Clara Bow
Clara Bow Is Half Inspiration For Betty Boop


Clara Bow

 Clara Bow born (July  29, 1905) was an American actress who rose to stardom in the 1920s.  It was her appearance as a plucky shopgirl in the film "It" that brought her global fame and the nickname "The It Girl". Bow became a personality of the 1920s. During her lifetime, Bow was the subject of wild rumors regarding her sex life; most of them were untrue. A tabloid called The Coast Reporter published lurid allegations about her in 1931, accusing her of exhibitionism, incest, lesbianism, bestiality, drug addiction, alcoholism, and having contracted venereal disease. The publisher of the tabloid then tried to blackmail Bow, offering to cease printing the stories for $25,000, which led to his arrest by federal agents and, later, an eight-year prison sentence. After having several scandals and an affair Bow retired.

Betty Boop and Clara Bow 

During the $250,000 Lawsuit with Helen Kane V The Fleischer Studios & Paramount Publix Max Fleischer stated that he had modeled the character Betty Boop on Clara Bow, which was untrue because Grim Natwick modeled the character on Helen Kane evidence to this is that when Betty Boop was being created Grim Natwick had used a photograph and or song sheet of Helen Kane and the face and split curls came from her. But the Betty Boop character also "bore" resemblance to Bow which made things uneasy for Kane in court, even though there is proof that the character started out as a caricature of Kane, although proof of Baby Esther booping earlier than Kane was shown and the Judge ruled in favour of the Fleischer Studios. Clara Bow is known as half of the inspiration for Betty Boop due to the fact that Betty takes Clara's alluring characteristics, as Clara Bow was full of sex appeal in the 1920s as she was one of Hollywood's first sex symbols, the differences between Kane and Bow were that Bow was "Sexy" and a "Vamp" whereas Kane was "Cute" and "Sophisticated". During the 1934 Trial Betty Boop appeared in the color classic Poor Cinderella where she was seen as a red head, Clara Bow was known to have had red hair, Betty's hair was changed color to make her look more like Clara Bow.  However Little Ann Little who claims to have been the "original" voice of Betty Boop claimed Betty's hair was changed red because she had red hair.  In original artworks Betty is shown to have both "black" and "red" hair. Another trait most likely taken from Bow is where Betty would flash and or appear nude, meaning Bow's risqué personality also rubbed off on Betty.


  • Clara Bow died of a heart attack on September 27, 1965 at the age of 60.



  • A waxworks of Clara Bow appears in Hollywood on Parade No. A-8 (1934) where she is compared to Betty Boop.
  • Betty who is portrayed by Bonnie Poe is paired up with Bela Lugosi in Hollywood on Parade No-A-8, the reference to Bow is that Lugosi had a thing for Bow and had met with her in 1928 after the performance of Dracula during it's 8 week run, Betty is compared to Bow and is paired up with Lugosi who stars as Dracula in the short.
  • Clara Bow is referenced in the Tijuana Sex Bible.
  • Clara Bow's husband Rex Bell appeared in Hollywood on Parade but Clara didn't.
  • Clara Bow's 1927 appearance in the film Hula inspired Betty Boop's Bamboo Isle.
  • Clara was told by a interviewer that she looked similar to Helen Kane, but Clara didn't think so. 
  • Clara Bow appeared in an earlier Paramount on Parade (1930) which also starred Helen Kane. Clara Bow: "I'll tell you confidentiality why they call me the It Girl!" and Helen Kane's was; "I'll take you to my private school and teach you how to "Boop-Boop-a-Doop!"
  • In the 1980s, Desirée Goyette was hired to play the role of Betty Boop in The Romance of Betty Boop where she told the newspaper that that her mother loved the movie Three Little Words which starred Debbie Reynolds as Helen Kane and that she did her best "Helen Kane" imitation whereas in her 2014 interview she stated, "I had seen a movie with Debbie Reynolds (Three Little Words) I think that was the name of it. But she actually did that voice that character. I think Debbie Reynolds was portraying Clara Bow. Now Clara Bow was the original "It" girl who represented the ultimate flapper girl of the 20s and that she is truly who Betty Boop was modeled after Clara Bow, so if you want to know more about who Betty Boop was you need to know a lot more about who Clara Bow was. "And so I would do my best Clara Bow imitation as a little girl, and never imagined that I would be doing the voice of Betty Boop in a TV show."