Theda Bara  

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"From her first leading role as "the Vampire" in the 1915 movie A Fool There Was, Theda Bara had been typecast as a vamp or femme fatale who seduced and ruined innocent men.

These roles did not portray the undead vampires featured in later vampire films. The term "vampire" for a seductive woman was derived from the 1897 painting by Jones and poem by Kipling of the same title." --Sholem Stein

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Theda Bara was the stage name of Theodosia Burr Goodman (July 29, 1885 - April 7, 1955), a silent film actress. Movie executives made promotional claims that her stage name was chosen because it is an anagram for "Arab Death." In reality, "Theda" was a childhood nickname for Theodosia. "Bara" was a shortened form of her maternal grandfather's last name, Baranger.

Bara was one of the most popular screen actresses of her era, and was one of cinema's earliest sex symbols. Her femme fatale roles earned her the nickname "The Vamp" (short for vampire). The term "vamp" soon became a popular slang term for a sexually predatory woman. Bara, along with the French film actress Musidora, popularized the vamp persona in the early years of silent film and was soon imitated by rival actresses such as Nita Naldi and Pola Negri.

Her exemplary role is in A Fool There Was (1915)



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Theda Bara" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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