Archive for February 2013

That ‘society deb’ was right under our noses   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.02.28 at 01:28
Current mood: embarrassedembarrassed

carole lombard 1931 fan magazine page larger

Ever search for something and eventually find it was within your grasp all along? That’s what’s happened here.

The other day, I wrote an entry about finding the conclusion of a story entitled “Is Carole Lombard Really A Society Deb?” There were no tell-tale signs to show what magazine it was from, although I guessed from some of the film references in the close of an adjacent Greta Garbo article that the piece ran in late 1931.

Well, I was close — the issue in question turned out to be from January 1932. But the magazine, which I couldn’t discern, was one that I had access to for some time without realizing it...Motion Picture, from which we’ve recently run several Lombard-related articles.

So without further ado (to spare further embarrassment), here is the entirety of “Is Carole Lombard Really A Society Deb?”

carole lombard motion picture jan 1932 society deb 00a
carole lombard motion picture jan 1932 society deb 01a
carole lombard motion picture jan 1932 society deb 02a

This is a rather unusual article (its author, Elisabeth Goldbeck, wrote at least two other Lombard-related pieces for fan magazines of the early ’30s) in that it makes some statements that don’t make sense or at least defy logic.

jean harlow 1930a badminton huntington hotel pasadena

For one thing, she claims that Jean Harlow, shown in 1930 playing badminton at the Huntington Hotel in Pasadena (and if that doesn’t connote “society,” I don’t know what does), was part of the first wave of society types to crash the film industry, and that Lombard was part of the second — even though Carole had been in movies for several years before Jean ever appeared in front of a movie camera.

For another, Goldbeck states that Lombard attended the exclusive Marlborough School (“the most fashionable on the Pacific Coast”). Not likely — most of Carole’s education came from public schools, and this institution has never been associated with her. (Yet one more reason that while fan magazines can be informative, much of what they write must be taken with several grains of salt.)

Even sillier is Goldbeck’s claim that at age 18, Lombard was preparing for her “debut.” Carole turned 18 on Oct. 6, 1926, when she still was recuperating from an automobile accident that caused significant damage to her face (and that meant doom for any film actress). Lombard’s brief period as a Fox starlet in 1925 is ignored.

Carole heads the article as the group’s most recognizable name, but most of it discusses Adrienne Ames and others from “smart set” backgrounds who decided to give acting a try. (Ames, a Paramount stablemate of Carole’s, grew up in the middle class in Texas, but married into New York wealth.)

Lombard may have had a family background that had “society” written all over it, but she gained fame for playing heiresses (as in “No More Orchids,” below) rather than being one.

carole lombard no more orchids 06c walter connolly lyle talbot

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Posted February 28, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

‘Dressing’ in St. Louis   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.02.27 at 02:07
Current mood: nostalgicnostalgic

carole lombard we're not dressing 06a

Throughout the spring and early summer of 1934, theater audiences flocked to see Carole Lombard and Bing Crosby in “We’re Not Dressing” — though one guesses more came to hear Bing sing the likes of “May I” and “Love Thy Neighbor” than to watch Carole play the haughty heiress who Crosby (lovingly) cuts down to size in this musical spin on “The Admirable Crichton.”

Now, movie memorabilia buffs can purchase a souvenir related to this film, and others of the time, in a brochure distributed by the Florissant, the largest neighborhood house in St. Louis:

carole lombard we're not dressing st. louis 00b

We note that “We’re Not Dressing” played the Florissant from Thursday, June 21 to Saturday, June 23, backed with the Frank Buck travelogue “Wild Cargo” and a Paramount newsreel. What played earlier in the week? We turn to the other side to find out:

carole lombard we're not dressing st. louis 01a

Nothing particularly well-remembered nearly 80 years later, although I never knew Gloria Stuart made a film with Lee Tracy (whose career was in eclipse following an alleged incident while in Mexico shooting “Viva Villa” the previous November).

Easily accessible by streetcar, the Florissant seated slightly more than 1,000, nearly half in the balcony. (One guesses in those days, the balcony was for black customers, as St. Louis was then largely segregated.) The theater also promoted itself over legendary radio station KMOX.

What did it look like? The only photo I can find showed it during a rather inconvenient moment, after a water main break in late 1931:

florissant theater st. louis 1931

Wheeler and Woolsey’s “Peach-O-Reno” was on the marquee.

