John Bowers was an American stage and silent film actor who starred in ninety-four films including short subjects.
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, he 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. His life and particularly his death is identified as inspiration for the character Norman Maine in A Star is Born. The character was also based on Errol Flynn and Norman Kerry.
John Bowers last address was 1459 North Vine Street, Los Angeles.