John Bowers (December 25, 1885 – November 17, 1936) was an American stage and silent film actor who starred in ninety-four films including several short subjects.
Early life and career
Born John E. Bowersox in Garrett, Indiana, to George and Ida Bowersox, he 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 sixteen-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 was also based on Norman Kerry.
For his contribution to the motion picture industry, John Bowers received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1701 Vine Street on February 8, 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||Betsy Ross||Joseph Ashburn|
|1918||A Woman of Redemption||Tim Stanton|
|1919||Strictly Confidential||Vernon, Lord Bantock|
|1920||Godless Men||Dan Darrin|
|1921||The Ace of Hearts||Mr. Forrest|
|1922||Quincy Adams Sawyer||Quincy Adams Sawyer|
|1922||South of Suva||John Webster|
|1923||The Woman of Bronze||Paddy Miles|
|1924||Code of the Wilderness||Rex Randerson|
|1925||Confessions of a Queen||Prince Alexei\|
|1925||Daughters Who Pay||Dick Foster|
|1926||The Dice Woman||Hamlin|
|1926||Pals in Paradise|
|1927||The Heart of the Yukon||Jim Winston|
|1929||Say It with Songs||Dr. Burnes, surgeon|
|1929||Skin Deep||District Attorney Carlson|
|1931||Mounted Fury||Jim Leyton|