Author Archive

One step closer to that Lombard bio   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.10.20 at 00:00

Current mood: jubilantjubilant

From her week handling publicity at Selznick International Pictures, Carole Lombard understood that typing and other office work isn’t all that easy. And that’s why I think she’d appreciate what went on yesterday at the House of Morgan — the British house of author Michelle Morgan, that is:

That’s Michelle’s daughter Daisy typing in “THE END” to conclude the first draft of her mother’s long-awaited Lombard biography, “Carole Lombard: Twentieth-Century Star,” which is scheduled to be released in early September 2016. Here’s what Michelle had to write about the momentous occasion at her Facebook site (

About five minutes ago, I completed the first draft of my Carole Lombard biography!! Here is Daisy doing the honours of typing THE END for me. This project has been going on for almost nine years and during that time I had more than my share of rejections and false starts. But I never gave up and now I have a first draft (and wonderful publisher) to prove it. Things mean more when you work hard for them. As Carole once said, “I’m scared of getting things too easily. Houses built on sand — no foundations. I like getting them the hard way. I might as well – that’s the way I always get them.” Well this project certainly hasn’t been built on sand, and I’m really proud of it. Raising a glass to Carole this evening, then I begin the edits tomorrow!!

Michelle, those of us who have been waiting patiently for this project to come to fruition share your joy. It will be worth the wait.

Simply with the vast increase in research resources denied earlier Lombard biographers thanks to improved technology, Morgan’s book would be the definitive book on Carole. But then add her painstaking research skills and her ability to paint portraits of historic personalities as people first and foremost — a talent she’s most notably displayed in her books on Marilyn Monroe, someone too often painted in iconic, not human, terms– and this promises to be something special. (A disclaimer: Not only have I assisted Michelle with research, but I am going to be one of the two people the book is dedicated to; longtime Lombard expert Carole Sampeck is the other. Needless to say, both of us are thrilled.)

Congratulations to Michelle on a job well done — now get to those rewrites. Oh, and I would be remiss not to mention her latest book on another one of the great, but ill-fated funny ladies of classic Hollywood, Thelma Todd:

“The Ice Cream Blonde: The Whirlwind Life and Mysterious Death of Screwball Comedienne Thelma Todd” is set to be released at the start of November; I’ve already glimpsed a few sasmple chapters at’s site, and it’s your typical well-researched, smartly-written Michelle Morgan work. Robert Matzen, author of the Lombard book “Fireball,” says of this work, “’The Ice Cream Blonde’ is a riveting mystery about the death of Thelma Todd. It’s also an eerie exploration of the Todd dichotomy -— breezy comedienne on the one hand; serious businesswoman with underworld connections on the other. Highly recommended.”

If you’d like to pre-order it, go to

And to Michelle, cheers from Carole:

Posted October 20, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Lombard en francais   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.10.19 at 04:06

Current mood: artisticartistic

This 1932 French magazine with Carole Lombard on the cover is now available via eBay for $15, or you can make an offer. It’s listed in “acceptable” condition.

Interested? Find out more by visiting

Posted October 19, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

A trio of ‘Picturegoers’   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.10.18 at 09:48

Current mood: cheerfulcheerful

Picturegoer was a popular weekly British film publication during the Golden Age of Hollywood, and Carole Lombard was its cover subject at least three times over a 16-month span in the early ’30s, before “Twentieth Century” carried her to full-fledged stardom. Above is the cover from March 26, 1932.

Inside, she was part of a two-page fashion spread:

Here’s a closeup of Carole and how she was described:

Inside was a feature on the love life of Lombard’s childhood idol and friend from Pathe days, Gloria Swanson:

The Hollywood notes column was graced by a picture of Conchita Montenegro. (My doctor in Los Angeles has the last name Montenegro, but I don’t think they’re related.)

We move up to the Picturegoer of Dec. 3, 1932:

Who can resist a feature on Ernst Lubitsch and sex appeal (in his movies, of course!)?

