Archive for May 2013

Survey some glamour for Lombard   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.05.31 at 00:55
Current mood: hopefulhopeful

carole lombard p1202-1344d

We’re well aware of how Carole Lombard so magnificently conveyed glamour. Now, here’s your chance to prove it to the world.

A Yahoo group, “Glamour Girl Survey” (, is conducting its 24th all-time glamour girl tournament; there are 25 contestants in this event, and Lombard happens to be one of them. We’ll tell you her rivals shortly, but first, here’s how the tourney works:

It’s done through two polls. In the first, you choose which one of the 25 “you most prefer for beauty of face
and figure, glamour, and sex appeal.” Your choice gets three points. In the second poll, you can vote for as many of the 25 as you wish; each gets one point. The top nine of the 25 advance to the next round.

Many of the contestants are from the pre-1960 era. It’s a fairly eclectic list, ranging from actresses to singers, Playboy Playmates, even a First Lady. In addition to Lombard, the group includes:

* Elizabeth Taylor
* Irish McCalla
* Linda Darnell
* Joy Harmon
* Esther Williams
* Virna Lisi
* Gypsy Rose Lee
* Elaine Reynolds (Playboy’s October 1959 Playmate)
* Suzy Parker (1950s supermodel/actress)
* Jean Jani (Playboy’s July 1957 Playmate)
* Zsa Zsa Gabor
* Laura Young (Playboy’s October 1962 Playmate)
* Deanna Lund (TV’s “Land of the Giants”)
* Nichelle Nichols
* Dagmar (buxom early ’50s TV blonde)
* Acquanetta (exotic 1940s Hollywood beauty)
* Jacqueline Kennedy
* Gloria DeHaven (glamorous 1950s Hollywood blonde)
* Constance Bennett (sophisticated 1920s and ’30s actress)
* Monique Devereux (bosomy early ’60s British model)
* Noel Neill (early Lois Lane)
* Freda Payne (sultry 1970s singer)
* Cathy Rowland (Playboy’s August 1971 Playmate)
* Lori Williams (“Faster Pussycat” blonde)

Curious about what some of them look like? Go to, but please note it’s not safe for work.

In order to vote, you’ll have to become a member of “Glamour Girl Survey 3” ( The polls close June 7 (next Friday).

carole lombard p1202-1236d

As of this writing, Carole has four votes in the first poll, placing her third (Elizabeth Taylor has 10 votes, Elaine Reynolds seven). In the second poll, where you can vote for more than one candidate, Lombard is tied for eighth with Esther Williams (each has 16 votes). Taylor leads this category too with 34 votes, followed by Irish McCalla of “Sheena” fame with 26, Reynolds with 23, Joy Harmon and Virna Lisi with 20, Linda Darnell with 19 and Suzy Parker with 17.

Let’s see if we can at least get Carole into the top nine. She’s up to the challenge; are you?

carole lombard 1075c otto dyar

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Posted May 30, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Signed, oversized and gorgeous   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.05.30 at 18:45
Current mood: enviousenvious

carole lombard autograph 81a front

An autographed photo of Carole Lombard is always something collectors desire, and that’s certainly true in this instance. It’s glossy, sepia toned, on double weight stock and is oversized (10 3/4″ X 13 3/4″). And if you have any doubt the Lombard signature is the real deal, take a closer look:

carole lombard autograph 81a inset

Carole inscribed it to a “Peggy,” although for some unknown reason she put quotation marks around her own name. The back reveals it to be a portrait by Paramount’s Otto Dyar, and also provides additional information:

carole lombard autograph 81a back

Lombard’s only two productions with William Powell at Paramount were “Man Of The World” and “Ladies’ Man,” neither of which includes a Peggy in the cast. So it’s possible this woman was a studio employee, uncredited extra or someone who dropped by the set one day.

