band 50 Foot Wave wrote a song entitled "Clara Bow" that is featured on their 2005 debut album Golden Ocean and their eponymous first EP. The English group Cleaners From Venus, led by Martin Newell, recorded a song entitled "Clara Bow," which appears on their album The Very Best Of The Cleaners From Venus. In the musical Bonnie and Clyde Clara is referenced several times in the show as someone Bonnie Parker wants to be like, such as the entire song "Picture Show" and Clyde mentions her again in "This World Will Remember Us" In the 1972 film Cabaret, singer Sally Bowles (Liza Minnelli) strikes a pose that, she insists, is "Clara Bow." In the TV show Bones, Temperance Brennan attributes her accent and behavior as her undercover persona "Roxanne" to how she imagined Clara Bow sounded during her childhood.

Fictional portrayals

Bow was played by actress Jennifer Tilly in the motion picture Return to Babylon (2013). 



1. Sherrow, Victoria (2006). Encyclopedia of Hair: A Cultural History. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 70. 
2. Morella and Epstein (1976), p. 283 
3. Drowne, Kathleen Morgan; Huber, Patrick (2004). The 1920's. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 237. ISBN 0-313-32013-6. 
4. Basinger, Jeanine. A woman's view: how Hollywood spoke to women, 1930–1960, New York: Knopf, 1993 
5. Exhibitors Herald, December 31, 1927 
6. Press-Telegram, December 10, 1962 
7. Stenn (1988) p. 159 
8. Stenn (1988), p. 322 
9. In US census records, enumerated in 1910-04-15 and 1920-01-07, Bow's age is stated 4yrs and 14yrs. 
10. Enumeration District 19–822, Bureau of the Census, Population Schedule, April 2, 1930, 
11. Stenn (1988), p. 8 
12. "63 Die of Heat Cool Wave To-Day". The New York Times. July 20, 1905. 
13. Bow, Clara. St. Johns, Adela Rogers (ed.) "My life, by Clara Bow" Photoplay (February, March and April 1928) 
14. Stenn (1988) p. 6 
15. Morella and Epstein (1976) p. 17 
16. Stenn (1988), p. 26 
17. "NYU Langone Medical Center website (psychosis and epilepsy)". 
18. Morella and Epstein (1976), p. 24 
19.St. Johns, Adela Rogers (December 1930). "The Salvation of Clara Bow". The New Movie Magazine: 40. 
20. quoted in Savage, Jon. Teenage: The Creation of Youth Culture New York: Viking, 2007. ISBN 978-0-670-03837-4. pp. 237–8. 
21. Boston Daily Globe, March 23, 1924. 
22. 1920 United States Census, Kings, NY 
23. Homer Baker, 33 Prospect place, Passport application, no.20276, June 24, 1920, to compete in the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp, Belgium. 
24. Kyvig, David E. Daily life in the US, 1920–1939. Greenwood Press Daily Life Through History Series, 2002. p. 79. 
25. Shippey, Lee. Personal Glimpses of Famous Folks California: Sierra Madre Press, 1929 
26. Fort Wayne News April 29, 1921. 
27. Parsons, Louella. "Real life story of Clara Bow" (16 parts) The San Antonio Light, (May 15 – June 4, 1931) 
28. Stenn (1988) p. 287 
29. Morella and Epstein (1976), p. 39 
30. See Beyond the Rainbow for an example. 
31. Bow, Clara. "How I broke into the movies" Cato (NY) Citizen, April 27, 1933. 
32. Ogden Standard Examiner, December 17, 1922 (Pre-release) 
33. Pennsylvania Daily News, September 4, 1923 
34. The Kokomo Daily Tribune, October 6, 1923. 
35. Davenport Democrat and Leader, November 28, 1923. 
36. Photoplay magazine September 1929 p. 64 
37. Independent Montana, August 11, 1924. 
38. Los Angeles Times, December 17, 1923. 
39. Morella and Epstein (1976), p. 45 
40. Variety, February 29, 1924. 
41. Morella and Epstein (1976) p. 47 
42. New York Morning Telegraph, July 22, 1923. 
43. The Davenport Democrat and Leader, September 9, 1923 
44. Morning Avalanche, August 5, 1923. 
45. Schulberg (1981) p. 100 
46. Stenn (1988) pp. 39, 289 
47. Hamilton Evening Journal, March 4, 1924. 
48. New York Times, December 2, 1923 
49. Los Angeles Times, January 13, 1924. 
50. Variety, January 10, 1924. 
51. Morella and Epstein (1976), p. 59 
52. Stenn (1988) p. 40 
53. Jacobson (1991) p. 17 
54. Los Angeles Times, May 18, 1924. 
55. Los Angeles Times, April 13, 1924. 
56. Kansas City Star, November 16, 1933. 
57. Jacobson (1991), pp. 15–18 
58. Los Angeles Times, September 7, 1924. 
59. Davenport and Democratic Leader, April 24, 1924 
60. Charleston Gazette, February 17, 1924. 
61. "Flashes", Los Angeles Times, June 17, 1924. 
