Postcard perfect   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.01.21 at 21:21

Current mood: flirtyflirty

carole lombard postcard 00a

Like many other stars of her day, Carole Lombard was a popular subject for postcards, particularly in Europe. Now another postcard pic of Carole has surfaced, this from her RKO days.

carole lombard postcard rko 00

This pose is similar, but not identical to, other images of Lombard I’ve seen from RKO. It’s vintage, unused and measures 3.5″ x 5.5″. Bids begin at $9.99, with the auction closing next Wednesday at 3:49 a.m. (Eastern).

Interested? Then visit


Posted January 22, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

How’d you like to win some ‘Stardust’?   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.01.20 at 09:25

Current mood: chipperchipper

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Well, you can…specifically a new novel to be released next month where Carole Lombard is a prominent character.

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We’ve already written about “A Touch Of Stardust,” the latest historical novel from Kate Alcott, a pseudonym for Washington journalist Patricia O’Brien (

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The premise is that an aspiring screenwriter from Fort Wayne, Ind. (Lombard’s hometown, of course) is hired as a publicist for David O. Selznick; she then in turn is hired as Carole’s personal assistant…at the time Selznick is making a little picture called “Gone With The Wind.” I haven’t yet read the book, but since Lombard is among the most vivid characters in all of Hollywood history — something most in the film industry would have vouched for while she was alive –– I’m sure her portrayal will delight (and have faith Alcott will get all the historical details right).

You can win one of 30 copies by going to and filling out some information; as of this writing, 136 people have submitted requests, but this giveaway has 16 days to go. Good luck!

Posted January 20, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Paying it back via a goofy reunion   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.01.19 at 19:19

Current mood: giddygiddy

carole lombard twentieth century john barrymore inscribed 00a

I’m not precisely certain when Carole Lombard received this inscribed autographed picture from John Barrymore, but if it was given to her at the wrap party for 1934’s “Twentieth Century,” she may well have floated home that night. Getting approval from Barrymore, one of the industry’s most distinguished actors, was a compliment Carole truly appreciated after several rather undistinguished years as a leading lady.

Three years later, the tables were turned. Lombard had vaulted into a top-tier star, while Barrymore’s dissolute life, fueled by drink, had taken its toll, and his career was in decline. However, Carole hadn’t forgotten how Barrymore coaxed her into a superb performance in “Twentieth Century”; now it was her turn to pay it back.

For what would be her final film at Paramount, “True Confession,” Lombard insisted Barrymore not only play a key supporting role, but be billed third behind Carole and co-star Fred MacMurray. It briefly helped his career, as John sparkled in this farce. Here he is with Lombard (playing a habitual liar), both looking rather silly:

carole lombard true confession 63c

This delightfully zany vintage photo is up for auction at eBay. While the back is blank, here’s the photo with borders:

carole lombard true confession 63

It measures 8″ x 10″, is in good condition, and the seller describes it thus: “Folds in the corners. Small surface details only seen if direct light is applied. Pinhole marks. Fold marks in the borders.”

Bidding begins at $24.50, with the auction ending at 5:10 p.m. (Eastern) Sunday. If you’d like to add this relative rarity to your collection or would like to learn more, visit

And today, I admit to being a bit goofy myself, but then again nearly all Washington Nationals fans are feeling this way. Pitcher Max Scherzer, the biggest prize in this year’s free-agent draft, has agreed to a seven-year deal, with half of his $210 million deferred to the following seven years. (This allows the Nats some flexibility in controlling their roster, including its loaded starting rotation, over the next few seasons.) Welcome to the world of the curly “W,” Max, and help bring D.C. its first World Series title since the original AL Senators achieved it in 1924.

Posted January 19, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

‘Kane’ to infiltrate Hearst’s screening room   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.01.18 at 20:58

Current mood: weirdweird

carole lombard san simeon 00a

This image of Carole Lombard (wearing the dark cloche hat) appears to be from 1929 or so and was taken at Hearst Castle, possibly on her first visit to the enchanted palace of San Simeon. (She had dated one of William Randolph Hearst’s sons in the mid-1920s, but I’m not certain when she initially met the multimedia mogul.) Over the years, Carole developed a friendship with Marion Davies and came to the castle several times.

