Theda Bara was one the most well-renowned actress from the silent era and she is often cited as the first sex symbol of the film era. Her character set the vogue for sophisticated sensual themes in the motion pictures. She was the ultimate screen ‘vamp’ who would go through men like a shark. Bara made more than 40 films between 1914 and 1926, but she never appeared in any sound film.
Theda Bara’s Film Career
Bara began her career with a stage play ‘The Devil’ in 1908, she made her film debut with the role of a Gang Moll in the movie ‘The Stain (1914). Her career-changing role came in 1915 when she was cast as the ‘Vamp’ in the movie “A Fool There Was”. This film was released with an intense publicity campaign and it made her an overnight star. The same year, she appeared in five more films. Bara mostly portrayed the role of an irresistible, heartless woman who lived only for sensual pleasure. She wore very revealing costumes in her film, such outfits were banned from Hollywood films. Most of her films were unfortunately lost in 1937, in a fire at Fox Studios.
Bara married film director Charles Brabin in 1921 and retired from acting career. The marriage lasted until her death, and the couple had no children. She appeared in her last film ‘Madame Mystery’ in 1926. Bara spent the remainder of her life as a hostess in Hollywood and New York, in comfort and wealth.
Theda Bara’s death
On April 7, 1955, Theda Bara died of abdominal cancer at the age of 69 at Lutheran Hospital Los Angeles. She was interred as Theda Bara Brabin at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.