62. Sandburg, Carl, Bernstein, Arnie (ed.). The Movies Are: Carl Sandburg's Film Reviews and Essays, 1920–1928, Lake Claremont Press, 2000 
63. Kingsley, Grace. Los Angeles Times, August 24, 1924. 
64. Motion Picture Magazine, June 1925. 
65. Motion Picture Stories, April 14, 1925, p. 29 
66. Toledo News-Bee, September 11, 1926 
67. New York Times, October 29, 1925. 
68. New York Times, October 22, 1925. 
69. Brooks, Louise Lulu in Hollywood Arrow Books, 1982. ISBN 0-09-949860-X. p. 21 
70. Zukor, Adolph and Kramer, Dale The Public is Never Wrong, New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1953 
71. St. Johns, Adela Rogers "The Hollywood story", The American Weekly (December 24, 1950) 
72. Louise Brooks in Branlow, Kevin; Gill, David. "Hollywood – Star treatment – Clara Bow", Thames Television, 1980, UK. 
73. unsigned, Photoplay, December 19, 1925. 
74. Liberty Theater manager, The Reel Journal, July 10, 1926. 
75. Charleston Daily Mail, January 24, 1926. 
76. Time Magazine, August 2, 1926. 
77. Southeast Missouri, June 24, 1925. 
78. Gammel, Irene. "Lacing up the Gloves: Women, Boxing and Modernity." Cultural and Social History 9.3 (2012), p. 375. 
79. Photoplay, November 1929, p. 108. 
80. Jacobson (1991), p. 16 
81. Clara Bow, the playgirl of Hollywood, Liberty, spring 1975, 1929 retro special 
82. "In Hollywood with Erskine Johnson", Lowell Sunday, April 27, 1952. 
83. Schulberg (1981), pp. 157–58 
84. Koszarski, Richard. Hollywood on the Hudson, Rutgers University Press, 2008. p. 55 
85. Stenn (1988), p. 297 
86. Lacrosse Tribune and Leader, March 24, 1926. 
87. Bakersfield Californian, August 13, 1926 
88. April 12, 1926, Contract Copy, Famous Players-Lasky – Clara Bow agreement 
89. The Los Angeles Times, July 15, 1926 
90. Stenn (1988), p. 299 
91. Variety, July 1, 1926 
92. Photoplay, August, 1926. 
93. "Sam Carver, manager of 'first run' theater 'Newman' in Kansas City to industrial journal," The Reel Journal, p. 13, August 7, 1926. 
94. New York Times, February 7, 1927 
95. The Film Daily, February 13, 1927 
96. January 1(private showing), 1927, Variety. 
97. Clara Bow Peep, 
98. The New Yorker, November 26, 1927. 
99. Porter, Dawn. Howard Hughes: Hell's Angel, Blood Moon Productions, 2010. p. 147 
100. Stenn (1988) pp. 116–17, 1988 
101. "Empty Hearted" by Lois Shirley, Photoplay, October, p. 29, 1929. 
102. Thornley, Grace. Photoplay, June 1929, p. 36. 
103. Stenn (1988) pp. 157–162 
104. Goldbeck, Elisabeth. "The Real Clara Bow", Motion Picture Classic, September 1930 
105. Shirley, Lois. "Empty hearted", Photoplay (October 1929) p. 29. 
106. Stenn (1988) p. 231 
107. The Day December 12, 1931 
108. Nevada State Journal, June 17, 1931 
109. Morella and Epstein (1976), p. 259 
110. San Antonio Light 311217 
111. Morella and Epstein (1976) p. 265 
112. Stenn (1988) p. 240 
113. NY agent George Frank to Filmjournalen 26/1931 
114. The Evening Independent, February 18, 1932 
115. Stenn (1988) p. 245 
116. "The Family Circle" 4 (3). January 19, 1934. p. 16. 
117. Stenn (1988), p. 250 
118. Addison, Heather (2003). Hollywood and the Rise of Physical Culture. Routledge. pp. 124–5. ISBN 9780415946766. 
119. "Politics '99|Human Events|Find Articles at". 1999-01-15. Retrieved 2010-08-19. 
120. Stenn (1988), p. 256 
121. Stenn (19888) pp. 263, 266 
122. Morella and Epstein (1976), p. 276 
123. De Vane, Mattew S. Heart Smart, John Wiley and Sons, 2006. pp. 31–32 
124. Stenn (1988) p. 281 
125. Clara Bow at Find a Grave 
126. Morella and Epstein (1976), p. 283 
127. Leonard Maltin interviewed in Turner Classic Documentary "Discovering the It Girl", Timeline Films, 1999. 
128. American Film Institute"100 Years...100 Stars" 
129. American Film Institute "100 Years...100 Stars Nominees" 
130. Letter from Louise Brooks to Kevin Brownlow, October 26, 1968. 
131. Stenn (1988) p. 238 
132. Charyn, Jerome (2004). Gangsters and Gold Diggers: Old New York, the Jazz Age, and the Birth of Broadway. Da Capo Press. p. 222. ISBN 1-56025-643-5. 
133. TCM Film Guide, 31 
134. Gershwin, George; Kaufman, Simon; Gershwin, Ira; Ryskind, Morrie (1963). Of Thee I Sing: A Musical Play in Two Acts. Samuel French, Inc. p. 28. 
135. Lopez, Annemarie. "Berenice Bejo's silent movie role gets Oscar pundits talking" The Week (January 3, 2012)


Basinger, Jeanine. "Flappers: Colleen Moore and Clara Bow". Silent Stars (1st ed.). Hanover, NH: Wesleyan University Press. ISBN. 
Ball, Christina (March–April 2001). "The Silencing of Clara Bow". Gadfly Online. 
Gammel, Irene (2012). "Lacing up the Gloves: Women, Boxing and Modernity." Cultural and Social History 9.3: 369–390. 
Jacobson, Arthur (1991). Arthur Jacobson: Interviewed by Irene Kahn Atkin. Directors Guild of American Oral History Series. New Jersey: Scarecrow Press. 
Morella, Joseph; Epstein, Edward Z. (1976). The "It" Girl. New York: Delacorte Press. ISBN 0-440-14068-4. 
Schulberg, Budd (1981) Moving Pictures, London: Allison and Busby, ISBN 0-7490-0127-5. 
Stenn, David (1988). Clara Bow: Runnin' Wild. Doubleday. 
TCM Film Guide (2006), Leading Ladies: The 50 Most Unforgettable Actresses of the Studio Era, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, California. 
Vieira, Mark A. Sin in Soft Focus: Pre-Code Hollywood. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. 1999. ISBN 0-8109-8228-5

"Julia" Actor Lloyd Nolan 1985 Westwood Village Cemetery

Lloyd Benedict Nolan (August 11, 1902 – September 27, 1985) was an American film and television actor.


Nolan was born in San Francisco, California, the son of Margaret and James Nolan, who was a shoe manufacturer.[1] His parents disapproved of his choice of a career in acting, preferring that he join his father's shoe business, "one of the most solvent commercial firms in San Francisco."[2]

Nolan served in the United States Merchant Marine before joining the Dennis Players theatrical troupe in Cape Cod.[2] He began his career on stage and was subsequently lured to Hollywood, where he played mainly doctors, private detectives, and policemen in many film roles. He attended Santa Clara Preparatory School[1] and Stanford University,[3] flunking out of Stanford as a freshman "because I never got around to attending any other class but dramatics."[4]

He was a brother in the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity (Sigma Rho chapter).

Film career

Nolan's obituary in the Los Angeles Times contained the evaluation, "Nolan was to both critics and audiences the veteran actor who works often and well regardless of his material."[1] Although Nolan's acting was often praised by critics, he was, for the most part, relegated to B pictures. Despite this, Nolan costarred with a number of well-known actresses, among them Mae West, Dorothy McGuire, and former Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Gladys Swarthout. Under contract to Paramount and 20th Century Fox studios, he assayed starring roles in the late 30s and early-to-mid 40s and appeared as the title character in the Michael Shayne detective series. Raymond Chandler's novel The High Window was adapted from a Philip Marlowe adventure for the seventh film in the Michael Shayne series (above), Time to Kill (1942); the film was remade five years later as The Brasher Doubloon, truer to Chandler's original story, with George Montgomery as Marlowe.

