Quit Pickin’ On Me!: Photoplay (Jan 1931) Part 2

“Quit Pickin’ On Me!” says Clara Bow

The famous little Brooklyn Bonfire, snapping back at her critics, says she is giving up boy friends for hard work in big dramatic talkie rôles

Her ambition to hard work is an inspiring one. But a program without play for a twenty-five year old woman! “What about romance?” I asked with decent reluctance. “I’m through with that. Men are funny. They like me for what I am, then when they find they can’t change me, they lose interest. Or if they do change me, they lose interest.”

“What about Harry Richman?”

“All over months ago. A mistake.”

“Rex Bell?”

“I like him very much. Rex is a nice clean boy. I appreciate his friendship. But it’s only friendship.” Hard work. No romance. No didoes. No escapades. Surely Clara is entitled to some moderate dissipatio. And she has it all picked out. “I like to eat,” she announced with startling abruptness. “You can’t get anything good to eat in New York. At home I have good food. And I have my dogs, five of them. They’re my companions.”

So La Bow, disillusioned, distrustful, mellowed by a new wisdom for which she paid a dear price, has turned the acutely critical point in her career. She wants to be good. She wants to start again. Paramount has faith in her resolution. Just when the anti-Bow bacilli were most active in all the newspaper blood of the country, Paramount renewed her contract and laid plans for her new films. Her fans beg that she be given a chance to “act”. They detect a quality in Clara never quite revealed in her exuberant “It” rôles.

Clara, off screen, has a startling suggestion of the screen Janet Gaynor. She is little, almost frail – pathetic. With all her wealth and fame, she makes people impulsively say, “Poor kid.” Her eyes are fine. The very forthrightness, which was almost her undoing, gives her an appealing charm. Clara’s motherless childhood has been deplored before. Her father has been discussed generally. Alone and immatue, Clara has been preyed on by anyone who could use her. Now, at twenty-five, Clara Bow faces a new test. A discreet, dignified young woman must appear as a dramatic actress.

As she faced her old, Clara faces her new test alone. Loved by millions, Clara has nobody to love. Artlessly Clara told the story in one eloquent sentence that afternoon on location in New York. “I want to go home,” said Clara wistfully, “I miss my cook.” Nobody to miss but her cook! The mad, bad, flaming, rambunctious Clara Bow!

  • Did you know that eating is one of the fondest things Clara Bow is of? When she’s away from Hollywood, she doesn’t miss boy friends, but her cook! Maybe this explains some of Clara’s curve-trouble in the past

Photoplay, January of 1931. Written by Paul Jarvis. Illustrated by Van Arsdale. Cropping of illustration used by kind permission of the Clara Bow Archive

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