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The It girl in London

Here’s the second of three photos from the January 3 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star that feature an actress or performer with thin lines for eyebrows. This one is of actress Clara Bow with her husband.

Clara Bow (1905-1965) was generally considered the most famous film star of the late 1920s, receiving 45,000 fan letters in the month of January 1929 alone. She rose to fame in 1927 when she starred in the movie It, which was an adaptation of a novella by British author Elinor Glyn. As a result, she was given the nickname “the ‘It’ girl”. (Ms. Glyn has previously appeared in this blog here.)

Unlike many celebrity marriages, the union of Ms. Bow and Rex Bell lasted, but unfortunately this did not ensure that she led a happy life. She developed mental health problems in the 1940s, became socially withdrawn, and attempted suicide in 1944. In the late 1940s, she was treated with electroshock therapy, and she spent the last years of her life alone in a bungalow.

Rex Bell (1903-1962) acted in films, mostly Westerns, between 1928 and 1936, with occasional parts after that. He later entered politics in Nevada, where he and Ms. Bow owned a ranch. He ran for the House of Representatives in 1944 and lost, but became the Lieutenant-Governor of Nevada in 1954. He remained in this office until he died of a heart attack.

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