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Sex scandal of silent screen icon Clara Bow

Having watched BBC four’s tribute to one of early cinema’s biggest stars made me keen to learn more about Clara Bow. Here is what I dug up:


Clara was born in poverty in the slums of Brooklyn, her father was a drunk and her mother was in and out of mental asylums. She was extremely popular in films for a while, her most noted film was ‘It’, the it of the title referring to sex appeal.  She found it hard to converge her private life with her screen roles. Her famous lovers included Gary Cooper, Victor Fleming, Gilbert Roland, and Harry Richman.

Revelations of her affairs, including an orgy with a football team, came out during a court case in 1931, when she sued her former secretary, who had embezzled and tried to blackmail her. The scandal put an end to Paramount. Her husband was cowboy turned politician Rex Bell.

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