Theda Bara was a Hollywood sex symbol in the silent film era.
She was known for her poor outfits, her role in Femme Fatale, and myths about her exotic life created by the studio’s promotional office. Between 1915 and 1919 she was Fox Studios’ biggest star. In total, she has made 40 films in her career of just 12 years.
As the movie studio advertised, Roses were not descendants of Arab Sheikh and French women. She was actually born in Ohio in 1885. Her father is a Jewish tailor and her mother was born in Switzerland. Rose’s real name is Theodosia Bar Goodman, and her parents named her after the daughter of Vice President Aaron Burr.
From the age of 29 in 1914, Rose made films on the East Coast, and film production moved to the west. She came to Hollywood in 1917 to make two films. The first was her most famous movie, “Cleopatra”. The following year, Rose played the Bible character Salome in a movie of the same name. Part of the film was shot in the Coachella Valley as reported by the Riverside Daily Press.
On March 28, 1918, the Daily Press stated that Rose and the “Salome” production company were filming the scene in Palm Canyon. Those scenes included many people and camels from the area. Unfortunately, camels, which were supposed to carry roses as salome, were difficult and opposed tightening the elaborate seat straps on their backs to keep the roses safe.
“Miss Rose wears an elaborate’costume’from the’Salome’ wardrobe, rich, gorgeous and scarce,” the newspaper said. But most importantly for county boosters, the newspaper said the rose “helped make Palm Springs and its wonderful Palm Canyon more widely known.”
Unfortunately for Rose, she was typecasted as an exotic seducer and couldn’t get out of those roles. She did not renew her five-year contract with Fox in 1919, hoping to have more diverse parts. But without the help of the studio, she found it difficult to get the role of a movie.
Rose married film director Charles Bravin in 1921, made two more films, and retired as an actor in 1926. She then appeared on several radio shows and announced her comeback in the 1930s, but died in 1955 without realizing it.
There are several still images of “Salome”, but you can’t see the scene shot in the Coachella Valley in 1918 because the only known copy of the film was lost in the fire in 1937. Use our imagination to think about what the scene would look like in Palm Canyon. Camels and extras, glittering “poor” costumed roses, spinning cameras, and the director shout for orders.
Contact Steve Lech and Kim Jarrell Johnson for ideas for future Back in the Day columns about local historical figures, places, and events. firstname.lastname@example.org..
Silent-screen siren filmed movie in Riverside County’s desert in 1918 – Press Enterprise Source link Silent-screen siren filmed movie in Riverside County’s desert in 1918 – Press Enterprise
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