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Theodosia Burr Goodman (Cincinnati, July 29, 1885 – Los Angeles, April 7, 1955), artistically known under the pseudonym of Theda Bara ; She was a famous American actress in the silent film era.
He was born in the mid-1880s into a lower middle class family of immigrants who lived in the Jewish neighborhood of Avondale, Cincinnati. Bernard Goodman (1853-?), The father, was a Jewish merchant from Poland, and his mother, Pauline DeCoppett (1861-?) A Swiss. He had two sisters (one of them, Lori, actually called Esther, got to do small roles in some movies).
Since he was young, Theo showed a great inclination towards the performing arts, to the point that, after finishing his studies, he decided to find work in the entertainment world after dying his hair, originally blond, in black. It was not very successful at first, being encasillándose at the beginning of the century in small traveling theater plays. Once in Los Angeles, in 1914, he began working as an extra (the first film was The Stain, released in 1915) until his big break came.
This one was called A fool there was and was directed by Frank Powell. Although Theda was already considered as an old woman to star in a role (she was thirty years old, at a time when she did not conceive a protagonist over twenty-five), her special personality made the producers notice her and “create” : Theo became the first star prefabricated by a film studio, which exploded his vamp image and changed the name to Theda Bara, anagram of Arab Death (Arab death). For the general public, Theda was born in 1890 the daughter of an Egyptian concubine and her lover, a French artist, in full Sahara, and even knew mysterious Eastern magical rituals. It was a success.
1915 led to six more films starring Theda, which culminated the year with one of her most famous works, Carmen, but undoubtedly the movie that would catapult her to absolute fame would be Cleopatra by J. Gordon Edwards in 1917, one of the first adaptations of the life of the queen of Egypt, where she appeared with scant costumes. The film has not been preserved.
In 1919, after completing the filming of The Lure of Ambition, Theda was fired by the producer that had created it, the Fox. The fashion of the vamps had ended to make way for the happy flappers. Two years later, in 1921, and after her marriage to Charles Brabin, Theda retired, although she collaborated in the filming of Madame Mystery in 1926, thus putting the definitive final point to her career, which became effective when, in the In 1930, all his attempts to return to the theater failed and, in the 1950’s, to create a biopic with his life. The reason for his retirement was that Brabin did not want her to act; in fact, all her film collaborations since her marriage were made without the consent of her husband, while he was abroad.
At the age of 69, Theda died at a Los Angeles hospital because of abdominal cancer.
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