Author Archive

This is dedicated to…   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.05.27 at 14:48

Current mood: gratefulgrateful

That Carole Lombard on the cover of the Dec. 4, 1937 issue of the British film magazine Picturegoer –– and author Michelle Morgan announced on her Facebook site today that “The postman just brought me my first ever Carole Lombard cover. Picturegoer 1937, with an article inside too!”

That article is a two-page spread on Carole’s current movie, “True Confession”:


I bring this up because Michelle has just been greenlighted to write a Lombard biography, a project she’s wanted to do for years. And the other day, I received this news from her:

Needless to say, I was both floored and thrilled by the news — but I wanted to make certain that this was not a singular honor:

And I meant every word of what I wrote. Carole Sampeck may not have a blog, but long before I got into this, she’s been spreading the word about Lombard through the memorabilia she’s collected for The Carole Lombard Archive, her expertise on autographs and so much more — such as accepting the recent honor for another recent Lombard book, “Fireball,” written by good friend Robert Matzen:

To me it is only fitting to share this honor, and I am so glad that’s the case.

So later in the entry, Michelle and I had this exchange:

I doubt very many of you have been listed in a book dedication; until now, I certainly hadn’t. And if you’ve ever read any of Michelle’s previous books — on Marilyn Monroe, Madonna or other topics — you know she does her research and writes in a fair, reasoned manner. While the number of people today who actually knew Lombard have dwindled down to a precious few, it’s been compensated for by a sharp increase in available Lombard-related print material through digital uploading of contemporary sources such as fan magazines and trade publications.

With that sort of access heretofore unavailable to Lombard biographers, Morgan should have another winner on her hands, and I know both Sampeck and I are thrilled that we’ll be a part of it.

And to close this entry, a song about dedication, one that’s become a standard of sorts. The 5 Royales had the original and toughest, most down-home version; the Shirelles had perhaps the biggest hit with it; and the Mamas and Papas added their own inimitable touch to the song in 1967. We are, of course, referring to “Dedicated to the One I Love.”

Posted May 27, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

A lobby card for ‘Breakfast’   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.05.26 at 17:59

Current mood: sympatheticsympathetic

Here’s a lobby card for the first of two movies Carole Lombard made for Universal in 1936, “Love Before Breakfast.” Although Preston Foster is ostensibly the film’s leading man, that’s Cesar Romero shown with Carole on the 11″ x 14″ card.

This is deemed in near mint condition and is up for auction at eBay, with $350 as the starting bid. The auction is scheduled to close at 12:07 a.m. (Eastern) Tuesday.

If you can scrape up the money and beat out your rivals, this vintage rarity can be yours. Bid or find out more by visiting http://www.ebay.com/itm/LOVE-BEFORE-BREAKFAST-CAROLE-LOMBARD-1936-LC-/161715931608?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item25a70549d8.

Posted May 26, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Three shots of ‘High Voltage’   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.05.25 at 22:11

Current mood: nostalgicnostalgic

“High Voltage,” released in the spring of 1929, was Carole Lombard’s first all-talkie, and as we’ve quipped before, it hardly lives up to its name, though it’s really no better (or worse) than most of its early sound contemporaries. But at the time, talking films were such a novelty to audiences that it managed some success at the box office.

The above image — where the cast is seeking to summon an airplane after their bus broke down and they found refuge in a chilly abandoned church — isn’t currently up for auction, but these next three from the movie are, including this somewhat similar exterior shot (this part of the movie was done on location in the Sierra Nevadas). Carole’s third from left, to the right of William Boyd and her Pathe pal Diane Ellis:

Next, Lombard is sleeping as Boyd (standing) and Owen Moore watch over her:

Finally, here’s Carole with Boyd, as an ill Ellis rests. This one also has a snipe:


Each of the photos is vintage, and all have opening bids of $5 with auctions ending between 11:42 and 11:47 a.m. (Eastern) next Monday.

For more on the exterior shot, go to http://www.ebay.com/itm/ORIGINAL-STILL-1929-HIGH-VOLTAGE-WILLIAM-BOYD-CAROLE-LOMBARD-/281702562714?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4196c7fb9a; to learn about the one with Lombard sleeping, visit http://www.ebay.com/itm/ORIGINAL-STILL-FROM-HIGH-VOLTAGE-WILLIAM-BOYD-CAROLE-LOMBARD-/321764614022?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4aeaaa5f86; and for information on the one with the snipe, check out http://www.ebay.com/itm/CLASSIC-MOVIE-STILL-HIGH-VOLTAGE-WILLIAM-BOYD-CAROLE-LOMBARD-/321764610587?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4aeaaa521b.

Posted May 26, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

A youthful Lombard with a Brazilian beat   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.05.24 at 19:08

Current mood: artisticartistic

Four issues of the Brazilian movie magazine Cinearte from the late 1920s — all featuring photos of Carole Lombard in her late teens or at age 20 — are currently on sale at eBay. (All the magazines are in Portuguese, of course.) That includes Carole on the April 1929 cover, as seen above. It’s in very good condition, and you can buy it for $30 by visitinghttp://www.ebay.com/itm/CINEART-1929-CAROL-LOMBARD-BILLIE-DOVE-GRETA-GARBO-SWANSON-CLARA-BOW-/371334333703?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5675404507.

The next two also are available for $30 — the February 1928 issue, with Lombard in an early Mack Sennett pose…

…and one from August 1929, where Carole shares a page with fellow Pathe starlet Jeanette Loff:

For February ’28, go to http://www.ebay.com/itm/CINEART-NORMA-SHEARER-CAROL-LOMBARD-CLARA-BOW-MADGE-BELLAMY-LIA-TORA-/251971638212?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3aaaae13c4; the August ’29 issue is at http://www.ebay.com/itm/CINEART-1929-CHARLES-FARREL-COOPER-LUPE-VELEZ-CAROL-LOMBARD-JEANNETTE-LOFF-ALICE-/251971645762?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3aaaae3142.