The Florissant was renamed the Tower in 1946 (it was near a water tower) and tried to attract teen audiences in the 1960s with a battle of the bands on Friday night. But suburbanization spelled doom for “nabes” such as this, and it closed in June 1969. The building was demolished three years later, then served as a site for a Jack-In-The-Box and a Dairy Queen until they too were razed. At last report, the lot is now vacant.

Aside from mounting remnants near the edges of the “We’re Not Dressing” ad, the brochure is in good condition. If you have a relative who’s from St. Louis, he or she might enjoy this souvenir of how the city used to be.

Bidding begins at $9.99, with bids closing at 10:57 a.m. (Eastern) next Tuesday. Interested? Then go to http://www.ebay.com/itm/FLORISSANT-THEATRE-ST-LOUIS-ORIGINAL-1934-BROCHURE-CAROLE-LOMBARD-GLORIA-STUART-/140922314795?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20cf9fe02b.

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Posted February 27, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Motion Picture, December 1931: Why she married Bill Powell   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.02.26 at 00:54
Current mood: curiouscurious

carole lombard william powell 10a elmer fryer 1931

The “she” being Carole Lombard, of course, shown with her new husband in a photo taken by Elmer Fryer of Warners (where Powell had just landed after some time at Paramount). Gladys Hall, who over the years would write several notable accounts of Lombard for fan magazines, discussed the new couple — still in the throes of romance a few months after their wedding — in the December 1931 issue of Motion Picture.

carole lombard motion picture december 1931 why i married bill powell 01a
carole lombard motion picture december 1931 why i married bill powell 02a

Hall describes how and why Lombard fell for Powell. She had been a fan of his on-screen work before they met, and once they did, Carole was swept off her feet by his intelligence. And his debonair treatment of her was a marked contrast to the type of men she had to put up with in her first few years of the industry…men whose actions led to Lombard developing her famed blue tongue as a defense mechanism. (Incidentally, Hall refers to Carole as having gray eyes, then later compares them to sapphires Powell gave her as a wedding present.)

Lombard goes on to say that Powell’s conscientiousness makes her “divinely happy. I didn’t know there could be such happiness as I am having now. I’ll never forget it, not one instant of it, so long as I live on this earth.” Famous last words, as it turned out — but after a few months of marriage, don’t most spouses have this cockeyed optimism?

Finally, you must see the full-page photograph that ran opposite the lead page of this story…featuring Powell in a rather atypical setting:

carole lombard motion picture december 1931 why i married bill powell 00a

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Posted February 26, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Motion Picture, June 1933: A precarious time for Hollywood   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.02.25 at 00:41
Current mood: uncomfortableuncomfortable

carole lombard supernatural 17a

At the time Carole Lombard and Randolph Scott were taking part in the psychic hokum called “Supernatural,” plenty was happening on the Paramount lot — and beyond. However, you’d never guess it from this picture:

carole lombard motion picture june 1933 quiz 00 closeup

Carole’s near the center of the group; if you have trouble spotting her, here she is:

carole lombard motion picture june 1933 quiz 00 inset

What’s the context, you ask? Well, the photo ran in the June 1933 issue of Motion Picture magazine as part of this page:

carole lombard motion picture june 1933 quiz 00a

So who’s with Lombard, and what is this photo all about? We’ll supply you that solution separately, then give you the rest of the answer page:

carole lombard motion picture june 1933 quiz 01a closeup
carole lombard motion picture june 1933 quiz 01a

Yes, the spring of 1933 wasn’t the happiest of times for the film industry, what with pay cuts, studios in bankruptcy and the like. Even a bank holiday affected Hollywood in those days before credit cards and ATMs, as another story in that issue explains:

carole lombard motion picture june 1933 bank holiday 00a
carole lombard motion picture june 1933 bank holiday 01a
carole lombard motion picture june 1933 bank holiday 02a

“Joan Blondell had some cash in the old feminine national bank,” at a branch where many a man probably wished he had an account.

Lombard was in the story, too:

carole lombard motion picture june 1933 bank holiday 01a closeup
carole lombard motion picture june 1933 bank holiday 00a closeup

I’m guessing that’s the magazine’s rendering of Lombard scrip and not an actual photograph of it.

The other day, we ran an entry on a fan magazine story with an ending, but where the beginning had yet to be found. We have a similar situation here, in an article entitled “These Stars Changed Their Faces — And So Can You!” The lead of the item apparently concerns Carole’s recent change in the appearance of her eyebrows…but alas, we are missing the first page of the story (it was nearly completely ripped from the bound copy). As a result, here’s where it starts:

carole lombard motion picture june 1933 changed looks 01a
carole lombard motion picture june 1933 changed looks 02a
carole lombard motion picture june 1933 changed looks 03a

To “the Satanic line”…one of the few devilish things about Carole.

Part of another page, on Hollywood fashions, was also removed, but I believe all the Lombard-related material remains intact:

carole lombard motion picture june 1933 fashion tips 02a
carole lombard motion picture june 1933 fashion tips 03a

Finally, Carole’s featured in a Max Factor ad, along with several others from the Paramount stable:

carole lombard motion picture june 1933 max factor ad 00a

We’ll have more from this issue in the near future.

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Posted February 25, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Everyday she writes the book   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.02.24 at 18:25
Current mood: optimisticoptimistic

carole lombard screen book april 1936 ab

Carole Lombard served as “guest editor” of the April 1936 issue of Screen Book, getting a supportive telegram from friend and former guest editor Ginger Rogers. Lombard even supplied a guest column, giving supportive (but frank) advice to prospective actors and actresses:

carole lombard screen book april 1936 ba

Nearly 80 years after she wrote and edited for the magazine Screen Book, Lombard herself will be the subject of a biography. Yes, more than a few bios have been written about Carole…but this one promises to be the best yet for a number of reasons. It’s the first to be written in the wake of the growth of vintage media on the Internet, providing far greater access to material from the classic Hollywood era than was previously available to writers. Moreover, the author’s track record is a good one. Among her works is one of the very best volumes ever written on Marilyn Monroe, one that tosses aside the cliches and examines the development of Monroe as human being:

marilyn monroe private and undisclosed 01amichelle morgan 01a

We’ve known Michelle Morgan was in the process of working on a Lombard bio for some time, so when we wanted an update on the project, this is what she emailed us from England:

“Last March I finally got the green light to write my Carole Lombard book, after five years of working on it on-and-off. However, just two days later, I got an urgent request from my Marilyn publisher, to write a huge book about Hollywood scandals — 170,000 words before February 2013. It was a really big task, as you can imagine, so I had to put down the Carole project and work on Scandals, which I did until last month when I finally finished.

“Since then I have been slowly but surely gearing up to do the Carole book, which I am now well and truly into. I am working my way through heaps of newspaper articles, interviews, documents and much more, as well as sourcing papers and documents that will be very helpful in the months to come. I have contacted various family members; have found the papers of one of her agents; and am happily digging away to uncover stories about her childhood as well as her later life.

“Today I have decided on a title which I really like. It is…’Carole Lombard: Swing High, Swing Low.’ What do you think? I thought it was a good title because obviously it is the title of one of her films, but also her life did swing high and then low, so it’s quite fitting. The cover photo is a secret for now, but let’s just say I have two that I am definitely planning to use — one for the front and one for the back. One of the photos is black and white and the other colour, so I’m just trying to work out now which one should be on the front and which one on the back. I’m really happy with the two photos and I hope readers will be too.

“The book is on target to be finished by the end of the year, and will hopefully be out to buy in early summer 2014, published by BearManor Media. This is later than I originally thought, but maybe I will get it done quicker, in which case it will be out slightly earlier. I will let you know in due course.

“At the moment, I am planning to use quite a lot of photographs and I have been very lucky in that regard so far. However, I am always looking for more, so if anyone has any photographs in their collection that they wouldn’t mind scanning for me (high resolution please) then I’d love to hear from them. My email address is Michelle@MichelleMorgan.co.uk and if anyone has any magazine articles, interviews, documents, letters or anything else that could be helpful, please, please get in touch. I will source and acknowledge anyone who is able to help me.”

By “high resolution,” she means at least 300 dpi. If you can help her out, by all means do so.

I should also note that later, she emailed me saying she was having second thoughts about the title…for a reason those of us on the other side of “the pond” wouldn’t immediately get. It turns out that the song “Swing High, Swing Low” is the anthem of the British national rugby team, along the lines of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” for Liverpool’s famed soccer club. But no matter what it turns out to be titled, it promises to be worthwhile reading.

