Carole Lombard
American actress
Carole Lombard
Carole Lombard was an American actress. She is particularly noted for her roles in the screwball comedies of the 1930s. She is listed as one of the American Film Institute's greatest stars of all time and was the highest-paid star in Hollywood in the late 1930s, earning around US$500,000 per year (more than five times the salary of the US President).
Carole Lombard's personal information overview.
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TV critic's picks: Friday - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Google News - over 5 years
Carole Lombard's death at age 33 robbed us of seeing more of her sensational comic timing. Fortunately, the actress kept busy enough to easily fill a 24-hour marathon. If you only have time for a few, go with "Twentieth Century" (3:30 pm Sunday, TCM),
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Cranky Hanke's Weekly Reeler Aug. 24-30: Dont be afraid of a tabloid idiot brother - Mountain Xpress (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Sunday is Carole Lombard, who is almost always welcome. Monday is Anne Francis—that makes Peter Lawford seem slightly more reasonable. And Tuesday is Howard Keel—no comment. The basic goal in allowing comments on Xpress articles is to try to bring
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'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills': Russell Armstrong funeral arrangements -
Google News - over 5 years
... Sam Goldwyn; Mary Pickford; Joe E. Brown; Clark Gable; Carole Lombard; actor Robert Taylor; Red Skelton; Robert Young; Lon Chaney Sr.; Humphrey Bogart; novelist Louis L'Amour; Tom Mix; Elizabeth Taylor; Michael Jackson and many, many more
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Manhattan Lights
NYTimes - over 5 years
RULES OF CIVILITY By Amor Towles 335 pp. Viking. $26.95. The saying ''May you live in interesting times'' has undeniable resonance for the investment executive-turned-/novelist Amor Towles. In 1989, he was set to go to China for two years to teach. When the Tiananmen Square massacre put an abrupt end to that plan, he headed for Manhattan. On his
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Claudette Colbert Q&A Pt.1: 'The Claudette Colbert Business' - Alt Film Guide (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Would you say there's something that distinguishes Claudette Colbert from the other screwball comediennes of the 1930s — Jean Arthur, Irene Dunne, Myrna Loy, Carole Lombard? And if so, how would you define that special "it" that Colbert possessed?
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Wilmington on Movies: The Change-Up - Movie City News
Google News - over 5 years
(I would have liked to see Cary Grant and Carole Lombard.) Later of course came Like Father, Like Son, Vice Versa and a few others. The Change-Up is neither best nor worst in its dubious sub-genre. (By the way, isn'ta change-up an off-speed baseball
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Erotic Vagrancy, Anyone? - New York Times
Google News - over 5 years
Jill Clayburgh made a fine modern heroine in '70s movies, but couldn't fill Carole Lombard's high heels in the 1976 biopic “Gable and Lombard.” And frankly, James Brolin, you owe Clark Gable an apology. In 2000, ABC broadcast the “The Audrey Hepburn
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To be or not to be … sent back to 1942 - Albany Times Union (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Carole Lombard … I can't even begin to share my feelings for Carole Lombard. She is one of my ALL-TIME favorite actresses and a lifelong crush. She is perfection. Just writing about her now … Anyway, Carole Lombard is radiant here and knowing that
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Glamour of the Gods: Hollywood Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery in ... - Art Daily
Google News - over 5 years
The exhibition shows both iconic and previously unseen studio portraits of Clark Gable, Marlene Dietrich, Joan Crawford, Vivien Leigh, Loretta Young, and Carole Lombard among others. These portraits are shown alongside film scene stills including
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Book Review: 'Valentino: Film Detective' - The American Culture
Google News - over 5 years
A silent feature with a youthful Carole Lombard previously not known to exist draws Valentino to the home of a sickly cigarette addict who not only claims she has the missing film but also—contrary to what history has recorded—that she is Carole
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Lombard Drive pays tribute to actress who met tragic fate - Las Vegas Review-Journal
Google News - over 5 years
AP File Photo Carole Lombard, shown Aug. 18,1933, on courthouse steps in Carson City, is the namesake of Lombard Drive in Centennial Hills. She died at 33 in a plane crash while traveling to sell war bonds for the US military. By Maggie Lillis Carole
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Critic's Notebook: Ian Birnie's farewell LACMA film series is a model program - Los Angeles Times
Google News - over 5 years
It costars Jack Benny and Carole Lombard (in her last released film) as a pair of Polish Shakespearean actors who have to impersonate Nazis to save lives. These films are not trendy; they are not of-the-moment. But they have endured — and will
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Cranky Hanke's Screening Room: Der Bingle on DVD - Mountain Xpress
Google News - over 5 years
OK, so Universal pulled their usual gag of duplicating titles you might have, since they included Norman Taurog's We're Not Dressing (1934), which was already a part of their “Carole Lombard Glamour Collection.” I suppose it's possible that you might
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Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Carole Lombard
  • 1942
    Age 33
    In the early morning hours of January 16, 1942, Lombard, her mother, and Winkler boarded a Transcontinental and Western Air Douglas DST (Douglas Sleeper Transport) aircraft to return to California.
    More Details Hide Details After refueling in Las Vegas, TWA Flight 3 took off at 7:07 p.m. and around 13 minutes later, crashed into "Double Up Peak" near the level of Potosi Mountain, southwest of Las Vegas. All 22 aboard, Lombard and her mother included, plus 15 army servicemen, were killed instantly. Gable was flown to Las Vegas after learning of the tragedy to claim the bodies of his wife, mother-in-law, and Winkler, who aside from being his press agent, had been a close friend. Lombard's funeral was held on January 21 at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California. She was interred beside her mother under the name of Carole Lombard Gable. Despite remarrying twice following her death, Gable chose to be interred beside Lombard when he died in 1960. Lombard's final film, To Be or Not to Be (1942), directed by Ernst Lubitsch and co-starring Jack Benny, a satire about Nazism and World War II, was in post-production at the time of her death. The film's producers decided to cut part of the film in which Lombard's character asks, "What can happen on a plane?" out of respect for the circumstances surrounding her death. When the film was released, it received mixed reviews, particularly about its controversial content, but Lombard's performance was hailed as the perfect send-off to one of 1930s Hollywood's most important stars.
  • 1941
    Age 32
    When the U.S. entered World War II at the end of 1941, Lombard traveled to her home state of Indiana for a war bond rally with her mother, Bess Peters, and Clark Gable's press agent, Otto Winkler.
    More Details Hide Details Lombard was able to raise over $2 million ($34,993,987.92 in 2016) in defense bonds in a single evening. Her party had initially been scheduled to return to Los Angeles by train, but Lombard was anxious to reach home more quickly and wanted to fly by a scheduled airline. Her mother and Winkler were both afraid of flying and insisted they follow their original travel plans. Lombard suggested they flip a coin; they agreed and Lombard won the toss.
    Filming took place in the fall of 1941, and was reportedly one of the happiest experiences of Lombard's career.
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  • 1939
    Age 30
    While continuing with a slower work-rate, Lombard decided to move away from comedies and return to dramatic roles. In 1939, she appeared in a second David O. Selznick production, Made for Each Other, which paired her with James Stewart to play a couple facing domestic difficulties.
    More Details Hide Details Reviews for the film were highly positive, and praised Lombard's dramatic effort; financially, it was a disappointment. Lombard's next appearance came opposite Cary Grant in the John Cromwell romance In Name Only (1939), a credit she personally negotiated with RKO Radio Pictures upon hearing of the script and Grant's involvement. The role mirrored her recent experiences, as she played a woman in love with a married man whose wife refuses to divorce. She was paid $150,000 for the film, continuing her status as one of Hollywood's highest-paid actresses, and it was a moderate success. Lombard was eager to win an Academy Award, and selected her next project—from several possible scripts—with the expectation that it would bring her the trophy. Vigil in the Night (1940), directed by George Stevens, featured Lombard as a nurse who faces a series of personal difficulties. Although the performance was praised, she did not get her nomination, as the sombre mood of the picture turned audiences away and box-office returns were poor. Despite the realization that she was best suited to comedies, Lombard completed one more drama: They Knew What They Wanted (1940), co-starring Charles Laughton, which was mildly successful.
    The divorce was finalized in March 1939, and Gable and Lombard eloped in Kingman, Arizona, on March 29, honeymooning in the nearby mining town of Oatman.
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  • 1938
    Age 29
    In early 1938, Lombard also joined officially the Bahá'í Faith, of which her mother was a member since 1922.
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    Fools for Scandal was the only film Lombard made in 1938.
    More Details Hide Details By this time, she was devoted to a relationship with Clark Gable. Four years after their teaming on No Man of Her Own, the pair had reunited at a Hollywood party and began a romance early in 1936. The media took great interest in their partnership and frequently questioned if they would wed. Gable was separated from his wife, Rhea Langham, but she did not want to grant him a divorce. As his relationship with Lombard became serious, Langham eventually agreed to a settlement worth half a million dollars.
  • 1937
    Age 28
    By 1937, Lombard was one of Hollywood's most popular actresses, and also the highest-paid star in Hollywood following the deal which Myron Selznick negotiated with Paramount that brought her $450,000, more than five times the salary of the U.S. President.
    More Details Hide Details As her salary was widely reported in the press, Lombard stated that 80% of her earnings went in taxes, but that she was happy to help improve her country. The comments earned her much positive publicity, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent her a personal letter of thanks. Her first release of the year was Leisen's Swing High, Swing Low, a third pairing with MacMurray. The film focused on a romance between two cabaret performers, and was a critical and commercial success. It had been primarily a drama, with occasional moments of comedy, but for her next project, Lombard returned to the screwball genre. Producer David O. Selznick was eager to make a comedy with the actress, impressed by her work in My Man Godfrey, and hired Ben Hecht to write an original screenplay for her. Nothing Sacred, directed by William Wellman and co-starring Fredric March, satirized the journalism industry and "the gullible urban masses", with Lombard playing a small-town girl who pretends to be dying and finds her story exploited by a New York reporter. Marking her only appearance in Technicolor, the film was highly praised and was one of Lombard's personal favorites.
  • 1936
    Age 27
    Lombard's first film of 1936 was Love Before Breakfast, described by Gehring as "The Taming of the Shrew, screwball style".
    More Details Hide Details In William K. Howard's The Princess Comes Across, her second comedy with MacMurray, she played a budding actress who wins a film contract by masquerading as a Swedish princess. The performance was considered a satire of Greta Garbo, and was widely praised by critics. Lombard's success continued as she was recruited by Universal Studios to star in the screwball comedy My Man Godfrey (1936). William Powell, who was playing the titular Godfrey, insisted on her being cast as the female lead; despite their divorce, the pair remained friendly and Powell felt she would be perfect in the role of Irene, a zany heiress who employs a "forgotten man" as the family butler. The film was directed by Gregory LaCava, who knew Lombard personally and advised that she draw on her "eccentric nature" for the role. She worked hard on the performance, particularly with finding the appropriate facial expressions for Irene. My Man Godfrey was released to great acclaim and was a box office hit. It received six nominations at the 9th Academy Awards, including Lombard for Best Actress. Biographers cite it as her finest performance, and Frederick Ott says it "clearly established her as a comedienne of the first rank."
    At the time, she blamed it on their careers, but in a 1936 interview, she admitted that this "had little to do with the divorce.
    More Details Hide Details We were just two completely incompatible people." She appeared in five films that year, beginning with the drama From Hell to Heaven and continuing with Supernatural, her only horror vehicle. After a small role in The Eagle and the Hawk, a war film starring Fredric March and Cary Grant, she starred in two melodramas: Brief Moment, which critics enjoyed, and White Woman, where she was paired with Charles Laughton.
  • 1934
    Age 25
    The year 1934 marked a high point in Lombard's career.
    More Details Hide Details She began with Wesley Ruggles's musical drama Bolero, where George Raft and she showcased their dancing skills in an extravagantly staged performance to Maurice Ravel's "Boléro". Before filming began, she was offered the lead female role in It Happened One Night, but turned it down because of scheduling conflicts with this production. Bolero was favorably received, while her next film, the musical comedy We're Not Dressing with Bing Crosby, was a box-office hit. Lombard was then recruited by the director Howard Hawks, a second cousin, to star in his screwball comedy film Twentieth Century which proved a watershed in her career and made her a major star. Hawks had seen the actress inebriated at a party, where he found her to be "hilarious and uninhibited and just what the part needed", and she was cast opposite John Barrymore. In Twentieth Century, Lombard played an actress who is pursued by her former mentor, a flamboyant Broadway impresario. Hawks and Barrymore were unimpressed with her work in rehearsals, finding that she was "acting" too hard and giving a stiff performance. The director encouraged Lombard to relax, be herself, and act on her instincts. She responded well to this tutoring, and reviews for the film commented on her unexpectedly "fiery talent"—"a Lombard like no Lombard you've ever seen". The Los Angeles Times critic felt that she was "entirely different" from her formerly cool, "calculated" persona, adding, "she vibrates with life and passion, abandon and diablerie".
  • 1933
    Age 24
    In August 1933, Lombard and Powell divorced after 26 months of marriage, although they remained very good friends until Lombard's death.
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  • 1932
    Age 23
    She went on to appear in five films throughout 1932.
    More Details Hide Details No One Man and Sinners in the Sun were not successful, but Edward Buzzell's romantic picture Virtue was well received. After featuring in the drama No More Orchids, Lombard was cast as the wife of a con artist in No Man of Her Own. Her co-star for the picture was Clark Gable, who was rapidly becoming one of Hollywood's top celebrities. The film was a critical and commercial success, and Wes Gehring writes that it was "arguably Lombard's finest film appearance" to that point. It was the only picture that Gable and Lombard, future husband and wife, made together. There was no romantic interest at this time however, as she recounted to Garson Kanin: "we did all kinds of hot love scenes... and I never got any kind of tremble out of him at all."
  • 1931
    Age 22
    Despite their disparate personalities, Lombard married Powell on June 6, 1931, at her Beverly Hills home.
    More Details Hide Details Talking to the media, she argued for the benefits of "love between two people who are diametrically different", claiming that their relationship allowed for a "perfect see-saw love". The marriage to Powell increased Lombard's fame, while she continued to please critics with her work in Up Pops the Devil and I Take this Woman (both 1931). In reviews for the latter film, which co-starred Gary Cooper, several critics predicted that Lombard was set to become a major star.
    Lombard appeared in five films throughout 1931, beginning with the Frank Tuttle comedy It Pays to Advertise.
    More Details Hide Details Her next two films, Man of the World and Ladies Man, both featured William Powell, Paramount's top male star. Lombard had been a fan of the actor before they met, attracted to his good looks and debonair screen persona, and they were soon in a relationship. The differences between the pair have been noted by biographers: she was 22, carefree, and famously foul-mouthed, while he was 38, intellectual, and sophisticated.
    Paramount quickly began casting Lombard as a leading lady, primarily in drama films. Her fame increased when she married William Powell in 1931, but the pair divorced two years later.
    More Details Hide Details A turning point in Lombard's career came in 1934, when she starred in Howard Hawks' pioneering screwball comedy Twentieth Century. The actress found her niche in this genre, and continued to appear in films such as Hands Across the Table (1935) - forming a popular partnership with Fred MacMurray, My Man Godfrey (1936), for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress, and Nothing Sacred (1937). During this period, Lombard married "the King of Hollywood", Clark Gable, and the pair was treated in the media as a celebrity supercouple. Keen to win an Oscar, at the end of the decade, Lombard began to move towards more serious roles. Unsuccessful in this aim, she returned to comedy in Alfred Hitchcock's Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941) and Ernst Lubitsch's To Be or Not to Be (1942) – her final film role.
  • 1930
    Age 21
    In 1930, Lombard returned to Fox for a one-off role in the western The Arizona Kid.
    More Details Hide Details It was a big release for the studio, starring the popular actor Warner Baxter, in which Lombard received third billing. Following the success of the film, Paramount Pictures recruited Lombard and signed her to a $350-per-week contract (gradually increasing to $3,500-per-week by 1936). They cast her in the Buddy Rogers comedy Safety in Numbers, and one critic observed of her work, "Lombard proves be an ace comedienne." For her second assignment, Fast and Loose with Miriam Hopkins, Paramount mistakenly credited the actress as "Carole Lombard". She decided she liked this spelling and it became her permanent screen name.
  • 1929
    Age 20
    Lombard was reunited with Armstrong for the crime drama The Racketeer, released in late 1929.
    More Details Hide Details The review in Film Daily wrote, "Carol Lombard proves a real surprise, and does her best work to date. In fact, this is the first opportunity she has had to prove that she has the stuff to go over."
  • 1928
    Age 19
    Her success in Raoul Walsh's 1928 picture Me, Gangster, opposite June Collyer and Don Terry on his film debut, finally eased the pressure her family had been putting on her to succeed.
    More Details Hide Details In Howard Higgin's High Voltage, her first talking picture, she played a sheriff's daughter stranded with a group during a snow storm. Her next film, the comedy Big News, cast her opposite Robert Armstrong and was a critical and commercial success.
    Sennett's productions were distributed by Pathé Exchange, and in 1928, the company began casting Lombard in feature films.
    More Details Hide Details She had prominent roles in Show Folks and Ned McCobb's Daughter, where reviewers noted that she made a "good impression" and was "worth watching". The following year, Pathé elevated Lombard from a supporting player to a leading lady.
  • 1927
    Age 18
    She appeared in 15 short films between September 1927 and March 1929, and greatly enjoyed her time at the studio.
    More Details Hide Details It gave Lombard her first experiences in comedy and provided valuable training for her future work in the genre. In 1940, she called her Sennett years "the turning point of my acting career."
  • 1925
    Age 16
    In March 1925, Fox gave Lombard a leading role in the drama Marriage in Transit, opposite Edmund Lowe.
    More Details Hide Details Her performance was well-received, with a reviewer for Motion Picture News writing that she displayed, "good poise and considerable charm." Despite this, the studio heads were unconvinced that Lombard was leading lady material, and her one-year contract was not renewed. Gehring has suggested that a facial scar she obtained in an automobile accident was a factor in this decision. Fearing that the scar—which ran across her cheek—would ruin her career, the 17-year-old had an early plastic surgery procedure to make it less visible. For the remainder of her career, Lombard learned to hide the mark with make-up and careful lighting. After a year without work, Lombard obtained a screen test for the "King of Comedy" Mack Sennett. She was offered a contract, and although she initially had reservations about performing in slapstick comedies, the actress joined his company as one of the "Sennett Bathing Beauties".
  • 1924
    Age 15
    In October 1924, shortly after these disappointments, 16-year-old Lombard was signed to a contract with the Fox Film Corporation.
    More Details Hide Details How this came about is uncertain: in her lifetime, it was reported that a director for the studio scouted her at a dinner party, but more recent evidence suggests that Lombard's mother contacted Louella Parsons, the gossip columnist, who then got her a screen test. According to the biographer Larry Swindell, Lombard's beauty convinced Winfield Sheehan, head of the studio, to sign her to a $75-per-week contract. The teenager abandoned her schooling to embark on this new career. Fox was happy to use the name Carol, but unlike Vitagraph, disliked her surname. From this point, she became "Carol Lombard", the new name taken from a family friend. The majority of Lombard's appearances with Fox were bit parts in low-budget Westerns and adventure films. She later commented on her dissatisfaction with these roles: "All I had to do was simper prettily at the hero and scream with terror when he battled with the villain." She fully enjoyed the other aspects of film work, however, such as photo shoots, costume fittings, and socializing with actors on the studio set. Lombard embraced the flapper lifestyle and became a regular at the Coconut Grove nightclub, where she won several Charleston dance competitions.
  • 1914
    Age 5
    The marriage between her parents was strained, however, and in October 1914, her mother took the children and moved to Los Angeles.
    More Details Hide Details Although the couple did not divorce, the separation was permanent. Her father's continued financial support allowed the family to live without worry, if not with the same affluence they had enjoyed in Indiana, and they settled into an apartment near Venice Boulevard in Los Angeles. Described by her biographer Wes Gehring as "a free-spirited tomboy", the young Lombard was passionately involved in sports and enjoyed watching movies. At Virgil Junior High School, she participated in tennis, volleyball, and swimming, and won trophies for her achievements in athletics. At the age of 12, this hobby unexpectedly landed Lombard her first screen role. While playing baseball with friends, she caught the attention of the film director Allan Dwan, who later recalled seeing "a cute-looking little tomboy... out there knocking the hell out of the other kids, playing better baseball than they were. And I needed someone of her type for this picture." With the encouragement of her mother, Lombard happily took a small role in the melodrama A Perfect Crime (1921). She was on set for two days, playing the sister of Monte Blue. Dwan later commented, "She ate it up".
  • 1908
    Lombard was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on October 6, 1908.
    More Details Hide Details Christened with the name Jane Alice Peters, she was the third child and only daughter of Frederick Christian Peters (1875–1935) and Elizabeth Jayne "Bessie" (Knight) Peters (1876–1942). Her two older brothers, to each of whom she was close, both growing up and in adulthood, were Frederick Charles (1902-1979) and John Stuart (1906-1956). Lombard's parents both descended from wealthy families and her early years were lived in comfort, with the biographer Robert Matzen calling it her "silver spoon period".
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