Finally, there’s the November 1928 issue, available for $29:

To purchase it or learn more, visit http://www.ebay.com/itm/CINEART-1928-CHUCA-LIA-TORA-DAMITA-NOVARRO-LUPE-GARBO-VILMA-BANKY-CAROL-LOMBARD-/251971232123?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3aaaa7e17b.

Posted May 24, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Moore, with Mr. Powell and his ex   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.05.23 at 06:39

Current mood: moodymoody

His “ex” being Carole Lombard, of course, but the “Moore” is that woman shown with William Powell, Grace Moore. Known as the “Tennessee Songbird” and a one-time star of the Metropolitan Opera, she was Columbia Pictures’ version of Jeanette MacDonald, although she never quite had similar cinematic success. This image is from the Associated Press during the latter part of 1933, following the Lombard-Powell divorce that August, and while we can’t show the snipe, according to the seller of this eBay, this is how it reads:

William Powell, screen actor, and Grace Moore, Opera singer and actress, are practicing a duet together, much to the amusement of Carole Lombard, screen actress and the former Mrs. Powell. Miss Moore, who has recently signed a long-term contract with Columbia Studios, was guest of honor recently after an operatic engagement in Los Angeles. All Hollywood turned out to pay her homage. Miss Moore’s first picture for Columbia has tentatively been entitled “The Love Child.” It will be made early next year. Miss Lombard’s most recent picture for Columbia was “Brief Moment.”

Moore became infamous for her temper; she was the type for whom the term “diva” was invented. Several months after this picture was taken, the Hollywood Reporter of June 13, 1934 printed this anecdote about an encounter Moore had with Lombard:

I’m sure the “menials” on the Columbia lot were thrilled to see Carole — someone who stood up to bullies of either gender — give Grace a taste of her own medicine.

The seller labels this 8″ x 10″ as “well-preserved,” although a small piece of the upper-righthand corner is missing (I’ve cropped it out) and there also are “tiny creases.” Nevertheless, it’s in good condition.

This rare image has an initial bid of $20, with the auction scheduled to end at 3 a.m. (Eastern) June 1. If interested or curious, visit http://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-Associated-Press-File-Photo-1933-Carol-Lombard-Unframed-8-x-10-/381267425522?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item58c54f38f2.

Moore, born in 1898, and Lombard each were nominated for Best Actress (Grace’s came for “One Night of Love” in 1935) and shared a tragic fate, as both died in airline crashes. Moore’s came on Jan. 26, 1947 in Copenhagen, a day after she had sung to an audience of 4,000 in the Danish capital. Lombard’s old friend Gloria Swanson referred to their deaths in the film “Airport 1975.”

Posted May 23, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

A honeymoon souvenir   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.05.22 at 15:55

Current mood: worriedworried

Carole Lombard had two husbands and one honeymoon. That came with William Powell in mid-1931, a ship voyage to Hawaii. Carole would fall ill there, in retrospect perhaps a sign that their relationship would be more successful as friends than as lovers. Perhaps that’s why Lombard wasn’t all that insistent that she and Clark Gable have a honeymoon when they finally tied the knot in 1939.

The photo below is from when Bill and Carole set sail for Honolulu, with neither really knowing what was yet to come:

It’s an 8″ x 10″ reprint on professional photographic paper, and can be yours for $14.99. If interested, visit http://www.ebay.com/itm/CANDID-OF-WILLIAM-POWELL-AND-WIFE-CAROLE-LOMBARD-8×10-Photo-IMG935-/151682878726?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2351010d06.

Posted May 22, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Michelle Morgan’s Lombard bio? Book it!   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.05.21 at 22:22

Current mood: excitedexcited

If you were Carole Lombard, you’d be smiling, too. Why? It’s been announced that after eight years, author Michelle Morgan’s long-awaited biography of Carole will see the light of day next year.

Here’s how she announced the news at Facebook today:

“I am extremely happy, excited and ecstatic to share that I have just signed a contract with The History Press to write a biography about Carole Lombard. As many of you know, I have wanted to write this book for the past eight years, and finally the right publisher has been found. The book will be published in hardback next year, and I am absolutely thrilled! I will look forward to sharing more news about the project, as my work progresses. [smiley faces] — feeling blessed.”

The announcement was accompanied by this group of Lombard pics:

Morgan said, “I have been collecting some lovely original photos over the years, which I am excited about including. The photos seen here won’t be in the book, but are giving me inspiration from the wall above my desk.”

Morgan, a British native, has earned a reputation for writing fair and honest books on Hollywood history, volumes with integrity. One of her first books, on the early life of Marilyn Monroe, has won widespread praise for focusing on the humanity of Monroe, a person too often regarded as merely an icon.

That tradition has continued in subsequent books, including the recent “Mammoth Book of Madonna”; a biography of Thelma Todd slated for release this fall; and co-authoring another future release, “Before Marilyn,” a look back at Monroe’s modeling career before going into the movies. That book is from the History Press, which will issue the Lombard bio.

In the past, Morgan had announced a tentative title of “Carole Lombard — Twentieth Century Star”; whether the title will remain or be changed is yet to be known. All I can tell you is it should be anthoritative and full of things even the most avid Lombard fan may not be aware of. (Note: I aided Morgan some years ago in securing images of Carole for the book, although I have no idea whether any of them will be used.) Add how technology has made it far easier to collect information though digitalization of old newspapers, fan and trade magazines and other publications, and expect to learn more about Lombard than was available to authors of the past. I’m thrilled; somewhere, Carole is, too.

Posted May 22, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

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