While Lombard was there, she probably sat in one of these seats to watch an array of movies (perhaps even promoting a few of her own) alongside Hearst, Davies and other notable guests in what can only be called the screening room of the gods:

hearst castle movie theater 00a

Since the Hearst family donated what W.R. called “the ranch” to the state of California in the late 1950s, mere mortals such as myself have been able to enter this legendary theater on tours; often, films relating to this marvel of art and architecture are shown. Now, this fabled screening room is about to cross the final cinematic frontier on March 13, when it will show…

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You may be saying to yourself, “Didn’t he write something on this a few years ago? What makes this different?” The answer to the first question is “yes” (, the answer to the second is that the 2012 showing of “Kane” took place at the Hearst Castle visitors center some two miles away, not in the San Simeon screening room. (I don’t know whether the film was privately screened in front of Hearst and Davies when it first was released, possibly at the behest of his powerful Hollywood columnist Louella Parsons, leading to Hearst’s unsuccessful campaign to suppress the movie.)

As was the case in 2012, this is part of the San Luis Obispo Film Festival (, and while the earlier showing was a hot ticket, this viewing — in a theater seating 50 — will be ultra-exclusive (tickets are $1,000, with proceeds going to both the festival and Friends of Hearst Castle). But you’ll get a lot for your ticket, provided any still are available:

The film will be introduced by TCM’s Ben Mankiewicz, whose grandfather Herman Mankiewicz co-wrote its Oscar-winning screenplay with star and director Orson Welles, and W.R.’s grandson Steven Hearst, who got all this in motion in 2012 by giving the family blessing for “Kane” to be shown on the grounds, will be among those participating in a special tour. There are even a pair of Hearst Castle party packages being auctioned — a movie night for 10 and a pool party for 10 at the indoor Roman Pool — with bidding starting at $7,000. (For those who have forgotten the splendor of said pool, a photo below.)

hearst castle roman pool 00

Of course, part of the fun of attending this event will be to experience the vibes of seeing Welles’ subversive work of genius in the lair of one of his satirical targets, though unfortunately Davies was caught in the cinematic crossfire ( It’s been said Hearst was more angered with the portrayal of Susan Alexander Kane as an untalented harridan than any attacks on his supposed alter ego. Might there be some supernatural reaction of sorts that night? Those several dozen lucky to attend will find out.

In some ways, this will be similar to how Lombard herself viewed the film, at a private screening hosted in the fall of 1941 by Welles, a good friend. Legend has it that Carole loved the movie, other than its portrayal of the ersatz Davies, but husband Clark Gable fell asleep during its showing.

Posted January 18, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

A ‘Supernatural’ thing of beauty   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.01.17 at 22:22

Current mood: curiouscurious

carole lombard supernatural 25b

That look on Carole Lombard’s face as her character prepares to take part in a seance perfectly conveys her feelings about “Supernatural,” a Paramount programmer released in the spring of 1933 — it’s so much horror hokum, and she knows it. Nevertheless, Lombard gives it her all despite her disdain for the genre, and there are many admirers of the film.

For those people, who might also collect “Supernatural” memorabilia, this item:

carole lombard supernatural one-sheet 00b

If Carole saw this photograph of the 27″ x 41″ one-sheet, I sense she might give the dog some advice as to what to do to, er, with it. Thankfully, the canine exercised better judgment, because this is a genuine rarity. This hand-painted lobby display has three 8″ x 10″ photos tipped in:

carole lombard supernatural one-sheet 01a

Note that while this is shown framed, it will be sent unframed since it’s currently under heavy glass.

Bidding begins at $349, with the auction closing at 4:59 p.m. (Eastern) next Saturday. If you’re interested in what may be a one-of-a-kind piece, go to

Posted January 18, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Remembering Carole on her angel day   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.01.16 at 08:47

Current mood: sadsad

carole lombard 011542 will b. hays 01a

Today marks the eighth year I’ve had to write an entry I annually dread, commemorating the anniversary of Carole Lombard’s passing. This year holds a double whammy of sorts in that it coincidentally falls on a Friday, as it did in 1942, and it’s my first year in Los Angeles.

As I write this, it’s a sunny morning and today’s highs are expected to reach the 70s, typical for southern California in mid-January. Was it like this on Jan. 16, 1942, as not only Clark Gable, but others in the entertainment industry, awaited her return from a successful kick-off to the national war bond drive?

carole lombard fireball cover 00

Yes, this entry is difficult to write, as we mourn the loss of all 22 aboard that doomed flight, but this year I am comforted by many things. First is the overwhelming success of Robert Matzen’s book about the tragedy, “Fireball” ( Its thorough research and strong storytelling has made it the definitive resource on this incident, and it’s been so well received that a second edition is planned, with additional material Matzen has gathered through his travels promoting the book.

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Second, the genuine affection people have for Lombard — who for the vast majority of us died before they were born, and for whom now only a handful ever met or knew — continues to grow, not merely for her movies but for whom she was. Few film stars of the classic era generate that kind of reaction, and I like to think it’s not only because of her external beauty (which indeed was considerable), but the beauty she possessed inside. Carole would be the first to admit she was no saint, but in terms of personality, vivacity and generosity, her pluses far outweighed her minuses. And those qualities speak to us today, unlike many of her more publicized contemporaries or stars who came later (and perhaps were influenced by her). Lombard will always be modern; timelessness is part of her DNA.

Third, much of that affection has carried over to this site, and for that I am thrilled. When Carole & Co. began in mid-2007, it was merely meant as a way to pass the time — run some pics, tell a story or two every now and then, not much more than that. However, it’s become much, much more, leading me in paths (both figuratively and literally) I never would have expected some 91 months ago. I’m rather honored that many now consider me a definitive source on Lombard (maybe asource, certainly not the), and promise that for as long as I run this site, I’ll try to be worthy of such trust. I owe it to Carole, whom in some ways has become as much a part of my life as friends or relatives who I actually know or have known.

So thank you, Carole Lombard, someone still mourned, missed — and loved. (And that goes not only for you, but your mother, MGM publicist Otto Winkler and the others who left that mortal coil 73 years ago today.)

carole lombard 011442 with mother chicago

Posted January 16, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

Commemorating a fateful trip via Twitter   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.01.15 at 00:48

Current mood: accomplishedaccomplished

carole lombard 011542b indiana bond rally large

It was 73 years ago today that Carole Lombard fulfilled her patriotic duty as an American citizen by leading the nation’s first war bond rally in Indianapolis, the capital of her native state of Indiana. It also would be the final full day of her life. Now, that pivotal journey is being commemorated via the latest in technology.

carole lombard fireball cover 00

Robert Matzen, author of the superb book “Fireball” — the definitive account of the air accident that would claim Lombard’s life and that of 21 others — is using Twitter to provide a real-time account of her activities on Jan. 15, 1942, which fell on a Thursday as it does this year, and continuing into Friday. According to Matzen, he was driving in to work Wednesday morning when the concept came to him:

“This idea just came to me that since the dates fall on the correct days of the week, we could follow her through her itinerary real-time via Twitter. I would pick it up in the morning when people start getting in line at the Capitol at 6:30 Central and work through both days, ending sometime around Gable’s liftoff in the charter. I want to treat it like I’m there on the ground following her, all present tense. I was just in Indy in March so I have the lay of the land.”

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So things should begin about 7:30 a.m. (Eastern) at his Twitter feed, @RobertMatzen.

This isn’t the first time a historical event has been re-enacted on Twitter; far from it. A check of Google shows such things have taken place since at least 2010 — in fact, there’s a site,, that’s dedicated to the concept, with more than 350 re-enactments listed, everything from Lee’s surrender at Appomattox (expect more re-enactments of this come April, its 150th anniversary) to John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

“I hesitated to do this because I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself, but it’s a rare opportunity,” Matzen said. As part of his research for “Fireball,” he obtained Gov. H.F. Schricker’s itinerary prepared on Lombard’s behalf, which will be a boon to his tweets. (She’s shown below with the governor.)

carole lombard 011542 with indiana gov 01b front

Matzen publicized it at his blog (, and I’m pleased to do likewise. It promises to be fascinating — and if you’re not a Twitter user or are only occasionally one (I’m in the latter category), it’s a good introduction to the format.

Matzen admits to a bit of skepticism over the potential success of the endeavor: “This is another potential problem: what fans of a movie star dead 73 years are Twitterbugs?” I like to think he’ll be pleasantly surprised how many there are.

About the only drawback to this event is that we can’t alter history and create a happier ending.

carole lombard 011542 with mother last picture larger

Posted January 15, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized