Today in Lady History: On July 29, 1905 (or, debatably, 1906), original “It” Girl and silent film star Clara Bow was born. If she were still alive today, she would have been a whopping 108 (or, again debatably, 107) years old. Happy birthday, Clara!
Born in Brooklyn at the turn of the century to impoverished parents, Clara was constantly teased for her worn-out clothing and “carrot-top” hair. She excelled at sports and originally planned to become an athletic instructor—however, by 16, after spending years seeking solace in the silver screen, she decided that she wanted to become an actress. After taking part in an amateur acting contest in 1921 and knocking on a lot of doors, she eventually found her way into the business—and the rest, as they say… Clara went on to star in such silent hits as Mantrap, It (of course), and Wings. She retired in 1931; a heart attack hit her in 1965, and she passed away at the age of 60.
In honor of Clara’s birthday, we’ve assembled 12 of her best quotes about love, Hollywood, being a sex symbol, what exactly “It” is, and more. Now break out the cloches, give yourselves some fingerwaves, and get ready to dance!