Most of Nolan's films were light entertainment with an emphasis on action. His most famous include Atlantic Adventure, costarring Nancy Carroll; Ebb Tide; Wells Fargo; Every Day's A Holiday, starring Mae West; Bataan; and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, with Dorothy McGuire and James Dunn. He also gave a strong performance in the 1957 film Peyton Place (below) with Lana Turner.

Nolan also contributed solid and key character parts in numerous other films. One, The House on 92nd Street, was a startling revelation to audiences in 1945. It was a conflation of several true incidents of attempted sabotage by the Nazi regime (incidents which the FBI was able to thwart during World War II), and many scenes were filmed on location in New York City, unusual at the time. Nolan portrayed FBI agent Briggs, and actual FBI employees interacted with Nolan throughout the film; he reprised the role in a subsequent 1948 movie, The Street with No Name.

One of the last of his many military roles was playing an admiral at the start of what proved to be Howard Hughes' last film, Ice Station Zebra.

Other endeavors

Later in his career, he returned to the stage and appeared on television to great acclaim in The Caine Mutiny Court Martial, for which he received a 1955 Emmy award for portraying Captain Queeg,[1] the role made famous by Humphrey Bogart. Nolan also made guest appearances in television shows including NBC's The Ford Show, Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford, The Bing Crosby Show, a sitcom on ABC and the Emmy-winning NBC anthology series The Barbara Stanwyck Show.

On November 7, 1961, Nolan played the outlaw Matt Dyer in the episode "Deadly Is the Night" on NBC's Laramie western series. Series character Jess Harper (Robert Fuller) stops at the former stagecoach outpost of Ma Tolliver, played by Olive Carey, to rest his lame horse. Suddenly Matt Dyer arrives with his gang and takes as hostage Jess, Ma, and her granddaughter, Sue, portrayed by Marlene Willis. The cruel Dyer proceeds to humiliate the hostages. When a posse arrives, Dyer tries to use Ma and Sue to prevent the storming of the house. However, the posse forces his hand, and the outlaws flee, but Jess keeps Dyer from running away.[5]

On October 2, 1962, Nolan appeared again on Laramie in the episode "War Hero" as former Union Army General George Barton, who arrives in Laramie as a potential candidate for President of the United States. Jess Harper halts an assassination attempt against the general, who recuperates at the Sherman Ranch. Joanna Barnes plays Barton's daughter, Lucy. Francis De Sales, Mort Mills, and Herbert Rudley also appear in this episode.[6]

Nolan starred in the classic 1964 episode "Soldier" of ABC's The Outer Limits, written by Harlan Ellison. He appeared in the NBC western Bonanza as LaDuke, a New Orleans detective. In 1967, he and Strother Martin guest starred in the episode "A Mighty Hunter Before the Lord" of NBC's The Road West series starring Barry Sullivan. Also in 1967, Nolan was a guest star in the popular western TV series The Virginian, episode "The Masquerade".

Nolan co-starred from 1968 to 1971 in the pioneering NBC series Julia (above), with Diahann Carroll, who became the first African American to star in her own television series outside of the role of a domestic worker.[1]

One of his last appearances was a guest spot as himself in the episode "Cast in Steele" on the TV detective series Remington Steele.

In his later years, Nolan did commercials for Polident.

Personal life

In 1964, Nolan spoke at the "Project Prayer" rally attended by 2,500 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. The gathering, which was hosted by Anthony Eisley, a star of ABC's Hawaiian Eye series, sought to flood the United States Congress with letters in support of school prayer, following two decisions in 1962 and 1963 of the United States Supreme Court which struck down the practice as in conflict with the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.[7]

Joining Nolan and Eisley at the rally were Walter Brennan, Rhonda Fleming, Dale Evans, Pat Boone, and Gloria Swanson. At the rally, Nolan asked, "Do we permit ourselves to be turned into a godless people, or do we preserve America as one nation under God?"[7] Eisely and Fleming added that John Wayne, Ronald Reagan, Roy Rogers, Mary Pickford, Jane Russell, Ginger Rogers, and Pat Buttram would also have attended the rally had their schedules not been in conflict.[7] "Project Prayer" was ultimately unsuccessful in its campaign to keep prayer in public schools. According to some opinions, the Court seemed to effectively change the interpretation of the First Amendment from freedom 'of' religion to freedom 'from' religion. The broader intention was to prevent the state from inappropriately advancing religion in the school room.