Clara Bow discussed her comeback, which turned out to be short-lived:

And film industry notes and gossip run opposite photos of Lilian Harvey and Herbert Marshall:

Finally, the Picturegoer of July 15, 1933:

Just as Fay Wray too often is remembered solely for “King Kong,” so is Elsa Lanchester pigeonholed as the “Bride of Frankenstein.” This charming photo should set things straight regarding Charles Laughton’s wife:

The other day, we noted a feature about location filming on Bali. But for the documentary “Eskimo,” we can safely say no one was going outdoors bare-breasted:

Johnny Weissmuller displays proper lifesaving techniques on the left-hand page, while on the right is a profile of a “Madchen in Uniform” star — not Dorothea Wieck, but Marjorie Bodker:

Each of these issues can be bought straight up for $32.50, or you can make bids beginning at $25, with the auctions closing Oct. 27. For the March 1932 issue, visit For December of ’32, go to The July ’33 issue can be found at

Posted October 18, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Yet another clip job   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.10.17 at 17:27

Current mood: nostalgicnostalgic

Lovely Carole Lombard pic, isn’t it? Well, it’s part of a group of clippings being auctioned via eBay:

Here’s what’s included:

* 2 portrait pages (1932, 1935)
* a 2-page article, “The College Boys’ Delight” (magazine unknown, 1931)
* a 3-page article, “Portrait of a Self-Made Woman” (Movie Classic, December 1935)

* a 2-page, 2-pic fashion feature from 1932
* a 1-page color Lucky Strike ad from 1937

* a 1-page ad for “Fools For Scandal” (1938)
* a Lux ad (1941)
* and 3 candids

The seller says their condition is “Generally good — articles/story feature may have issues — chips/tears/fragile acidic paper decline due to age, but overall great for their age (80+ years)!”

Bidding begins at $7.99, and the auction closes at 1:38 p.m. (Eastern) Tuesday. Think you’d like to add this to your collection of Lombardiana? Then go to

Posted October 17, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

‘Hollywood,’ December 1933: A second look at a Carole cover, plus inside…bare breasts!   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.10.16 at 15:25

Current mood: curiouscurious

Slightly more than a month ago, we ran this Carole Lombard cover as part of an eBay ad for the December 1933 issue of Hollywoodmagazine — the issue immediately preceding the 10-year span of its being uploaded to the Media Histori Digital Library. Well, we’re doing an encore, so to speak, because we have more inside pages, and they’re shown at an easier angle to read.

Oh, and the bare breasts? They aren’t Carole’s, nor do they belong to any female star of the time. (Sorry.) Instead, they are part of a feature on filming in Bali, so we get to see said breasts in a non-Caucasian, National Geographic sort of way. In late 1933 — some two decades before Hugh Hefner’s Playboy began — running bare white breasts in a magazine probably would lead to confiscation by the Postmaster General’s office. (And speaking of Playboy, it will no longer print nudes as of next March’s issue. Times indeed are changing.) Anyway, here’s the two-page spread (there’s a jump, presumably to a page with no illustrations):

Incidentally, don’t you think it’s rather ironic that decades later, Bali became the corporate name for a bra company?

Inside is more conventional fanmag fare, such as this fetching portrait of Claudette Colbert…

…followed by a two-page spread featuring Loretta Young, Margaret Sullavan and the still-with-us Mary Carlisle:

There’s advice on men from a woman whose feminism is often hidden by her double entrendres, Mae West:

Articles on Bing Crosby, Gary Cooper and Joel McCrea:

A story on Toby Wing, the chorus girl famous for being, well, a chorus girl:

And finally, Norma Shearer’s love story. (One guesses Joan Crawford ordered her secretary to clip those pages out before sending her the issue.)

