Theda Bara Biography

Theda Bara

Born: 7/29/1885
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio

Theodosia Goodman grew up interested in theater. In 1905 she dropped out of college, died her blond hair black and looked for theater work. In 1908 Bara received a role in a play, The Devil, in New York City. In 1915 she was an extra in her first motion picture, The Stain. Shortly thereafter, Bara was cast as the “vamp,” an exotic “bad girl,” in A Fool There Was, and became one of the first movie stars. While many ministers denounced her as immoral, Bara signed a contract with the newly formed Fox Studios and made seven more movies in 1915, including The Kreutzer Sonata, Sin, and Carmen. In 1917 Bara followed Fox Studios and moved to Hollywood, making Cleopatra and The Rose of Blood. In 1918 she wrote and starred in The Soul of Buddha. Following seven more movies in 1919, including The Lure of Ambition, Fox cancelled Bara's contract, virtually ending her career. In 1921 she married director Charles Brabin and retired. She made An Unchastened Woman in 1925 and Madame Mystery, a comedy, in 1926. She acted in several stage plays in the 1930s. Only two of her 42 movies survive in their entirety.

Died: 1955

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