Friday, October 26, 2007

Glamour Past: Carole Lombard

Carole Lombard was one of the most popular stars of the silver screen in the 1930's and starred in numerous screwball comedies and dramas. She was also considered extremely beautiful — according to the Ritz in Paris, to this day, Lombard is the most beautiful woman to ever have stayed there.

In the early Thirties, Lombard was married briefly to William Powell, but the match wasn't long-lasting, due to their age difference and incompatible personalities. They had probably the most amicable divorce Hollywood has ever seen and remained friends, even starring in the 1936 classic comedy, My Man Godfrey (which you should absolutely rent if you haven't seen it).

In the late 1930s, Lombard started a secret love affair with Clark Gable, who was married at the time. It is now common knowledge that the only reason Gable signed up for Gone with the Wind (1939) was an extraordinarily large fee that allowed him to finally divorce his wife and marry Carole. The couple bought a ranch and called each other "Ma" and "Pa" and were blissfully happy.

In 1941, Lombard was on her way back to Los Angeles from selling War Bonds, when her plane crashed into a mountain peak, killing all 22 people aboard. Lombard was 33. President Roosevelt awarded her a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom, declaring her "the first woman killed in the line of duty during the war."

No Man of Her Own, 1932

Photo credits: June 1934 Photoplay, my collection. "My Man Godfrey" courtesy of Amazon. Gable/Lombard photo from imdb.


WendyB said...

I love her. There's a page of articles on the plane crash
One of the articles has the classic headline that everyone fears when they are on a plane with a celebrity:
"Carole Lombard, 21 others die."

G.G. said...

So right, Wendy, hehehe!