Nolan founded the Jay Nolan Autistic Center (now known as Jay Nolan Community Services) in honor of his son, Jay, who had autism and was chairman of the annual Save Autistic Children Telethon.


Nolan and his wife, Mell, had a daughter, Melinda, and a son, Jay.[8]


Nolan died of lung cancer on September 27, 1985 at his home in Brentwood, California;[9] he was 83.[1] He is buried at Westwood Village Cemetery.


G Men - Hugh Farrell (1935) 
Stolen Harmony (1935) 
Atlantic Adventure (1935) 
She Couldn't Take It (1935) 
Big Brown Eyes (1936) 
15 Maiden Lane (1936) 
The Texas Rangers (1936) 
Internes Can't Take Money (1937) 
King of Gamblers (1937) 
Ebb Tide (1937) 
Every Day's a Holiday (1937) 
Wells Fargo (1937) 
King of Alcatraz (1938) 
Dangerous to Know (1938) 
St. Louis Blues (1939) 
Ambush Tony Andrews (1939) 
The Magnificent Fraud (1939) 
Behind the News (1940) 
The House Across the Bay (1940) 
Johnny Apollo (1940) 
The Man I Married (1940) 
Pier 13 (1940) - Detective Danny Dolan 
The Man Who Wouldn't Talk (1940) - Joe Monday 
Blues In The Night (1941) 
Sleepers West (1941) 
Dressed to Kill (1941) 
Steel Against the Sky (1941) 
Mr Dynamite (1941) - Tony Thorsten 
Time to Kill (1942) 
Apache Trail (1942) Trigger Bill Folliard 
Manila Calling (1942) 
Michael Shayne, Private Detective (1942) 
The Man Who Wouldn't Die (1942) 
Blue, White and Perfect (1942) 
Just Off Broadway (1942) 
Guadalcanal Diary (1943) 
Bataan (1943) - Corp. Barney Todd 
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945) 
The House on 92nd Street (1945) - Agent George A. Briggs 
Captain Eddie (1945) 
Circumstantial Evidence (1945) - Sam Lords 
Two Smart People (1946) 
Somewhere in the Night (1946) 
Lady in the Lake (1947) 
Green Grass of Wyoming (1948) 
The Street with No Name (1948) - Insp. George A. Briggs 
The Sun Comes Up (1949) 
Bad Boy (1949) 
Easy Living (1949) 
The Lemon Drop Kid (1951) 
Crazylegs (1953) 
Island in the Sky - Captain Stutz (1953) 
The Last Hunt (1956) 
Toward the Unknown (1956) 
Santiago (1956) - Clay Pike 
A Hatful of Rain (1957) 
Seven Waves Away (1957) 
Peyton Place (1957) = Dr. Swain 
Abandon Ship! (1957) - Frank Kelly 
Portrait in Black (1960) 
The Girl of the Night (1960) 
Susan Slade (1961) 
The Girl Hunters (1962) 
We Joined the Navy (1962) 
Circus World (1964) - Cap Carson 
An American Dream (1966) 
The Double Man (1967) - Edwards 
Ice Station Zebra (1968) 
Airport (1970) - Harry Standish 
Earthquake (1974) 
The November Plan, TV Movie (1977) - Gen. Smedley Butler 
The Mask of Alexander Cross, TV Movie (1977) 
The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover (1977) - Attorney General Harlan Stone 
It Came Upon the Midnight Clear, TV Movie (1984) - 
Monsignor Donoghue Prince Jack (1985) - Joe Kennedy 
Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)


