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American motion-picture actress Clare Bow personified the flapper of the 1920s. From 1927 to 1930 she was one of the top five Hollywood box-office attractions.
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Actress Clara Bow was born July 29, 1905, Brooklyn, N.Y. She went to Hollywood by way of a beauty contest while still in high school. A small part in Beyond the Rainbow (1922) brought her considerable attention, and she was soon playing starring roles, including her part in the 1927 film It, which proved a tremendous box office success and lent her the nickname the "It" Girl. She retired in 1931.
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In the early years of motion pictures, actors were recruited from the stage, resulting in larger-than-life performances that seemed jarring when blown up to the size of a movie screen. As the years went on, actors began to understand the subtleties of the medium, and used more natural expressions to connect with their audiences. They became movie stars, known for their glamorous looks and identifiable personalities. As Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard would say, they didn't need dialogue, they had faces.
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