Advertisement

Theda Bara

From Academic Kids

Theda Bara portrayed , in a costume of dubious historical accuracy.
Enlarge
Theda Bara portrayed Cleopatra, in a costume of dubious historical accuracy.

Theda Bara was the stage name of Theodosia Burr Goodman (July 29, 1885 - 7 April, 1955), a silent film actress. As her stage name is an anagram for "Arab Death" an urban legend claims that it was coined for that reason, but instead Theda is short for Theodosia, and Bara was the middle name of her maternal grandmother.

Bara was one of the most popular screen actresses of the time. She was nicknamed "The Vamp", short for vampire, slang for a sexy predatory woman at the time.

Named after the daughter of American politician Aaron Burr, Theodosia Burr Goodman was born in Avondale, Ohio, a wealthy suburb of Cincinnati, a daughter of a Swiss mother and a Jewish tailor father, and though she achieved fame as a raven-haired vamp, she was actually born blonde. 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 theater productions, moving to New York City in 1908.

Briefly known professionally as Theodosia de Coppett, Theda Bara made more than 40 feature films between 1914 and 1926 of which complete prints of only three still exist. She made her Broadway debut in "The Devil" (1908), and her film debut was a bit part in "The Stain" (1914), directed by Frank Powell for Pathé Frères. A large portion of her films are now lost, to the regret of later generations of fans.

Bara was a sex symbol of the era, and in a number of her films appeared in risqué transparent costumes that left little to the imagination. Such outfits were banned from Hollywood films after the Hays Code went into effect a few years later, which may have been a factor in declining interest in her films, which could no longer be commercially shown in the United States. At the height of her fame, however, her vamp image was notorious enough be refered to in various 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...." "Rebecca Came Back From Mecca" contains the lyrics "She's as bold as Theda Bara; Theda's bare but Becky's bare-er".

In 1926, five years after marrying British-born American film director Charles Brabin (1883-1957), Bara retired. Theda never attempted a "comeback." She was quite happy to leave Hollywood and the movies behind her. She spent the remainder of her life as a prominent hostess in Hollywood and her native Cincinnati. She died of cancer in Los Angeles, California and was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.

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.

Filmography

  1. The Stain (1914)
  2. A Fool There Was (1915)
  3. The Kreutzer Sonata (1915)
  4. The Clemenceau Case (1915)
  5. The Devil's Daughter (1915)
  6. The Two Orphans (1915)
  7. Lady Audley's Secret (1915)
  8. Sin (1915)
  9. Carmen (1915)
  10. The Galley Slave (1915)
  11. Destruction (1915)
  12. Siren of Hell (1915)
  13. The Serpent (1916)
  14. Gold and the Woman (1916)
  15. The Eternal Sappho (1916)
  16. East Lynne (1916)
  17. Under Two Flags (1916)
  18. Her Eternal Life (1916)
  19. Romeo and Juliet (1916)
  20. The Vixen (1916)
  21. The Tiger Woman (1917)
  22. Her Greatest Love (1917)
  23. Heart and Soul (1917)
  24. Camille (1917)
  25. Cleopatra (1917)
  26. Madame Du Barry (1917)
  27. The Rose of Blood (1917)
  28. The Darling of Paris (1917)
  29. The Forbidden Path (1918)
  30. Salome (1918)
  31. When a Woman Sins (1918)
  32. Under the Yoke (1918)
  33. The Soul of Buddha (1918)
  34. The She Devil (1918)
  35. The Light (1919)
  36. A Woman There Was (1919)
  37. Kathleen Mavourneen (1919)
  38. La Belle Russe (1919)
  39. When Men Desire (1919)
  40. The Siren's Song (1919)
  41. The Lure of Ambition (1919)
  42. The Prince of Silence (1921)
  43. The Unchastened Woman (1925)
  44. Madame Mystery (1926)

External links

Navigation

Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Art)
    • Architecture (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Architecture)
    • Cultures (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Cultures)
    • Music (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Music)
    • Musical Instruments (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/List_of_musical_instruments)
  • Biographies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Biographies)
  • Clipart (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Clipart)
  • Geography (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Geography)
    • Countries of the World (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Countries)
    • Maps (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Maps)
    • Flags (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Flags)
    • Continents (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Continents)
  • History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History)
    • Ancient Civilizations (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Ancient_Civilizations)
    • Industrial Revolution (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Industrial_Revolution)
    • Middle Ages (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Middle_Ages)
    • Prehistory (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Prehistory)
    • Renaissance (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Renaissance)
    • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
    • United States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/United_States)
    • Wars (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Wars)
    • World History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History_of_the_world)
  • Human Body (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Human_Body)
  • Mathematics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Mathematics)
  • Reference (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Reference)
  • Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Science)
    • Animals (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Animals)
    • Aviation (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Aviation)
    • Dinosaurs (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Dinosaurs)
    • Earth (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Earth)
    • Inventions (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Inventions)
    • Physical Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Physical_Science)
    • Plants (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Plants)
    • Scientists (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Scientists)
  • Social Studies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Social_Studies)
    • Anthropology (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Anthropology)
    • Economics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Economics)
    • Government (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Government)
    • Religion (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Religion)
    • Holidays (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Holidays)
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Solar_System)
    • Planets (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Planets)
  • Sports (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Sports)
  • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
  • Weather (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Weather)
  • US States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/US_States)

Information

  • Home Page (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php)
  • Contact Us (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Contactus)

  • Clip Art (http://classroomclipart.com)
Toolbox
Personal tools