Martin Kane - 7 episodes - Martin Kane (1951-1952) 
Wagon Train - The Hunter Malloy Story - Hunter Malloy (1959) 
Special Agent 7 - 25 episodes - Special Agent Philip Conroy (1959) 
The Untouchables - episode - The George 'Bugs' Moran Story - George 'Bugs' Moran (1959) 
Laramie - episode - The Star Trail - Sheriff Tully Hatch (1959) 
Bonanza - episode - The Stranger - Inspector Charles Leduque (1960) 
Laramie - episode - Deadly Is the Night - Matt Dyer (1961) 
Outlaws - episode - Buck Breeson Rides Again - Buck Breeson (1962) 
Laramie - episode - War Hero - General George Barton (1962) 
The Virginian - episode - It Takes a Big Man - Wade Anders (1963) 
The Virginian - episode - The Payment - Abe Clayton (1964) 
Daniel Boone - episode - The Price of Friendship - Ben Hanks (1965) 
Mannix - episode - The Name Is Mannix - Sam Dubrio (1967) 
The Virginian - episode - The Masquerade - Tom Foster (1967) 
I Spy - episode - The Name of the Game - Manion (1968) 
Julia - 86 episodes - Dr. Morton Chegley / Dr. Norton Chegley (1968-1971) 
Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law - episode - A Question of Degree (1972) 
The F.B.I. - episode - The Killing Truth - Judge Harper (1973) 
McCloud - episode - Butch Cassidy Rides Again - Elroy Jenkins (1973) 
The Magician - episode - The Illusion of the Curious Counterfeit: Parts 1 and 2 - Charles Keegan (1974) 
Lincoln - TV mini series - episode - The Unwilling Warrior - William H. Seward (1975) 
Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color - episode - The Sky's the Limit: Parts 1 and 2 - Cornwall (1975) 
Ellery Queen - episode - The Adventure of the Sunday Punch - Doctor Sanford (1976) 
McMillan and Wife - episode - Affair of the Heart - Horace Sherwin (1977) 
Police Woman - episode - Merry Christmas Waldo - Q. Waldo Mims (1977) 
The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries - episode - Search for Atlantis - Professor Anton Hendricks (1978) 
The Waltons - episode - The Return - Cyrus Guthrie (1978) 
Quincy M.E. - episode - A Test for Living - Dr. Schumann (1978) 
$weepstake$ - episode - Episode #1.2 - Dr. Warnecke (1979) 
Archie Bunker's Place - episode - Custody: Parts 1 and 2 - Judge Sean McGuire (1981 ) 
Remington Steele - episode - Cast in Steele - Lloyd Nolan (1984) 
Murder, She Wrote - episode - Murder in the Afternoon - Julian Tenley (1985)

Radio appearances

Year Program Episode/source

1952 Suspense The Man with Two Faces[10] 1953 Suspense Vial of Death[11]


1. Folkart, Burt A. (September 28, 1985). "Lloyd Nolan, the Actor's Actor, Dies". Los Angeles Times. 
2. "His Parents Thought Acting a Risk, Preferring Shoe Business". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. September 3, 1933. p. 15. 
3. "Lloyd Nolan at Cancer Kickoff Drive in S.M.". The Times. April 26, 1973. p. 34. 
4. "Actor Lloyd Nolan Went Up In Lights the Very Hard Way". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. July 4, 1943. p. 32. 
5. "Laramie: Deadly Is the Night", November 7, 1961". Internet Movie Data Base. 
6. "Laramie: "War Hero", October 2, 1962". Internet Movie Data Base. 
7. ""The Washington Merry-Go-Round", Drew Pearson column, May 14, 1964" (PDF). 
8. "Lloyd Nolan: Tough Movie Gangster Is Now Crusty Television Doctor". The Danville Register. September 2, 1969. p. 11. 
9. "Actor Lloyd Nolan Dies". The Glaveston Daily News. September 29, 1985. p. 4. 
10. Kirby, Walter (December 14, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 54
11. Kirby, Walter (May 17, 1953). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 48. 

Further reading

Lloyd Nolan: An Actor's Life With Meaning, by Joel Blumberg and Sandra Grabman. BearManor Media, Albany, 2010. ISBN 1-59393-600-1.

Friday, September 25, 2015

"Forbidden Planet" Actor Walter Pidgeon 1984 UCLA Medical School

Walter Davis Pidgeon (September 23, 1897 – September 25, 1984) was a Canadian American actor who starred in many films, including Mrs. Miniver (below), The Bad and the Beautiful, Forbidden Planet, Advise and Consent, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Funny Girl and Harry in Your Pocket.[1]

Early life

Born in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, Pidgeon was the son of Hannah (née Sanborn), a housewife, and Caleb Burpee Pidgeon, a haberdasher.[2] Walter had a brother named Larry Pidgeon, who was an editorial writer for the Santa Barbara News-Press.

Pidgeon attended local schools and the University of New Brunswick, where he studied law and drama. His university education was interrupted by World War I, and he enlisted in the 65th Battery, Royal Canadian Field Artillery. Pidgeon never saw action, however, as he was severely injured in an accident. He was crushed between two gun carriages and spent seventeen months in a military hospital. Following the war, he moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where he worked as a bank runner, at the same time studying voice at the New England Conservatory of Music.[3] He was a classically trained baritone.


Discontented with banking, Pidgeon moved to New York City, where he walked into the office of E.E. Clive, announced that he could act and sing and could prove it. After acting on stage for several years, he made his Broadway debut in 1925.

Pidgeon made a number of silent films in the 1920s. He became a huge star with the arrival of talkies, thanks to his singing voice. He starred in extravagant early Technicolor musicals, including The Bride of the Regiment (1930), Sweet Kitty Bellairs (1930), Viennese Nights (1930) and Kiss Me Again (1931). He became associated with musicals, and when the public grew weary of them his career began to falter. In 1935 he took a break from Hollywood and did a stint on Broadway, appearing in the plays Something Gay, Night of January 16th, and There's Wisdom in Women. When he returned to movies, he was relegated to playing secondary roles in films like Saratoga and The Girl of the Golden West. One of his better known roles was in The Dark Command, where he portrayed the villain (loosely based on American Civil War guerrilla William C. Quantrill) opposite John Wayne, Claire Trevor, and a young Roy Rogers.

It was not until he starred in the Academy Award-winning Best Picture How Green Was My Valley (1941) (above) that his popularity returned. He then starred opposite Greer Garson in Blossoms in the Dust (1941), Mrs. Miniver (1942) (for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor) and its sequel, The Miniver Story in 1950. He was also nominated in 1944 for Madame Curie, again opposite Garson. His partnership with her continued throughout the 1940s and into the 1950s with Mrs. Parkington (1944), Julia Misbehaves (1948), That Forsyte Woman (1949), and finally Scandal at Scourie (1953). He also starred as Chip Collyer in the comedy Week-End at the Waldorf (1945) and later as Colonel Michael S. 'Hooky' Nicobar, who is given the difficult task of repatriating Russians in post-World War II Vienna in the drama film The Red Danube (1949).

Although he continued to make films, including The Bad and the Beautiful (above) and Forbidden Planet (below), Pidgeon returned to work on Broadway in the mid-1950s after a 20-year absence. 

He was featured in Take Me Along (below) with Jackie Gleason and received a Tony Award nomination for the musical play.

In 1962, he portrayed General Augustus Perry in the episode "The Reunion" on CBS's Rawhide (below).

He continued making films, playing Admiral Harriman Nelson in 1961's Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (above) , James Haggin in Walt Disney's Big Red (1962), and the Senate Majority Leader in Otto Preminger's Advise and Consent (below). 

His role as Florenz Ziegfeld (below) in Funny Girl (1968) was well received. Later, he played Casey, James Coburn's sidekick, in Harry in Your Pocket (1973).

Pidgeon guest-starred in the episode "King of the Valley" (November 26, 1959) of CBS's Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater. Pidgeon plays Dave King, a prosperous rancher who quarrels with his banker over a $10,000 loan. When the banker dies of a heart attack on the job after a confrontation with King, it is discovered that the bank is missing $50,000. Leora Dana plays Anne Coleman, the banker's widow and the rancher's former paramour. The banker lost the funds with a bad investment, but the irate and uninformed townspeople are blaming King. Karl Swenson appears in this episode as Will Harmon.[4]

His other television credits included Breaking Point, The F.B.I., Marcus Welby, M.D., and Gibbsville. In 1963 he guest starred as corporate attorney Sherman Hatfield in the fourth of four special episodes of Perry Mason while Raymond Burr was recovering from surgery.

Pidgeon was active in the Screen Actors Guild, and served as president from 1952 to 1957. He tried to stop the production of Salt of the Earth, which was made by a team blacklisted during the Red Scare. He retired from acting in 1978.

He died on September 25, 1984 in Santa Monica, California at age 87 following a series of strokes.[1]

In lieu of burial, Walter Pidgeon's body was donated to UCLA Medical School.


Walter Pidgeon has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6414 Hollywood Blvd.

Boris Karloff (1887-1969) His famous last words were: "Walter Pidgeon" Why the actor most famous for his portrayal of Frankenstein's monster mentioned the Canadian actor is unknown.

Personal life

Pidgeon married twice. In 1919, he wed the former Edna Muriel Pickles, who died in 1921 during the birth of their daughter, also named Edna.[5] In 1931, Pidgeon married his secretary, Ruth Walker, to whom he remained married until his death.

Pidgeon was a Republican. In 1944, he joined other celebrity Republicans at a rally in the Los Angeles Coliseum arranged by David O. Selznick in support of the Dewey−Bricker ticket as well as Governor Earl Warren of California, who would be Dewey's running mate in 1948. The gathering drew 93,000, with Cecil B. DeMille as the master of ceremonies and short speeches by Hedda Hopper and Walt Disney. Despite the good turnout at the rally, most Hollywood celebrities who took a public position sided with the Roosevelt-Truman ticket.[6]

Partial filmography

Miss Nobody (1926) 
Old Loves and New (1926) 
The Gorilla (1927) 
Turn Back the Hours (1928) 
Clothes Make the Woman (1928) 
Her Private Life (1929) 
Bride of the Regiment (1930) 
Sweet Kitty Bellairs (1930) 
Viennese Nights (1930) 
Going Wild (1930) 
Kiss Me Again (1931) 
Rockabye (1932) 
The Kiss Before the Mirror (1933) 
Journal of a Crime (1934) 
Saratoga (1937) 
My Dear Miss Aldrich (1937) 
The Girl of the Golden West (1938) 
The Shopworn Angel (1938) 
Too Hot to Handle (1938) 
Listen, Darling (1938) 
Man-Proof (1938) 
Society Lawyer (1939) 
Stronger Than Desire (1939) 
6,000 Enemies (1939) 
Dark Command - William 'Will' Cantrell (1940) 
It's a Date (1940) 
Nick Carter, Master Detective (1940) 
Phantom Raiders (1940) 
Sky Murder (1940) 
Flight Command (1940) 
Design for Scandal (1941) 
Man Hunt (1941) 
Blossoms in the Dust (1941) 
How Green Was My Valley (1941) 
Mrs. Miniver (1942) 
White Cargo (1942) 
Madame Curie (1943) 
Mrs. Parkington (1944) 
Week-End at the Waldorf (1945) 
The Secret Heart (1946) 
Holiday in Mexico (1946) 
If Winter Comes (1947) 
Julia Misbehaves (1948) 
Command Decision (1948) 
That Forsyte Woman (1949) 
The Red Danube (1949) 
The Miniver Story (1950) 
The Unknown Man (1951) 
Calling Bulldog Drummond (1951) 
Quo Vadis (1951) (Narrator) 
Soldiers Three (1951) 
The Sellout (1952) 
Million Dollar Mermaid (1952) 
The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) 
Scandal at Scourie (1953) 
Dream Wife (1953) 
Deep in My Heart (1954) 
Executive Suite (1954) 
The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954) 
Hit the Deck (1955) 
The Glass Slipper (1955) (Narrator) 
Forbidden Planet (1956) 
The Rack (1956) 
These Wilder Years (1956) 
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961) 
Advise and Consent (1962) 
The Two Colonels (1962) 
Big Red (1962) 
Cinderella (1965) 
Warning Shot (1967) (TV movie) 
Funny Girl (1968) 
The Vatican Affair (1968) 
Rascal (1969) (voice) 
The Mask of Sheba (1970) 
Skyjacked (1972) 
The Neptune Factor (1973) 
Harry in Your Pocket (1973) 
Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood (1976) 
Two-Minute Warning (1976) 
Sextette (1978)

Radio appearances

Year Program Episode/source

1952 Screen Guild Theatre "Heaven Can Wait"[7] 
1953 Lux Radio Theatre The People Against O'Hara[8] 


1. Joseph Berger (September 26, 1984). "Walter Pidgeon, Actor, Dies at 87". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-10-25. Walter Pidgeon, the courtly actor who distinguished his 47-year career with portrayals of men who prove both sturdy and wise, died yesterday at a hospital in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 87 years old and had suffered a series of strokes. ... 
3. Foster, Charles. "The Gentleman from Saint John".
4. "Zane Grey Theatre: "King of the Valley", November 26, 1959". Internet Movie Data Base. 
5. "Walter Pidgeon". (The Canadian Movie Database).
6. David M. Jordan, FDR, Dewey, and the Election of 1944 (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2011), pp. 231–232 
7. Kirby, Walter (April 6, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 52. 
8. Kirby, Walter (March 8, 1953). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 46.