John E. Bowersox
December 25, 1885
Garrett, Indiana, U.S.
|Died||November 17, 1936 (aged 50)|
|Cause of death||Suicide|
|Spouse(s)||Beulah Poynter (?-?)|
Marguerite De La Motte (1924-1936)
John Bowers (born John E. Bowersox; December 25, 1885 – November 17, 1936) was an American stage and silent film actor who starred in 94 films including several short subjects. He has been identified as being an inspiration for the character Norman Maine in A Star Is Born (1937).
Born John E. Bowersox in Garrett, Indiana, to George and Ida Bowersox, John Bowers attended Huntington Business College in Huntington, Indiana, where he became interested in acting. He joined a stock stage group and traveled until he landed in New York in 1912, where he appeared in Broadway productions. Bowers began his film career in 1914. Within five years, he became one of the most popular leading men. During his career he co-starred frequently with Marguerite De La Motte, whom he later married.
Like many silent film stars, Bowers saw his career collapse when talkies became the standard.
On November 17, 1936, Bowers heard that his old friend Henry Hathaway was directing Gary Cooper in Souls at Sea on and off the shore of Santa Catalina. The 50-year-old actor rented a 16-foot sloop and sailed to the island, hoping to land a part in the picture only to learn that it had been cast. He never returned to shore, and his body was found on the beach at Santa Monica, California. Chuck Palahniuk claims folk legend dictates John simply walked into the ocean upon hearing this news.
His life and particularly his death is identified as inspiration for the character Norman Maine in A Star Is Born (1937). That character also was based on Norman Kerry.
For his contributions to the film industry, Bowers received a motion pictures star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1709 Vine Street in 1960.
|1914||The Baited Trap||Blondie|
|1914||In the Days of the Thundering Herd||Dick Madison|
|1915||The Woman Pays||John Langton||credited as John E. Bowers|
|1916||Madame X||Monsieur Floriot|
|1916||Destiny's Toy||Reverend Robert Carter|
|1917||Darkest Russia||Alexis Nazimoff|
|1917||A Self-Made Widow||Fitzhugh Castleton|
|1917||Betsy Ross||Joseph Ashburn|
|1918||A Woman of Redemption||Tim Stanton|
|1919||Day Dreams||Dan O'Hara|
|1919||The Pest||Gene Giles|
|1919||Through the Wrong Door||Burt Radcliff|
|1919||Strictly Confidential||Vernon, Lord Bantock|
|1920||Godless Men||Dan Darrin|
|1921||The Ace of Hearts||Mr. Forrest|
|1921||Voices of the City||Graham|
|1922||Quincy Adams Sawyer||Quincy Adams Sawyer|
|1922||South of Suva||John Webster|
|1923||The Destroying Angel||Hugh Miller Whittaker|
|1923||The Woman of Bronze||Paddy Miles|
|1924||The White Sin||Grant Van Gore|
|1924||Code of the Wilderness||Rex Randerson|
|1925||Confessions of a Queen||Prince Alexei\|
|1925||Daughters Who Pay||Dick Foster|
|1926||Rocking Moon||Gary Tynan|
|1926||The Dice Woman||Hamlin|
|1926||Pals in Paradise||Bill Harvey|
|1927||The Opening Night||Jimmy Keane|
|1927||The Heart of the Yukon||Jim Winston|
|1927||Heroes in Blue||Bob Kelly|
|1929||Say It with Songs||Dr. Burnes, surgeon|
|1929||Skin Deep||District Attorney Carlson|
|1931||Mounted Fury||Jim Leyton|