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Theda Bara

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Source: Wikipedia

Theda Bara was an American silent film actress who was one of the most popular screen actresses of her era, and was one of cinema's earliest sex symbols. Her femme fatale roles earned her the nickname "The Vamp" (short for vampire). The term "vamp" soon became a popular slang term for a sexually predatory woman. Bara made more than 40 feature films between 1914 and 1926 and, unfortunately, complete prints of only six of these films still exist. Most of Bara's films were produced by William Fox, beginning with A Fool There Was (1915) and ending with The Lure of Ambition (1919). The phenomenal success of A Fool There Was gave William Fox the money to found Fox Film Corporation, while the ensuing films helped to make Fox a successful studio.

Bara was one of the most famous movie stars, ranking behind only Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford in popularity. One of Bara's biggest hits was the 1917 epic Cleopatra (1917). No known prints of Cleopatra exist today, but numerous photographs of Bara in costume as the Queen of the Nile have survived. Bara, despite her popular "vamp" image, is most famous for having a higher percentage of lost films than any other actor/actress with a Hollywood star on the Walk of Fame. A 1937 fire at Fox's nitrate film storage vaults in New Jersey destroyed most of that studio's silent films. Out of her 40 films, 3 remain completely intact. Cleopatra (almost completely lost, 40 seconds remain), Du Barry, Carmen, Salome, and Camille are among the lost. Fortunately, A Fool There Was is preserved in a complete print.

Fact file

  • Born: Theodosia Burr Goodman July 29, 1885 Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
  • Died: April 7, 1955 (aged 69) Los Angeles, California, U.S.
  • Cause of death: Stomach cancer
  • Resting place: Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, Glendale
  • Nationality: American
  • Education: Walnut Hills High School
  • Alma mater: University of Cincinnati
  • Occupation: Actress
  • Years active: 1908–1926
  • Spouse(s): Charles Brabin (1921–1955)

Read more about Theda Bara at Wikipedia or at the Internet Movie Database

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