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Encyclopedia > Theda Bara
Theda Bara

Theda Bara as Cleopatra in the 1917 film Cleopatra
Birth name Theodosia Burr Goodman
Born July 29, 1885
Flag of United States Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Died April 13, 1955 (aged 69)
Flag of United States Los Angeles, California, USA
Years active 1908-1926
Spouse(s) Charles Brabin (1921)

Theda Bara was the stage name of Theodosia Burr Goodman (July 29, 1885 - April 13, 1955), a silent film actress. Movie executives made promotional claims that her stage name was chosen because it is an anagram for "Arab Death." In reality, "Theda" was a childhood nickname for Theodosia. "Bara" was a shortened form of her maternal grandfather's last name, Baranger. Image File history File links ThedaBara. ... Cleopatra was a co-ruler of Egypt with her father (Ptolemy XII Auletes), her brothers/husbands Ptolemy XIII and Ptolemy XIV, consummated a liaison with Gaius Julius Caesar that solidified her grip on the throne, and, after Caesars assassination, aligned with Mark Antony, with whom she produced twins. ... The 1917 Cleopatra was directed by J. Gordon Edwards and starred Theda Bara in the title role. ... July 29 is the 210th day of the year (211th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1885 (MDCCCLXXXV) is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Saturday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Cincinnati, Ohio viewed from the SW, across the Ohio River from Kentucky. ... Official language(s) None Capital Columbus Largest city Columbus Largest metro area Cleveland Area  Ranked 34th  - Total 44,825 sq mi (116,096 km²)  - Width 220 miles (355 km)  - Length 220 miles (355 km)  - % water 8. ... April 13 is the 103rd day of the year (104th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1955 (MCMLV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays the 1955 Gregorian calendar). ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Flag Seal Nickname: City of Angels Location Location within Los Angeles County in the state of California Coordinates , Government State County California Los Angeles County Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) Geographical characteristics Area     City 1,290. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... Charles Brabin (born April 17, 1883–died November 3, 1957) was an American film director and screenwriter active during the silent era and pursued a short-lived career in talkies. ... July 29 is the 210th day of the year (211th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1885 (MDCCCLXXXV) is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Saturday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... April 13 is the 103rd day of the year (104th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1955 (MCMLV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays the 1955 Gregorian calendar). ... A silent film is a film which has no accompanying soundtrack. ... Actors in period costume sharing a joke whilst waiting between takes during location filming. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Bara 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, along with the French film actress Musidora, popularized the vamp persona in the early years of silent film and was soon imitated by rival actresses such as Nita Naldi and Pola Negri. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Convicted spy Mata Hari made her name synonymous with femme fatale during WWI. A femme fatale (plural: femmes fatales) is an alluring and seductive woman whose charms ensnare her lovers in bonds of irresistible desire, often leading them into compromising, dangerous and deadly situations. ... Philip Burne-Jones, The Vampire, 1897 Vampires are mythological or folkloric beings that subsist on human and/or animal lifeforce. ... Vamp is a colloquial term applied to describe a particular type of femme fatale, popular in silent films. ... Slang is the use of highly informal words and expressions that are not considered standard in the speakers dialect or language. ... Musidora as Irma Vep in a screen shot of the 1915 film serial Les Vampires Musidora (February 23, 1889 - December 11, 1957) was the professional stage-name of a popular French silent film actress of the early 20th century. ... Nita Naldi Nita Naldi (April 1, 1897 - February 17, 1961) was one of the most successful silent film actresses of the Roaring Twenties. ... Pola Negri Pola Negri [1] (December 31, 1894 - August 1, 1987) was a Polish film actress who achieved notoriety as a femme fatale in silent films between 1910s and 1930s. ...

Contents

Biography

Birth

Theodosia Burr Goodman was born in 1885 in the Avondale section of Cincinnati, Ohio. Her father was Harris Goodman (1853-?) a prosperous Jewish tailor born in Poland . Her mother, Pauline DeCoppett (1861-1957), was born in Switzerland and was also Jewish. They married in 1882. Theda's brother and sister were Marque (1888-?) and Lori [originally Estie] (1897-?). In 1917, all changed their names to "Bara". Cincinnati, Ohio viewed from the SW, across the Ohio River from Kentucky. ... Official language(s) None Capital Columbus Largest city Columbus Largest metro area Cleveland Area  Ranked 34th  - Total 44,825 sq mi (116,096 km²)  - Width 220 miles (355 km)  - Length 220 miles (355 km)  - % water 8. ... Languages Historical Jewish languages Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino, others Liturgical languages: Hebrew and Aramaic Predominant spoken languages: The vernacular language of the home nation in the Diaspora, significantly including English, Hebrew, Yiddish, and Russian Religions Judaism Related ethnic groups Arabs and other Semitic groups For the Jewish religion, see Judaism. ... The word Jew ( Hebrew: יהודי) is used in a wide number of ways, but generally refers to a follower of the Jewish faith, a child of a Jewish mother, or someone of Jewish descent with a connection to Jewish culture or ethnicity and often a combination... Year 1882 (MDCCCLXXXII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ...


Education

She attended Walnut Hills High School in 1899-1903 and lived at 823 Hutchins Avenue. After attending the University of Cincinnati for two years, she worked in theatre productions mainly but did explore other projects, moving to New York City in 1908. She made her Broadway debut in The Devil (1908). Walnut Hills High School is a public college-preparatory classical high school in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States. ... The University of Cincinnati is a state university located in Cincinnati, Ohio. ... New York, New York and NYC redirect here. ... 1908 (MCMVIII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar). ...


Career

Theda Bara made more than 40 feature films between 1914 and 1926. 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 in 1914 and ending with The Lure of Ambition in 1919. Her films helped to make Fox Film Corporation a successful studio. Year 1914 (MCMXIV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Year 1926 (MCMXXVI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... William Fox (born Wilhelm Fuchs in January 1, 1879–May 8, 1952) founded the Fox Film Corporation in 1915 and the Fox West Coast Theatres chain. ... Theda Bara, one of only a few sex symbols in the early 1900s, stars in this 1915 silent film classic. ... The Fox Film Corporation was an American company which produced motion pictures, formed in 1915 when founder William Fox merged two companies he had established in 1913: Greater New York Film Rental, a distribution firm, which was part of the Independents; and Fox (or Box, depending on the source) Office...


At the height of her fame, Bara was making $4,000 per week for her film performances. She was one of the most famous moviestars, ranking behind only Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford in popularity.[1] Bara's best-known and most popular roles were as "vamp" characters, although she attempted to avoid being typecast by playing more wholesome heroines in films such as Under Two Flags and Her Double Life. She also appeared as Juliet in a version of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin, Jr. ... Mary Pickford (April 8, 1892 – May 29, 1979) was an Oscar-winning Canadian motion picture star and co-founder of United Artists in 1919. ...


Most of Bara's early films were shot on the East Coast, primarily at the Fox studio in Fort Lee, New Jersey. Bara lived with her mother and siblings in New York City during this time. The rise of Hollywood as the center of the American film industry forced her to relocate to Los Angeles in 1917 to film the epic Cleopatra. This film became one of Bara's biggest hits. No known prints of Cleopatra exist today, but numerous photographs of Bara in costume as the Queen of the Nile have survived. Map highlighting Fort Lees location within Bergen County. ... New York, New York and NYC redirect here. ... ... Flag Seal Nickname: City of Angels Location Location within Los Angeles County in the state of California Coordinates , Government State County California Los Angeles County Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) Geographical characteristics Area     City 1,290. ...


Between 1915 and 1919, Bara was promoted heavily by Fox, and was the studio's biggest star. When the studio dropped off their support her career suffered. Bara, tired of being typecast as a vamp, allowed her five-year contract with Fox to expire. Her final film for Fox was The Lure of Ambition in 1919. She left Fox and did not make another film until 1925's The Unchastened Woman, for Chadwick Pictures Corporation. Bara retired after making only one more film, the short comedy, Madame Mystery, in 1926.


Theda Bara 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. Out of her 40 films, 3 remain completely intact. Cleopatra (almost completely lost, 40 seconds remain), Madame Du Barry, Carmen, Salome, and Camille are among the lost. Fortunately, A Fool There Was is preserved (and viewable at YouTube [2]).


She is also one of the most famous completely silent stars. Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford, although mostly silent, were filmed in sound, and none of their sound films have been lost. Bara was never filmed in sound, lost or otherwise. Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin, Jr. ... Mary Pickford (April 8, 1892 – May 29, 1979) was an Oscar-winning Canadian motion picture star and co-founder of United Artists in 1919. ...


Sex symbol

Theda Bara as Cleopatra
Theda Bara as Cleopatra

Bara is often cited as the first sex symbol[2] of that era, and in a number of her films appeared in risqué transparent costumes that left little to the imagination. [3] Such outfits were banned from Hollywood films after the Hays Code went into effect in 1930. Image File history File links Theda-bara-cleopatra. ... Image File history File links Theda-bara-cleopatra. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Production Code (also known as the Hays Code) was a set of guidelines governing the production of motion pictures. ...


Bara was photographed in several sittings in skimpy Oriental-themed costumes. It was popular at that time to promote an actress as mysterious and elusive, with an exotic background. The studios promoted Bara with a massive campaign, billing her as the Egyptian-born daughter of a French actress and an Italian sculptor. They claimed she had spent her early years in the Sahara Desert under the shadow of the sphinx, then moved to France to become a stage actress. (Bara had in fact never even been to Egypt or France.) They called her the "Serpent of the Nile" and encouraged Bara to discuss mysticism and the occult in interviews. The term the Orient - literally meaning sunrise, east - is traditionally used to refer to Near, Middle, and Far Eastern countries. ... The Sahara is the worlds second largest desert (second to Antarctica), over 9,000,000 km² (3,500,000 mi²), located in northern Africa and is 2. ... The Great Sphinx of Giza, with the Pyramid of Khafre in the background For other uses, see Sphinx (disambiguation). ... The Nile (Arabic: , transliteration: , Ancient Egyptian iteru, Coptic piaro or phiaro) is a major north-flowing river in Africa, generally regarded as the longest river in the world. ...


At the height of Bara's fame, her vamp image was notorious enough to be referred to in popular songs of the day. A line in "Red-Hot Hannah" said "I know things that Theda Bara's just startin' to learn - make my dresses from asbestos, I'm liable to burn...." The song, "Rebecca Came Back From Mecca", contains the lyrics "She's as bold as Theda Bara; Theda's bare but Becky's bare-er".


Marriage and retirement

Bara married British-born American film director Charles Brabin (1883-1957) in 1921. Her film career soon began to slow down, finally ending in 1926 with the Hal Roach comedy Madame Mystery. The following year, Bara made a successful but much maligned appearance on Broadway in The Blue Flame. Charles Brabin (born April 17, 1883–died November 3, 1957) was an American film director and screenwriter active during the silent era and pursued a short-lived career in talkies. ...


Though she subsequently expressed interest in returning to the stage or screen, her husband did not consider it proper for his wife to have a career. Bara spent the remainder of her life as a hostess in Hollywood and New York, in comfort and relative wealth. ...


Death

Bara died of stomach cancer in 1955 in Los Angeles, California and was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California. She died under the name "Theda Bara Brabin", and her death certificate incorrectly listed her birthday as "July 22, 1892". Nickname: Location within Los Angeles County in the state of California Coordinates: , State California County Los Angeles County Settled 1781 Incorporated April 4, 1850 Government  - Type Mayor-Council  - Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa  - City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo  - Governing body City Council Area  - City  498. ... Gates of Forest Lawn Forest Lawn Memorial Park is a cemetery in Glendale, Los Angeles County, California. ... Nickname: Location of Glendale within Los Angeles County and the State of California. ...


Legacy

Theda Bara has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and in 1994, she was honored with her image on a United States postage stamp designed by caricaturist Al Hirschfeld. In June 1996, two biographies appeared, Ron Genini's Theda Bara: A Biography (McFarland) and Eve Golden's Vamp (Emprise). In October 2005 TimeLine Films of Culver City premiered a film biography, Theda Bara: The Woman With the Hungry Eyes. A band plays on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. ... This article lists people who have been featured on United States postage stamps. ... Al Hirschfeld photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1955 Albert Hirschfeld (June 21, 1903 – January 20, 2003) was an American caricaturist, best known for his simple black and white satirical portraits of celebrities and Broadway stars. ... Eve Golden is a journalist and biographer whose work focuses on American silent film and early 20th century actresses. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Culver City sign near the intersection of the 405 and the 90. ...


A film by British video artist Georgina Starr titled Theda based around Bara's lost films premiered in London in November 2006.[4] Georgina Starr (born 1968) is an English artist and one of the Young British Artists. ...


The Fort Lee Film Commission dedicated Main Street and Linwood Avenue in Fort Lee, New Jersey as "Theda Bara Way" in May of 2006 to honor Bara, who made many of her films at the Fox Studio on Linwood and Main. Map highlighting Fort Lees location within Bergen County. ...


Theda Bara's image has been the symbol of the Chicago International Film Festival. A stark, black and white close up of her eyes set as repeated frames in a strip of film serves as the logo for the nonprofit festival. The Chicago International Film Festival is an annual film festival that is presented by Cinema/Chicago. ...


Only a handful of Theda Bara films still exist: The Stain (1914), A Fool There Was (1914), East Lynne (1916), The Unchastened Woman (1925), and two short comedies she made for Hal Roach in the mid-1920s.[5] See also: 1913 in film 1914 1915 in film years in film film Events The 3,300-seat Strand Theater opens in New York City. ... Theda Bara, one of only a few sex symbols in the early 1900s, stars in this 1915 silent film classic. ... See also: 1913 in film 1914 1915 in film years in film film Events The 3,300-seat Strand Theater opens in New York City. ... East Lynne is a novel of 1861 by Mrs. ... // Events November 19 - Samuel Goldfish (later renamed Samuel Goldwyn) and Edgar Selwyn establish Goldwyn Company (the company later became one of the most successful independent filmmakers). ... See also: 1924 in film 1925 1926 in film 1920s in film years in film film Events Top grossing films Ben-Hur His People The Unholy Three The Freshman Movies released Movies released in 1925 include: Ben-Hur, starring Ramon Novarro. ...


Although Bara only appeared in silent films, she did make at least one appearance on radio: The June 8, 1936 broadcast of Lux Radio Theatre, hosted by Cecil B. DeMille. June 8 is the 159th day of the year (160th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1936 (MCMXXXVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Lux Radio Theater, one of the genuine classic radio anthology series (NBC Blue Network, 1934-1935; CBS 1935-1955), adapted first Broadway stage and then (and especially) films to hour-long live radio presentations and became the standard by which future radio and early television anthologies would be judged. ... Cecil Blount DeMille (August 12, 1881 – January 21, 1959) was one of the most successful filmmakers during the first half of the 20th century. ...


Filmography

Note: Extant films are in lightblue background.
Year # Title Role
1914 1 The Stain Gang moll
1915 2 A Fool There Was The Vamp
3 The Kreutzer Sonata Celia Friedlander
4 The Clemenceau Case Iza
5 The Devil's Daughter La Gioconda
6 Lady Audley's Secret Helen Talboys
7 The Two Orphans Henriette
8 Sin Rosa
9 Carmen Carmen
10 The Galley Slave Francesca Brabaut
11 Destruction Fernade
1916 12 The Serpent Vania Lazar
13 Gold and the Woman Theresa Decordova
14 The Eternal Sapho Laura Bruffins
15 East Lynne Lady Isabel Carlisle
16 Under Two Flags Cigarette
17 Her Double Life Mary Doone
18 Romeo and Juliet Juliet
19 The Vixen Elsie Drummond
1917 20 The Darling of Paris[3] Esmeralda
21 The Tiger Woman Princess Petrovitch
22 Her Greatest Love Hazel
23 Heart and Soul Jess
24 Camille Marguerite Gauthier
25 Cleopatra[4] Cleopatra
26 The Rose of Blood Lisza Tapenka
27 Madame Du Barry Jeanne Vaubernier
1918 28 The Forbidden Path Mary Lynde
29 The Soul of Buddha Priestess
30 Under the Yoke Maria Valverda
31 Salome Salome
32 When a Woman Sins Lilian Marchard/Poppea
33 The She Devil Lorette
1919 34 The Light Blanchette Dumond, aka Madame Lefresne
35 When Men Desire Marie Lohr
36 The Siren's Song Marie Bernais
37 A Woman There Was Princess Zara
38 Kathleen Mavourneen Kathleen Cavanagh
39 La Belle Russe Fleurett Sackton
La Belle Russe
40 The Lure of Ambition Olga Dolan
1925 41 The Unchastened Woman Caroline Knollys
1926 42 Madame Mystery Madame Mysterieux
43 45 Minutes from Hollywood Herself

See also: 1913 in film 1914 1915 in film years in film film Events The 3,300-seat Strand Theater opens in New York City. ... // Events June 18 : The Motion Picture Directors Association (MPDA) was formed by twenty-six film directors in Los Angeles, California. ... Theda Bara, one of only a few sex symbols in the early 1900s, stars in this 1915 silent film classic. ... Poster from the 1875 premiere of Carmen Carmen is a French opera by Georges Bizet. ... Poster from the 1875 premiere of Carmen Carmen is a French opera by Georges Bizet. ... // Events November 19 - Samuel Goldfish (later renamed Samuel Goldwyn) and Edgar Selwyn establish Goldwyn Company (the company later became one of the most successful independent filmmakers). ... East Lynne is a novel of 1861 by Mrs. ... Under Two Flags is a 1936 film, directed by Frank Lloyd. ... Romeo and Juliet in the famous balcony scene by Ford Madox Brown For other uses, see Romeo and Juliet (disambiguation). ... Romeo and Juliet in the famous balcony scene by Ford Madox Brown For other uses, see Romeo and Juliet (disambiguation). ... See also: 1916 in film 1917 1918 in film years in film film Events Technicolor is introduced Top grossing films Cleopatra Movies released Movies released in 1917 include: The Adventurer, a Charlie Chaplin short. ... Illustration of Esmeralda from Victor Hugo and His Time. 1882. ... Camille is a 1917 film based on the 1852 novel and play La Dame aux Camélias by Alexandre Dumas. ... The 1917 Cleopatra was directed by J. Gordon Edwards and starred Theda Bara in the title role. ... This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Jeanne Becu, Comtesse Du Barry [1] [2] (Marie-Jeanne, Comtesse Du Barry) (August 19, 1743 - December 8, 1793) was a French courtesan who became the mistress of Louis XV of France. ... See also: 1917 in film 1918 1919 in film years in film film Events Following litigation for anti-trust activities, the US Supreme Court orders the Motion Picture Patents Company to disband. ... Coin of Salome (daughter of Herodias), queen of Chalcis and Armenia Minor. ... See also: 1918 in film 1919 1920 in film years in film film // Events February 5 - Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith launch United Artists Oscar Micheaux releases The Homesteader, becoming the first African-American to produce and direct a motion picture. ... See also: 1924 in film 1925 1926 in film 1920s in film years in film film Events Top grossing films Ben-Hur His People The Unholy Three The Freshman Movies released Movies released in 1925 include: Ben-Hur, starring Ramon Novarro. ... // August - Warner Brothers debuts the first Vitaphone film, Don Juan. ...

Footnotes

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ http://youtube.com/watch?v=3Pa1lvWfAn8
  3. ^ A very loose adaptation of the novel Notre Dame de Paris by Victor Hugo
  4. ^ A very short fragment of this film survives

The Hunchback of Notre Dame, or Notre-Dame of Paris (in French, Notre-Dame de Paris) is a novel first published on January 14, 1831 by the prolific French author Victor Hugo. ... Victor-Marie Hugo (pronounced in French) (26 February 1802 — 22 May 1885) was a French poet, novelist, playwright, essayist, visual artist, statesman, human rights campaigner, and perhaps the most influential exponent of the Romantic movement in France. ...

References

  • Eve Golden (1996). Vamp: The Rise and Fall of Theda Bara. Emprise. ISBN 1-887322-00-0. 

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Theda Bara

  Results from FactBites:
 
Theda Bara (174 words)
Theda Bara was the stage name of Theodosia Goodman (1885 or 1890 - 7 April 1955), a silent film actress.
Theda Bara made more than 40 feature films between 1914 and 1926 of which complete prints of only three still exist.
Bara was a sex symbol of the era, and in a number of her films appeared in risque costumes.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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