Meanwhile, Michelle is emulating her subject, though thankfully she has more modern technology at her disposal than Lombard did when she sat down to write…

carole lombard typing 00b

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Posted February 24, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Seeking the start of a ‘society deb’   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.02.23 at 21:30
Current mood: frustratedfrustrated

carole lombard fox 00acarole lombard 020425a los angeles times

On Feb. 4, 1925, Carole Lombard, the former Jane Alice Peters, made one of her earliest print appearances in the Los Angeles Times, in a story entitled “Society Girl Goes Into Silent Drama.” (One presumes in those pre-talkie days, “silent” was used as a synonym for “movies,” to contrast it with the stage.) “Another lovely society girl has succumbed to the lure of the movies,” it began, labeling her mother, Elizabeth Peters, as a “society leader.”

Lombard’s “society” ties came to mind when I found a fan magazine article — or, should I say, part of a fan magazine article — in cyberspace. That in itself is nothing new, as we’ve come across several instances of incomplete fan mag stories over the years. What makes this a bit different is that in other cases, we have the beginning, but not the end; here, it’s just the opposite. See what I mean:

carole lombard society deb 02

To be fair, there’s really not much about Carole in that segment, as one presumes she was discussed more thoroughly at the beginning of the piece and the wider theme is actresses with “society” backgrounds. It would be wonderful if we could find the first part of this article…but alas, the name of the magazine or its publishing date is not noted. Fortunately, there’s a jump of another article immediately above it that can provide some clues:

carole lombard society deb 03

That story, about Greta Garbo’s overlooked sense of humor, mentions “Susan Lenox: Her Fall And Rise” as her latest film. That Garbo-Clark Gable pairing was released in October 1931, so this likely ran in the latter months of that year. What magazine ran it, however, for now is a mystery. (We do know it isn’t Picture Play, which at the time referred to Lombard as “Carol” — no “e.”)

If anyone has any idea what magazine ran it, or better yet, has a copy of the earlier segment, please let us know (and forward it to us). We’d like to see how Lombard’s society roots were played up at the time.

Speaking of “society,” whenever I hear the word in that context, I invariably think of the following song, which Bobby Darin took from a now-obscure Broadway musical, “Tenderloin,” turning a song of social protest into a Sinatra-style swinger…without trivializing its impact. It’s “Artificial Flowers,” one of his many hits from the early ’60s, and listen to Darin’s disdain when he refers to “society” near the end of the song. One of my favorites from an artist who, like Elvis Costello is our time, covered all sorts of musical terrain and was never truly appreciated because of it.

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Posted February 23, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Want to get the ‘Low-Down’ on Lombard? You can   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.02.22 at 00:59
Current mood: thoughtfulthoughtful

carole lombard p1202-858

That’s Carole Lombard in Paramount p1202-858, from the latter part of 1934, and thanks to Tally Haugen for her work on that photo. Also, keep Tally in your thoughts today, as she’s undergoing a bilateral mastectomy to rid herself of four invasive cancer cells.

Now onto today’s topic, in which Carole’s on the cover of a magazine I heretofore had never heard of:

carole lombard hollywood low-down february 1938a

It’s the February 1938 issue of Hollywood Low-Down, published by the Fan Club Federation. I couldn’t find out much about the publication, aside that it probably began sometime in 1933 and ceased publishing in 1941. A check of cyberspace revealed these covers, but alas, no traces of copy inside:

hollywood low-down 061535ahollywood low-down may 1936a
hollywood low-down june 1936ahollywood low-down june 1937a

The magazine is about 12″ high and in good condition, though there is partial tearing to the cover. All the pages are intact, according to the seller.

Bids begin at $12.95, with bidding scheduled to end at 9:55 p.m. (Eastern) on Thursday. You can find out more by visitinghttp://www.ebay.com/itm/Hollywood-Low-Down-Vintage-Issue-February-1938-Carole-Lombard-Cover-/380583617704?pt=Magazines&hash=item589c8d24a8.

And does Lombard’s presence on the cover of a publication sponsored by the Fan Club Federation mean she had a fan club of her own? About a year ago, we wondered if that was the case (http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/487094.html). Perhaps this issue can provide an answer.

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Posted February 22, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

A heart-to-heart to Carole and Clark   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.02.21 at 01:47
Current mood: hopefulhopeful

carole lombard clark gable 1936 largest

Imagine finding someone you like — heck, love –– a great deal, only to find yourself under the scrutiny of millions. That’s what faced Carole Lombard and Clark Gable in the fall of 1936, as their romance had proven to be more than a short-lived fling.

Sure, as celebrities, each was used to being put under the microscope. But with Gable arguably the most popular actor in the industry and Lombard’s own star rising, said microscope was more intense than ever before.

Longtime fan magazine writer Adele Whitely Fletcher — who had written for such publications for nearly two decades by 1936 (in fact, she supposedly was the person who gave Lucille LeSueur the new name “Joan Crawford”) — understood what they were going through, and decided to write a public note to the couple, “A Heart-To-Heart Letter To Carole Lombard and Clark Gable.” Carole’s modernity and Clark’s lack of pretense are cited in Fletcher’s column.

I don’t have the entire article as it was printed, but I don’t have to — the excellent site DearMrGable.com printed it some time ago (http://dearmrgable.com/?page_id=4596). There’s a little bit of Hollywood hyperbole here, but not much; most people in the entertainment community liked Gable and Lombard as people, and were rooting for them. That empathy is evident here.

carole lombard screen guide november 1936a

_________________________________________

By Adele Whitely Fletcher

Screen Guide magazine, November 1936

How these two found a rare friendship -— and how they can keep it

Dear Carole and Clark,

Lately I’ve been thinking about the two of you and even envying you in an impersonal sort of way. For I know you both well enough to have a pretty good idea of the splendid kind of friendship you have found together.

For years I’ve watched Hollywood couples go places and do things, their hearts shining in their eyes. For the most part I’ve never given any of them much thought. With you two it’s different. When I hear about you turning up at a premiere with berets pulled down over your heads, having arrived in Clark’s roadster; eating peanuts and laughing at the circus clowns, well, I enjoy a vicarious excitement. So do a lot of other people.

I wonder if you have any idea how incessantly and romantically Hollywood talks about you, how they tell of the way you, Carole, went to the broadcasting station with Clark and sat, patient as a lamb, while he rehearsed his program. How they pretty well go to town when they relate how every once in a while during that rehearsal Clark would turn to give you a quick look, not meant for anyone else to see. How, on a recent Sunday, even before the last match had been played on your courts, the film colony knew that Clark, tennis crazy as he is, had spent most of the afternoon as a spectator because you were playing such a swell game.

There are a dozen love stories being lived in Hollywood these days but it’s the two of you that people talk about. Even those who’ve never met either of you personally sense the fact that you have something special.

Now there’s only one way that any two people ever achieve something special and that’s by being special themselves. Which you two most definitely are. And that’s what I want to talk about.

It’s several years since I wrote the first open letters to stars that ever appeared in any motion picture magazine, and in a magazine published under the same editorship as this is. Then, almost always, those letters were written to stars who were believed to have gotten off on the wrong foot. This letter is being written for the very opposite reason, because the two of you have shown such a swell attitude to this relationship, accepting it and enjoying it like two regular human beings, not handicapping it by being surreptitious and cagey for fear of publicity or, on the other hand, warping and distorting it for the sake of publicity.

You know, Carole, for a long time now whenever a girl or a woman has come to me weeping or bitter because some love affair has ended I’ve always thought of you. And wished the girl or woman in question might have a little of the swell, healthy philosophy which marks you in these matters. So often you’ve said to me, “When I feel a love affair is drawing to close I end it—and remain friends with the guy!” And when I’ve questioned you as to how you’ve been able to tell when a love affair was about to end you’ve given me one of your square looks, laughed, and said: “We women with our sensitive antennae always can tell about such things, you know we can. It’s just that we’re romantic and that we hope against hope and -— hang on!”

And you don’t merely spout those fine sounding sentiments, you actually practice them. And you do remain friends with the guy. Even Bill Powell to whom you were married—and that’s the acid test -— would sign an affidavit that you’re One in a Million.

Another thing about you -— I hope all of this doesn’t embarrass you for I’m building up to the reason that Clark, the catch of Hollywood, sought you when a dozen charming ladies were ready and willing to have him seek them -— is that you never are possessive about men. Let a man so much as look at a gun and you say to him: “Why don’t you go off on a hunting trip? You haven’t had one in ages.” So that he either decides he doesn’t want to go off on any old hunting trip or he does go, has a fine time, and comes back grateful to you for being a good sport. Whichever way it works out it’s better than if he had wanted to go but remained resentfully at home, satisfied no trip in the world would be worth the recriminations and tears.

Besides, neither during a love affair nor following one has anyone heard you wail about the time-out-of-your-life or the affection you gave any man. Instead you manage to be healthily mindful of some of the things the man gave you, of the pleasure you had with him to have spent so much time with him, and of other things too, depending upon the man. I’ve told you, you know, that you are the inspiration for a short story I’m going to write in which a glamorous woman traces her individual development-— her interest in books, her feeling for music, her appreciation of good food and wine, her keen zest in sports, and so on -— to the different men who have been important in her life. For because of your attitude to men invariably you are enriched by your association with them and not impoverished by being made over-sentimental and depressed and maudlin.

carole lombard no man of her own 101a

However, in spite of the fact that you never talk of what you have given a man, it seems to me that you give them the greatest gift there is, laughter. Take you and Clark, for instance. You began with a laugh and you’re laughing still. I remember a few years ago which you and Clark played together in “No Man of Her Own.” Clark was married then and you were interested in someone else. But it amused you to see the way some of the girls on your lot acted about them. They maneuvered to leave their cars near his in the parking space. If he lunched in the studio commissary they were there. If he went across the street to Lucey’s, famous for its spaghetti and tete-a-tete booths, they followed. Not you. You overreacted, as a matter of fact. Clark saw you on the set and on the set only. There you ribbed him. I remember the big ham you sent him with his picture on it. And before the love sequence you presented him with a large bottle of Lavoris. He used it too, before every love scene, with an absolutely dead pan. And that time he seemed a little nervous about your gags, probably wondering if they weren’t part of a game which hadn’t been tried on him before, you put him right. After which you got on handsomely.

Men trust you, you know. They consider you very much straight from the shoulder. As they should. For more than once you’ve helped a man out when he found himself in a tight spot. That’s still another reason I rate you special, even extra special, and that men, calling you a good fellow, give you their highest praise.

And now, Clark, I want to put you on the spot. Amazingly enough, considering your opportunities and the great advantages your romantic reputation gives you, you’ve never become what in the Gay Nineties they called a Lady Killer. Women are human beings to you before they are women.

Another nice thing about you, you don’t take yourself seriously. During the making of “No Man of Her Own” when Carole ribbed you you didn’t go stuffed shirt. You met her ribbing with good humor and more ribbing. You were glad to be able to be as warm and friendly as it is your nature to be without fear of being misunderstood. Which makes you pretty special, as human beings go, and no fooling.

I hope you won’t object to my saying that for personal and professional reasons it was advisable, immediately after you and Mrs. Gable separated, that you become involved with no one, not even by gossip. This demanded that you become something of a recluse. When you reached the Beverly Wilshire at night you went directly to your rooms. You didn’t even stop at the bar for a scotch and soda and the good masculine talk you enjoy. You knew better. In the first place the fans who waited outside of the hotel, aware you lived there, would have swarmed in to make any such casual camaraderie impossible. In the second place, the Hollywood grapevine being telegraphic in its speed, more than a few famous ladies soon would have taken to dropping in for a glass of sherry and a biscuit or, less elegantly, for a daiquiri or a martini.

I know how night after night during those difficult months you had dinner with Phil Berg, your agent, and Leila Berg, who used to be Leila Hyams. And when they had an engagement in the evening I know how you stayed on alone until it was time for you to drive back to your hotel and go to bed.

The catch of any town is in a tough spot. In self-defense he soon learns to be cagey or cautious at any rate. In Hollywood the difficulties of such a set-up are multiplied a hundred times. Therefore you were, for a long time, as lonely as only a celebrity can be when he closes his front door on his fame and finds himself an all-alone guy staring at four walls and memorizing the pattern in the rug.

Finally, when it was all right for you to begin going out again there were, of course, dozens of ladies eager to be sympathetic or ready to be gay on the surface and understanding underneath. All of these ladies would have humored you and flattered you, with finesse and charm, and allowed you to be a Big Shot all the time. But you remembered Carole and the good fellowship she had offered when you had worked at Paramount together. Good fellowship was what you wanted above everything else and it was Carole you sought.

The laughs started again almost at once, didn’t they?

In other words, you and Carole began with a laugh and you’re laughing still.

And so the two of you have come to other things besides good-fellowship, to the splendid friendship you share today. I dare say neither of you ever experienced anything just like this before. And you never will again. Any man and woman meet to forge their own emotion. And when two special people, like you two, meet the emotion you forge, is bound to be special too. Hang on to what you have! Don’t let the columnists with their predictions that you’re headed for the altar or about to part company influence you. Don’t turn self-conscious because the photographers snap you every time you go anywhere together. Don’t let the publicity stories you’re bound to receive get under your skins. Keep on being a couple of young human beings before you’re anything else. And keep on counting this thing you share as a couple of human beings more important than anything else. It won’t be easy to do all of this, I know. But you two can handle it -— just because you are special, both of you.

Sincerely,

Adele Whitely Fletcher

_________________________________________

What was Clark and Carole’s reaction to this? It must have been good, because nearly four years later, when Fletcher moved to Photoplay, she wrote a story about the now-married couple’s home life:

carole lombard photoplay october 1940aa

Fletcher became Photoplay editor in the late forties, by which time the magazine’s influence was waning. She continued writing for magazines into the 1970s, dying at age 81 in June 1979.

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Posted February 21, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

‘Lombard,’ back home in Indiana   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.02.20 at 09:09
Current mood: excitedexcited

carole lombard 011442b chicago dining

Carole Lombard is shown dining in Chicago on Jan. 14, 1942, prior to her departure for Indianapolis, a successful war bond rally, and fate. Now, a one-woman play about one of Fort Wayne’s most famous natives is planned for her hometown this spring.

carole lombard lombard play book 00a

The two-act play “Lombard” by Michael B. Druxman (http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/403164.html), part of a series of one-person plays he calls “The Hollywood Legends,” will be the featured play at the fourth annual Northeast Indiana Playwright Festival, held from May 31 to June 2 at the Arts United Center in Fort Wayne. “Lombard” — set just before Carole was to leave Indianapolis, as she reflects on her life and the people she knew — will also be presented the following weekend, June 7 to 9.

jessica butler 00a

Local favorite Jessica Butler will portray Lombard; her credits include the title role in “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” Roxie Hart in “Chicago” and Audrey in “Little Shop Of Horrors.” Butler, a 2009 graduate of Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (where she majored in theatre) says of her casting as Lombard, “I am both honored and thrilled to be playing the role of such an iconic woman, and Fort Wayne native.”

michael b. druxman 01a

Druxman will appear at the festival that opening weekend and hold a workshop from noon to 1 p.m. June 2 on writing for the stage, screen and television; he has a number of screenwriting credits and also served as a Hollywood publicist for 35 years.

The entire festival promises to be intriguing, with a staged production of first-place winner “The Wedding Gift” and readings of the second- and third-place plays. A copy of the brochure is below; if you’d like a full-sized one of your own, download it at http://www.fwcivic.org/201213NEIPFBrochure.pdf

carole lombard lombard play ne indiana playwrights festival 00
carole lombard lombard play ne indiana playwrights festival 01

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Posted February 20, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Sinnin’ in linen   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.02.19 at 00:00
Current mood: cheerfulcheerful

carole lombard sinners in the sun 34a

If Carole Lombard’s 1932 Paramount programmer “Sinners In The Sun” is remembered for anything, it’s for being one of Cary Grant’s first screen appearances, as a supporting player. (They would appear on screen together seven years later at RKO for their only co-starring outing, in the romantic drama “In Name Only.”) But with a title such as “Sinners In The Sun,” one would think Carole would get opportunities to appear in swimwear…and you would be right:

carole lombard sinners in the sun 36a

Lombard’s sleek figure — she had lost a few pounds from her earlier “Carole of the curves” swimsuit days as part of Mack Sennett’s silent-era troupe — is displayed to full advantage in this vintage publicity still, which measures 7 1/4″ X 9 1/4″ (it’s been trimmed) and is also linen-backed. It’s being auctioned at eBay, and as of this writing, one bid has been made, for $9.99. Bidding is scheduled to end at 6:02 p.m. (Eastern) on Sunday, so there’s plenty of time for the price of this rarity to rise.

Think you want to get in on the action, or simply want to learn more? Then go to http://www.ebay.com/itm/Carole-Lombard-ORIGINAL-1932-portrait-pin-up-pose-LINEN-BACKED-/261170100661?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3ccef379b5.

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Posted February 19, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized