Tag Archives: Hollywood

Clara Bow - Empowered Women in History - Historical Fiction Author Kari Bovee

Flash Briefing: Clara Bow

Join host Kari Bovee, award-winning author of historical fiction as she shares stories of strong women of history combined with mysteries of the past.

>> Listen to Flash briefing HERE. <<

Named the first ever “It girl,” Clara Bow made a huge impact in the roaring twenties and was known as one of the decade’s leading sex symbols.

In 1921, at sixteen years old, she entered a nationwide acting contest called “Fame and Fortune.”

Showing up in her tomboyish sweater, lackluster skirt, and with absolutely no experience, Clara’s chances of winning were slim. But when she turned on the emotion, she won the judges over. She walked away with a silver trophy and an evening gown.

After the contest, Clara dropped out of high school to pursue her dreams. Then with two Clara Bow - Empowered Women in History - Historical Fiction Author Kari Boveemovies under her belt, Clara felt she was on her way, but then tragedy struck. Her mother’s mental health began to deteriorate after a diagnosis of epilepsy. Her father offered little help and left Clara alone to deal with her mother’s erratic fits of rage and temper. One night, Clara woke up to her mother holding a knife to her throat. Clara’s father had his wife committed. Even though Clara knew this was in her best interest, it still caused her great distress and in 1923, her mother died.

That same year, Clara left her father and New York and headed for Hollywood. She secured several other silent film roles and charmed audiences with her perky personality and her bold sexuality. She portrayed the perfect, adorable and charming “flapper” and the motion picture world took notice.

In 1926 she signed her first big movie contract with Paramount Pictures, and in 1927 she landed the lead role in a movie called It. The film was an instant box office success and Clara Bow became America’s first “It girl.”

Clara starred in 46 silent films, and eleven “talkies.” Her star burned bright, but at age 26, the actress burned out and started to show signs of mental instability, much like her mother. In 1931, Clara married Rex Bell, a rancher from Texas. She dropped out of Clara Bow - Empowered Women in History - Historical Fiction Author Kari BoveeHollywood and went to his ranch to recuperate. She starred in two more movies, but then officially retired from acting two years later to devote her life to her husband and sons.

But, Clara’s gradual slide into mental illness culminated in a suicide attempt in 1944. She was  diagnosed with schizophrenia. When she was released from the hospital, she did not return to the ranch but instead bought a modest bungalow where she lived out the rest of her days until she succumbed to a heart attack in 1965.

Clara Bow became one of America’s best-loved film icons and the highest paid actress of her day. She influenced some of the most powerful people in Hollywood, and also the common woman who wanted to personify the loveable flapper with her “Clara Bow heart-shaped lips” and her charming down-to-earth realism and individuality.

Historical Fiction Novel - Women in Showbusiness - 5 Books Like City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert -


Women in Show Business – 5 Books to Read if You Loved City of Girls

 

City of Girls is a novel about women in show business in the 1940’s. Elizabeth Gilbert’s novel illustrates how different women navigated their own lives and their own destinies; in their own unique ways. Gilbert delves into the unique life philosophies of each woman while maintaining themes of love and women’s empowerment. If you miss City of Girls, read it again! Or, here are some other great reads with similar vibes to help with your pink feathery withdrawals.

Novels featuring women in Show Business:

 

Historical Fiction Novel - Women in Showbusiness - Blonde by Joyce Carol OatesBlonde by Joyce Carol Oates

“Joyce Carol Oates boldly reimagines the inner, poetic, and spiritual life of Norma Jeane Baker—the child, the woman, the fated celebrity and idolized blonde the world came to know as Marilyn Monroe. In a voice startlingly intimate and rich, Norma Jeane tells her own story of an emblematic American artist—intensely conflicted and driven—who had lost her way.”

Women in Show Business Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Read more about Blonde HERE.

 

 

Historical Fiction Novel - Women in Showbusiness - The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins ReedThe Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reed

“Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. She chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job. Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late ’80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way.”

Women in Show Business Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Read more about The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo HERE.

 

Women in Show Business - Grace in the Wings a historical mystery series - Historical Fiction Book by Kari BoveeGrace in the Wings by Kari Bovée

“Dripping with 1920s swagger and enough twists to trip up a flapper, Grace in the Wings by Kari Bovée is a romance-fueled mystery with Manhattan skylines, unfettered ambition, and plenty of murder to go around. Grace Michelle is an entrancing and magnetic dynamo of a character that carries this book on her ingenue shoulders. This roaringly good novel is a loving homage to an era, a captivating story of painful growth, and a twisted mystery that will leave you wanting an encore.” – Self-Publishing Review

Women in Show Business Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Read more about Grace in the Wings HERE.

 

Historical Fiction Novel - Women in Showbusiness - All the Stars in the Heavens by Adriana TrigianiAll the Stars in the Heavens by Adriana Trigiani

“The movie business is booming in 1935 when 21-year-old Loretta Young meets 34-year-old Clark Gable on set. Though he’s already married, Gable falls for the young actress instantly. Far from the glittering lights of Hollywood, Sister Alda Ducci has been forced to leave her convent and begin a new journey that leads her to Loretta. Becoming Miss Young’s assistant, Alda must now navigate the wild terrain. Over decades, they encounter scandal and adventure, love and passion, and forge an enduring bond that will be put to the test.”

Women in Show Business Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Read more about All the Stars in the Heavens HERE.

 

Historical Fiction Novel - Women in Showbusiness - Vivian in Red by Kristina RiggleVivian in Red by Kristina Riggle

Famed Broadway producer Milo Short may be eighty-eight but that doesn’t stop him from going to the office every day. So when he steps out of his Upper West Side brownstone on one exceptionally hot morning, he’s not expecting to see the impossible: a woman from his life sixty years ago, cherry red lips, bright red hat, winking at him on a New York sidewalk, looking just as beautiful as she did back in 1934.

The sight causes him to suffer a stroke. And when he comes to, the renowned lyricist discovers he has lost the ability to communicate. Milo believes he must unravel his complicated history with Vivian Adair in order to win back his words.

A sweeping love story, family mystery and historical drama set eighty years apart, Vivian in Red will swell your heart like a favorite song while illuminating Broadway like you’ve never seen before.

Women in Show Business Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Read more about Vivian in Red HERE.

 

I haven’t found many other historical fiction novels about women in Showbiz, but I’m certainly a fan! PLEASE drop some suggestions in the comments below if you know of any others!

 

 

Billie Burke & Judy Garland

Ziegfeld’s Girl – Actress Billie Burke

Who was Glinda the Good Witch?

Watch this video and learn about actress, Billie Burke who was forever immortalized as the enchanting witch, Glinda, in the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz.

Married to the famous Broadway showman, Florenz Ziegfeld Jr., she had an amazing career of her own on stage and screen.

Just tap your heels three times, click on the arrow, sit back, relax and watch this ten minute video!

historical mystery book Grace in the wings Kari Bovee

Are you a historical fiction fan? Do you love the Roaring Twenties and a strong female lead? Check out my latest novel, Grace in the Wings!