Theda Bara (Theodosia Burr Goodman)

Theda Bara

Theda Bara

Actress. She appeared in 47 films, from 1914 to 1926, but was unable to make the transition to sound film. She was considered one of the most successful and glamorous stars of the 1910s. She was the original “Vamp”. Born under the name Theodosia Goodman, in Cincinnati, Ohio, she was close to her parents and two siblings, and went to college for two years, dropping out in 1905 to pursue an acting career. From 1905 to 1914, she labored in New York theater, when director Frank Powell cast her as the vampire in the 1915 film, “A Fool There Was,” and she became an overnight star. Her best roles seem to replay her role as an unrepentant vamp, in “Sin”, “Destruction”, “The Vixen”, and “The Rose of Blood.” She also played great heroines of history and literature, such as Cleopatra, Carmen, Juliet, Salome, and Madame DuBarry. While she lived much of her life in Hollywood, she preferred living in New York City, with its shops, theaters, museums, and bookstores. During World War I, she actively raised several hundred thousand dollars in War Bond sales. In 1921, she married director Charles Brabin, a marriage which lasted until her death. She was noted as a skillful cook and hostess at many of her Beverely Hills parties. Her husband quietly discouraged her from film making, and her last film was in 1926, “Madame Mystery”.

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  • July, 29, 1885
  • Cincinnati, Ohio


  • April, 07, 1955
  • Los Angeles, California

Cause of Death

  • Stomach cancer


  • Forest Lawn Memorial Park
  • Glendale, California

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