The photo is pretty stunning…and by now, pretty expensive, too. As of this writing, 18 bids have been made for this, topping out at a whopping $1,525. By the time bidding ends at 9:39 p.m. (Eastern) Sunday, this may surpass the $2,000 mark — perhaps a bit too rich for mortals such as us. However, if you win at Mega Millions Friday or Powerball Saturday, or a fabulously wealthy aunt or uncle bequeaths you a five-figure (or larger) sum, go for it. Place a bid, or learn more, at

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Posted May 30, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Well-schooled with Carole   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.05.29 at 17:35
Current mood: determineddetermined

carole lombard screenland aug 1934 beauty 00a
carole lombard screenland aug 1934 beauty 01a

Nearly two years ago, we ran a two-page “glamor school” spread said to be “edited” by none other than Carole Lombard ( Now the magazine that article appeared in — the August 1934 issue of Screenland –– is being auctioned at eBay.

That’s not the only place in that issue you’ll find Carole; she’s one of the film beauties discussed as a modern-day rival to the legendary Venus de Milo:

carole lombard screenland august 1934 figure 00b

Inside, ex-husband William Powell and Lombard’s good friend Kay Francis engage in a mutual admiration society, at a time just before Myrna Loy was to succeed Kay as Powell’s best-known on-screen partner:

kay francis screenland august 1934 william powell 00b
kay francis screenland august 1934 william powell 00c

And the cover features the lovely Mexican star Dolores Del Rio, with artwork by the famed Charles Sheldon:

dolores del rio screenland august 1934 cover large

The magazine is listed in “acceptable” condition; there are some blemishes, wear and minor cut-outs. One bid, for $8.99, has been made as of this writing, with bids closing at 8:57 p.m. (Eastern) Friday. Learn more by visiting

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Posted May 29, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Performing her makeup magic   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.05.28 at 17:13
Current mood: pleasedpleased

carole lombard life makeup 00a

Thanks to Tally Haugen, we have a fascinating set of four pictures of Carole Lombard at work — not acting, but getting ready to act, or just go out into the world. Because while she’s a lovely lady in the image above, her face looks a trifle incomplete, even though she’s put on her powder base. So it’s on to the next step…mascara:

carole lombard life makeup 01a

From there, some eyebrow pencil:

carole lombard life makeup 02a

Finally, the finished product, Carole Lombard, queen of allure. Who needs to have the Westmores on call when you can do it yourself?

carole lombard life makeup 03a

According to Tally, this series of images ran in Life magazine — and while I’m not doubting her, none of these cropped up in a check of the magazine’s online photo archive. But no matter where (or when) it first ran, it’s delightful to see, something every woman today can empathize with some three-quarters of a century or so after these were taken.

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Posted May 28, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

‘Motion Picture,’ May 1932: They also served for Sennett   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.05.27 at 22:22
Current mood: nostalgicnostalgic

carole lombard mack sennett 1928f kathryn stanley leota winters l.m. cobbs madeline hurlock marie pergain nancy cornelius

Carole Lombard’s past as a Mack Sennett girl was known to just about every movie fan; years later, that slapstick experience would pay off when Lombard became a legend of screwball comedy. Not that Carole ever made any attempt to hide it — being a Sennett bathing beauty was a mark of distinction, even during Lombard’s time there in the late 1920s when the silent comedy master was on the decline. For beauty and sex appeal, Sennett alumnae were deemed the movie equivalent of Broadway’s fabled Follies girls.

This was the angle Motion Picture sought in its May 1932 issue when it queried the whereabouts of Sennett swim girls of the past. But before you came across that story, you saw this image of Carole:

carole lombard motion picture may 1932 large

OK, so we’re supposed to compare and contrast that to what we see on page 30. It actually ran on page 31, and it’s a portrait of Sennett-era Carole I’ve never seen before:

carole lombard motion picture may 1932bb


Now that Lombard has elicited that reaction, let’s look at the story:

carole lombard motion picture may 1932aa
carole lombard motion picture may 1932ba
carole lombard motion picture may 1932ca
carole lombard motion picture may 1932da

Some, like Lombard and Gloria Swanson, became stars. Others didn’t, but earned comfortable lives by marrying successful men both in and out of the film industry. Still others had far less fortunate fates. One who was mentioned, Marie Prevost, had been a considerable star in the ’20s, but her career was already on the wane in 1932. She would land a supporting role in Carole’s 1935 comedy “Hands Across The Table”…

35 hatt subway 11

…but would be dead less than five years after this piece was written.

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Posted May 27, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

‘Photoplay,’ February 1941: An evolution in style   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.05.26 at 18:39
Current mood: productiveproductive

carole lombard p1202-649 larger

Blessed with an attractive face and a lithe figure, Carole Lombard was frequently rated among the best dressed of film stars. But there was a notable difference between the Lombard of the mid-1930s (above) and her later self (below), and it wasn’t merely changing from Paramount, with Travis Banton as a designer, to RKO, where her gowns were designed by Irene.

Lombard herself had changed, become more aware of her fashion style as she grew older. She discussed this in a notable article in the February 1941Photoplay, “The Girl who learned how to dress”:

carole lombard photoplay february 1941aa
carole lombard photoplay february 1941ba
carole lombard photoplay february 1941ca
carole lombard photoplay february 1941da

Lombard certainly isn’t denying her earlier fashion sense so much as acknowledging she had fine-tuned it; after all, what worked for her in early 1935, when she was 26, might not come off as a 32-year-old in early 1941. As she said in the story, “Every woman goes through a sort of evolution in learning about style. … You have to be casual and easy in your clothes to make them look well.” And the story notes her shift from “exaggerated splendor” to simplicity.

And the proof of what she said is that some 72 years after this was written, despite changes in styles, most of Lombard’s common-sense fashion tips hold up well today.

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Posted May 26, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Carole welcomes you to her dressing room…   Leave a comment


Posted by vp19 on 2013.05.25 at 09:14 
Current mood: enthralledenthralled

carole lombard p1202-1163b

…just remember to be on your best behavior! (Recall what happened to Fredric March when he wasn’t — read all the ribald details at

This is Paramount p1202-1163, among a group of photos showing Lombard’s luxurious studio dressing room. Others include p1202-1162…

carole lombard p1202-1162d

…and p1202-1164:

carole lombard p1202-1164a

The p1202-1163 image now is available through eBay; you can buy it straight up for $85 or make a bid, beginning at $49.95. In that case, bidding closes at 9:14 p.m. (Eastern) on Friday. To bid or buy, visit

Oh, and to the seller: The still is definitely from the 1930s, since Lombard left Paramount after 1937 and bequeathed the dressing room to her friend Dorothy Lamour. I have no idea what the dressing room is being used for now (there is a building named for Lombard at Paramount, but it’s on the side of the lot that belonged to RKO in the 1930s), or even whether it’s still a dressing room. While no film studio has actors under permanent contract today, it’s possible such rooms are used by stars of long-running television series made at that lot.

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Posted May 25, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Starting at just 99 cents   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.05.24 at 09:25
Current mood: curiouscurious

carole lombard 110736a name change front
carole lombard 110736a name change back

It’s Nov. 7, 1936, and Jane Alice Peters officially bids adieu to her birth name and hello to the moniker known to the world as Carole Lombard. The February 1937 issue of Hollywood magazine would also commemorate the legal move, showing her with Superior Court Judge Fletcher Bowron:

carole lombard hollywood february 1937 name change large

Bowron would become mayor in 1938, elected following the recall of corruption-ridden mayor Frank L. Shaw. He served until 1953 and helped reform city government and the police department.

The photo at the top, from the library of the now-defunct Minneapolis Journal, is among five vintage Lombard images an eBay seller is auctioning, all with an opening bid of just 99 cents. As of this writing, four of the five have received one minimum bid; here’s the only one that hasn’t — taken for Selznick International Pictures:

carole lombard 2430a front
carole lombard 2430a back

The seller lists the stamp as being from January 1933, not possible because Selznick International didn’t exist at the time; it’s more likely from January 1939 (probably in conjunction with the release of “Made For Each Other”), with Lombard wearing those multi-strap shoes she was seen in several times.

Two of the images show Carole with Clark Gable. Here’s the couple on Sept. 19, 1936 (with Lombard in that hat again!), attending a tennis match:

carole lombard clark gable 091936a tennis front
carole lombard clark gable 091936a tennis back

This is from the library of the Minneapolis Star, which bought the Journal in 1939.

We don’t have specifics on this one, but it’s a lovely pic nonetheless:

carole lombard clark gable 127a front
carole lombard clark gable 127a back

Finally, a Lombard portrait we’ve run before, from Robert Coburn, who took what would be Carole’s final Hollywood photo session near the end of 1941. The “Jan. 28, 1942” stamp indicates that this image probably was released posthumously:

carole lombard robert coburn 05a front
carole lombard robert coburn 05a back

Bidding on the five auctioned photos ends between 8:35 and 8:39 p.m. (Eastern) Thursday, and by then, expect the price of these to soar well beyond 99 cents.

For the name-change portrait, visit

The Selznick photo is at

For Clark and Carole at a tennis match, go to

See the other Gable-Lombard image at

And the Coburn portrait can be viewed at

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Posted May 24, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

‘Motion Picture,’ May 1941: The Gables as gagsters   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.05.23 at 01:23
Current mood: crazycrazy

carole lombard clark gable 007a

Whether or not you agree that Clark Gable was the great love of Carole Lombard’s life, it’s obvious that they enthralled the public during the nearly six years of their romance/marriage. Not only were each major stars with larger-than-life looks, but both were popular in the film community for their down-to-earth personalities.

But another thing that endeared Clark and Carole to millions of moviegoers was that each had a great sense of humor, and loved to play “can you top this” gags with each other, as if they were the leads in a real-life screwball comedy. Gladys Hall, one of the top fan magazine writers of her time, decided to review the Gables’ gags in an article for the May 1941 issue of Motion Picture:

carole lombard motion picture may 1941aa
carole lombard motion picture may 1941ba
carole lombard motion picture may 1941cacarole lombard motion picture may 1941da
carole lombard motion picture may 1941ea

It’s possible Hall may have embellished a few of these gags, but we do have proof of some of them. For example, here’s Carole on the “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” set, getting Gable’s vegetable-laden key to the city:

carole lombard mr. & mrs. smith 74a front
carole lombard mr. & mrs. smith 74b back

There are all sorts of fascinatingly funny anecdotes in Hall’s story — several “Parnell”-related gags, as might be expected from Carole, her “no sir, just hams” reply to a patrolman who had stopped the just-married couple after they had crossed the state line into California, the woman Gable erroneously kissed while visiting Lombard following her appendectomy. (And just to remind us the gags were a two-way street, there’s the story of the “newspaper gown” comprised of negative Lombard reviews that she received as an anniversary present.)

What a fun couple, one I’m sure many average American couples wished to emulate…in gags if not in looks.

carole lombard clark gable 044a party 1938 front

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Posted May 23, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Ann and David, ‘Majestic’ in Big D   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.05.22 at 08:34
Current mood: nostalgicnostalgic

carole lombard mr. & mrs. smith 31a

The last of Carole Lombard’s films to be released during her lifetime was the 1941 marital comedy “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” with Robert Montgomery, where David and Ann Smith discover that for a bizarre legal reason, they’re technically not married; hilarity ensues as David tries to woo Ann back. A rare artifact promoting that movie — directed by Alfred Hitchcock — is up for sale at eBay.

carole lombard mr. & mrs. smith majestic theater dallas 00a front
carole lombard mr. & mrs. smith majestic theater dallas 00a back

It’s from the Majestic Theater in Dallas, a jewel in what was that city’s “theatre row” on Elm Street. Opened in 1921 as a vaudeville house, the Majestic switched full-time to movies in 1932. Here’s what it looked like in 1948:

dallas majestic theater 1948a

A quarter-century later, the Majestic breathed its last as a movie house, showing “Live And Let Die” in July 1973. The good news is that the city of Dallas purchased the site and converted it into a performing arts center that opened in 1983, seating 1,700 — the only survivor of “theatre row,” although it no longer shows films. This is a photo taken in 2004:

dallas majestic theater 2004a

If you’d like this handbill, act quickly — it’s being sold, not auctioned, for $10. Interested? Then go to

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Posted May 22, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized