Posted by vp19 on 2015.01.10 at 17:41
Current mood: confused
Every now and then, someone who’s only recently begun to discover Carole Lombard’s life and career will ask, “Why didn’t people perceive Carole as a homewrecker when she began an affair with Clark Gable, a married man?” Or, in other words, why wasn’t she viewed the same way Elizabeth Taylor was some two decades later when she snatched Eddie Fisher from the arms of Debbie Reynolds?
My responses normally include that the public generally was aware that Gable’s marriage to Ria Langham was one more of convenience than love (a marriage in name only, to borrow the title of a Lombard move; that within and without Hollywood, Clark and Carole were genuinely liked; and that most viewed them as an ideal match among movie stars of the time. (And regarding Liz and Debbie, years later both wondered why Eddie Fisher had been worth the bother to them in the first place.)
The following article, from the August 1938 issue of Modern Screen, looks at Carole in the midst of all this and brings up another answer — because she was both smart and gracious enough not to flaunt this relationship with filmdom’s most eligible semi-bachelor:
Lombard’s sharp sense of public relations was evident again.
There’s not much on Carole in this issue, which features Bette Davis (in a swimsuit!) on the cover:
Lombard is mentioned peripherally in a feature on John Barrymore (and at the time, the story’s title would have been associated with him, not Jack Benny):
And for my Facebook friend Linda Lewis, here’s a two-page historical photo spread on her mother-in-law, Loretta Young:
Only two films were advertised in this issue, MGM’s latest from Robert Taylor…
…and at Warners, James Cagney and Pat O’Brien play screenwriters in an adaptation of a hit stage play:
According to the seller, the issue “the magazine has small surface soil top edge/light wear by spine, tiny edge cover, cover/tiny spine corner cut.” It’s on sale for $39.99 — and if you want it, or simply are curious, go to http://www.ebay.com/itm/MODERN-SCREEN-1938-BETTE-DAVIS-CAROLE-LOMBARD-TYRONE-POWER-BETTY-GRABLE-COOGAN-/400839599870?pt=Magazines&hash=item5d53e6e6fe.