Theda Bara, born Theodosia Burr Goodman, was an American silent film actress – one of the most popular of her era, and one of cinema’s earliest sex symbols. Her femme fatale roles earned her the nickname "The Vamp" (short for vampire).
Theda Bara made more than 40 films between 1914 and 1926, but complete prints of only six still exist. Most were produced by William Fox, beginning with A Fool There Was(1915) and ending with The Lure of Ambition (1919). The phenomenal success of A Fool There Was gave William Fox the money to found Fox Film Corporation, while the ensuing films ensured the studio’s success.
At the height of her fame, Bara was making $4,000 per week. She was one of the most popular movie stars, ranking behind only Charlie Chaplinand Mary Pickford. Bara’s best-known roles were as the “vamp”, although she attempted to avoid typecasting by playing wholesome heroines in films such as Under Two Flags and Her Double Life. She also appeared as Juliet in a version of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Although Bara took her craft seriously, she was too successful as an exotic “wanton woman” to develop a more versatile career.
Bara is often cited as the first sex symbol of the movies. She was well known for wearing very revealing costumes in her films, which could still be considered risqué by today’s standards, more than 90 years later. Such outfits were banned from Hollywood films after the Production Code started in 1930, and then was more strongly enforced in 1934.
Theda Bara has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and in 1994, she was honored with her image on a United States postage stamp designed by caricaturist Al Hirschfeld. In June 1996, two biographies appeared, Ron Genini’s Theda Bara: A Biography (McFarland) and Eve Golden's Vamp (Emprise). In October 2005 TimeLine Films of Culver City premiered a film biography, Theda Bara: The Woman With the Hungry Eyes. A film by British video artist Georgina Starr titled Theda based around Bara’s lost films premiered in London in November 2006.
Bara died of stomach cancer in 1955 in Los Angeles, California. Her death certificate incorrectly listed her birthdate as July 22, 1892.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY WONDERFUL THEDA!!!!!