It’s 66 pages, in excellent condition, and you can buy it for $39 or make a bid beginning at $30. In that case, the auction lasts until 5:50 p.m. (Eastern) next Saturday. Find out all the particulars by visiting

Posted October 16, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Lombard (and legs) go ‘Hollywood.’ In color. In 1931.   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.10.15 at 10:30

Current mood: hornyhorny

This leggy cover of Carole Lombard, from Hollywood magazine, already was on newsstands in late June of 1931 when she was taken “off the market,” so to speak, by William Powell. Sorry, guys.

Master photographer Edwin Bower Hesser, who often used Lombard as a subject (as was Jean Harlow), took the image, using a process he called “Hessercolor.” It’s pretty stunning now; one only can imagine the reaction it must have drawn some 84 years ago.

Inside, Lombard and Powell are united (and cited) in the magazine’s capsule movie reviews, specifically for their Paramount collaboration, “Ladies’ Man”:

And I had absolutely no idea the term “lounge lizard” existed in 1931; it sounds so, well, ’70s. (Imagine William Powell, the very definition of “urbane,” in a lime leisure suit. On second thought, please don’t.)

Can’t tell you too much more about this issue, as Hollywood issues prior to 1934 have yet to be uploaded by the Media History Digital Library (though the above cover of Carole should provide some impetus). But we have some stuff available, such as the front page and a rather paltry table of contents:

Inside are these goodies. First, a Hurrell portrait of Norma Shearer, the subject who changed his career, opposite the beginning of a feature on Greta Garbo and fashion:

Then, an early pic of Ginger Rogers and Harry Carr’s column:

There’s a two-page pictorial on Ruth Chatterton, who believe it or not was 37 1/2 when this feature ran:

And finally, some stars in swimsuits, serving as a remember that Lombard wasn’t the only lady in Hollywood with good legs:

Aside from having penciled dates on the cover, this magazine is in excellent condition — and there are two ways it can be yours. Either buy it outright for $39, or bid, starting at $30. In that case, the auction lasts through 6:32 p.m. (Eastern) a week from Saturday. The link to this item is

Posted October 15, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

‘Screen Book,’ January 1937: Finally, full ‘Projections’   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.10.14 at 16:21

Current mood: relievedrelieved

Carole Lombard was riding high in early December 1936 when Silver Screen’s January 1937 issue hit newsstands. “My Man Godfrey” was a huge hit with both theatergoers and critics, Lombard was among the highest-paid actresses in the industry and she was frequently seen in public with Clark Gable. Not a bad life.

Not only was Carole on the cover, but she was profiled inside by one of her favorite fan magazine writers, Elizabeth Wilson, in its “Projections” feature. Unfortunately, until now we’ve never run this in full, because when this issue was auctioned or on sale at eBay, only the first two pages were displayed. Now, thanks to the Media History Digital Library, that issue of Silver Screen has been uploaded, so we finally can show the other two pages as well.

Let’s go:

Reading it in full adds a dimension to this story, doesn’t it? I particularly like the anecdote about when Carole and friend Madalynne Fields journeyed east in 1935.

As you would expect, there are several movie ads in this issue, beginning with MGM’s blue-toned Clark Gable-Joan Crawford collaboration, “Love On The Run”:

Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur, who had starred in 1936 in Frank Capra’s “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town” at Columbia, reunited at Paramount for Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Plainsman”:

Warners goes back to its “Gold Diggers” series, this the 1937 version, starring Dick Powell and Joan Blondell:

Universal hyped Doris Nolan as its star to be in “Top of the Town.” Since you’re probably saying, “Doris who?”, you know how well that turned out:

Twentieth Century-Fox hyped an array of pictures from Darryl F. Zanuck:

And while this isn’t an ad, it makes for fascinating reading as Silver Screen polls its readers, offering a star calendar (with either Kay Francis, Ginger Rogers or Robert Taylor) in return:

You can buy this issue straight up for $39 or make a bid beginning at $30, in which case the auction ends at 4:23 p.m. (Eastern) a week from Saturday. Find out more

Posted October 14, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized