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Theda Bera

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Theda Bera Biography and Filmography
Theda Bera
Birthday: December 31, 1969
Birth Place: Avondale, Ohio, USA
Height: 5' 6"
Below is a complete filmography (list of movies he's appeared in)
for Theda Bera.
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Theda Bara was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, as Theodosia Goodman, on July 29, 1885. She was the daughter of a local tailor and his wife. As a teenager Theda was interested in the theatrical arts and once she finished high school, she dyed her blond hair black and went in pursuit of her dream. By 1908 she was in New York in search of roles. That year she appeared in "The Devil", a stage play. In 1911 she joined a touring company. After returning to New York in 1914, she began making the rounds of various casting offices in search of work, and was eventually hired to appear in The Stain (1914) as an extra, but she was placed so far in the background that she was not noticed on the screen. However, it was her ability to take direction which helped her gain the lead role as the "vampire" in A Fool There Was (1915) later that year, and "The Vamp" was born. It was a well-deserved break, because Theda was almost 30 years old, a time when younger women were always considered for lead roles. She became the screen's first fabricated star. Publicists sent out press releases that Theda was the daughter of an artist and an Arabian princess, and that "Theda Bara" was an anagram for "Arab Death"--a far cry from her humble Jewish upbringing in Cincinnati. The public became fascinated with her--how could one resist an actress who allowed herself to be photographed with snakes and skulls? Theda's second film, later that year for the newly formed Fox Studios, was as Celia Friedlander in The Kreutzer Sonata (1915). Theda was hot property now and was to make six more films in 1915, finishing up with Carmen (1915/I). The next year would prove to be another busy one, with theater patrons being treated to eight Theda Bara films, all of which would make a great deal of money for Fox Films, and in 1917 Fox headed west to Califoria and took Theda with them. That year she starred in a mega-hit, Cleopatra (1917). This was quickly followed by The Rose of Blood (1917). In 1918 Theda wrote the story and starred as the Priestess in The Soul of Buddha (1918). After seven films in 1919, ending with The Lure of Ambition (1919), her contract was terminated by Fox, and her career never recovered. In 1921 she married director Charles Brabin and retired. In 1926 she made her last film, Madame Mystery (1926), and promptly went back into retirement, permanently, at the age of 41. She tried the stage briefly in the 1930s but nothing really set the fires burning. A movie based on her life was planned in the 1950s, but nothing ever came of it. On April 7, 1955, Theda Bara died of abdominal cancer at the age of 69 in Los Angeles, California. There has been no one like her since.
Madame Mystery (1926)
The Unchastened Woman (1925)
The Prince of Silence (1921)
Belle Russe, La (1919)
Kathleen Mavourneen (1919)
A Woman There Was (1919)
When Men Desire (1919)
The Light (1919)
The Lure of Ambition (1919)
The Siren's Song (1919)
When a Woman Sins (1918)
Salome (1918)
The Soul of Buddha (1918)
The Forbidden Path (1918)
The She Devil (1918)
Under the Yoke (1918)
Madame Du Barry (1917)
Cleopatra (1917)
Camille (1917)
Heart and Soul (1917)
Her Greatest Love (1917)
The Tiger Woman (1917)
The Darling of Paris (1917)
The Rose of Blood (1917)
The Serpent (1916)
The Vixen (1916)
Romeo and Juliet (1916)
Her Double Life (1916)
Under Two Flags (1916)
East Lynne (1916)
The Eternal Sappho (1916)
Gold and the Woman (1916)
Destruction (1915)
The Galley Slave (1915)
Carmen (1915)
Sin (1915)
Lady Audley's Secret (1915)
The Two Orphans (1915)
The Devil's Daughter (1915)
The Clemenceau Case (1915)
The Kreutzer Sonata (1915)
A Fool There Was (1915)
Siren of Hell (1915)
The Stain (1914)
  • Screen and stage actress.
  • Made film debut in 'Two Orphans, The' (1915)
  • She was the first to utter the now famous but often misquoted line, "Kiss me, my fool."
  • The role of the vamp in A Fool There Was, which made Theda Bara famous overnight, was created on Broadway in 1910 by Katharine Kaelred.
  • Sister of actress/writer Lori Bara.
  • Pictured on one of ten 29¢ US commemorative postage stamps celebrating stars of the silent screen, issued 27 April 1994. Designed by caricaturist Al Hirschfeld, this set of stamps also honored Rudolph Valentino, Clara Bow, Charles Chaplin, Lon Chaney, John Gilbert, Zasu Pitts, Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton, and the Keystone Kops.
  • For a time, she became a victim of her own screen image. Making movies at a time when audiences thought that the character that the actor played was the person that they were in real life she often found herself ostracised publicly. Late in her career she would tell stories of being refused service in restaurants and one nurse's refusal to admit her husband into the hospital after an accident because the woman thought that she had caused it. Many of these stories were greatly exaggerated (mostly by Bera herself) but she told them to establish the kind of perception that she had given the public.
  • Her screen persona was an exotic foreign beauty who was the ultimate "vamp" who would go through men like a shark. In reality, she was born in Ohio. Those who knew her claimed that she was a quiet, reserved woman that would be more likely found in a bookstore rather than a Hollywood nightclub. In the early 1920s, she married director Charles Brabin. This marriage ended in the mid-1950s when she succumbed to cancer.
  • As a marketing ploy for Cleopatra (1917) Bara claimed to have the same astrological sign as the real Cleopatra. That is incorrect, as Cleopatra was a Capricorn and Bara was a Leo.
  • Most of her films were unfortunately lost to a fire at Fox Studios.

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