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

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