Clara Bow, America’s red-hot sweetheart
THURSDAY, JUN 10, 1999 4:00 PM
Clara Bow biographer David Stenn talks about how this poor abused beauty from Brooklyn became Hollywood’s first real sex icon — and why she was so reviled for it.
By Michael Sprgaow, Salon.com
“A rogue — But her manner was gay and delicious.
She could make a Baptist preacher choke
With laughter over a dirty joke.”
– Joseph Moncure March, “The Wild Party”
When March described a redheaded flapper in his notorious 1928 verse novel, he must have modeled her on Clara Bow, who had been dubbed the “It” girl two years earlier. From 1925 to 1933, the entire moviegoing world knew this ravishing live wire as the epitome of the Jazz Baby, “naughty of eye” and “expressive-lipped” — “cute, lecherous: lovable, treacherous.”