Make your own free website on

Well, a short time after I'd come to Hollywood and Mrs. Smith and I were living in a little apartment and I was working in three pictures at once I met Gilbert Roland.

I'd never been in love all my life. Funny, because I suppose people think I was born being in love with somebody. But Gilbert was the first man I ever cared about. There isn't any reason why I shouldn't tell it, because we were both kids, and we were engaged, and we were very happy. Not a bit in the modern, flapper fashion, but rather like two youngsters that didn't know what it was all about and were scared to death of it.

We used to sit and just look at each other, hardly breathing, not really knowing each other at all. He called me "Clarita" - he still spoke with a good deal of Spanish accent in those days, and I used to love to hear him say my name, it was so soft and sweet. Neither of us had much money, and we used to do all sorts of silly little things to have a good time, and we used to think it was wonderful when we could go out to dinner and to a theater.

I think we might have been happy together if outside things hadn't interfered so dreadfully. We were happy, for a year and a half, and used to talk about getting married, and the time when we'd both be stars.

Well, we're both stars now, but the rest of the dream has vanished, and like every girl, I look back on my first love with tender memories and maybe a tear, though I know it can never come again.

I don't know just what separated us, but Gilbert was working hard on one lot and I on another, and everyone came between us, and we were both very jealous. And at last we had a violent quarrel. I don't think either of us meant it, or dreamed it would be final. But it went on and on, and we were both too proud to make the first move, so the breach finally grew so wide and we were so far apart that we never made it up.

Mrs. Smith had been doing a lot of odd things about my business affairs. She kept trying to make me think that I wasn't making good and that they were going to send me back to New York very soon. I worried about that all the time, and gave her more and more authority and power, because I thought she might keep them from doing that.

Finally, my Dad came West. Mrs. Smith had done a lot of things to make me think that Dad wasn't what he should be and that he would handicap me in a business way. She said relatives always did and that it would make the bosses sore around the studios if my father came interfering. I believed her. I knew so little about things, and what with working the whole time and trying to enjoy myself in spare moments I was - just dumb, I guess.

When Daddy arrived I had quite made up my mind to leave him out of things and to show him at once that he must not interfere with this great "career" that seemed opening up before me. I felt that perhaps he actually would be out of the picture and - oh, I am ashamed to tell this, but it came out all right and perhaps will make you understand a little of what I went through - when he arrived I was going to be very cool and aloof with him. I was now a successful motion picture actress and I intended to keep my new position and put him in his place.

When we met I just said, "Hello, Dad," and looked at him. I had on a new frock and, maybe, a new personality. I had learned so much about personality in the months I had been in Hollywood. I had been seeing the world and getting my first taste of success and admiration and money. I had begun to stand out a little, to hear people say, "That's Clara Bow. They say she's very clever."

Dad just stood and looked at me. He looked a little tired and worn, as though he had been working very hard. But as he looked the light went out of his face, the light and joy and welcome that had been his at seeing his little daughter again.

And suddenly I couldn't do it. I didn't care a - a rap, for Mrs. Smith, nor B. P. Shulberg, nor my motion picture career, nor Clara Bow. I just threw myself into his arms and kissed and kissed him, and we both cried like a couple of fool kids. Oh, it was wonderful. I knew then how lonely I had been for someone of my own, someone who belonged to me and really loved me.

We sat down and had a long talk, and right away Dad started looking into all these things. And soon I knew that Mrs. Smith hadn't told me the truth at all. She knew that the work I had done was very successful and that they liked me very much. But she wanted to keep a hold on me so she made me think I wasn't getting over and that nothing but her clever management kept me going.