Here is a short little article that appeared in the February 1942 edition of Screen Guide magazine. Sadly, by the time this issue hit newsstands, the spirited subject of the article would be dead.
“Hermit” is a word that conjured up pictures of wizened characters with long white beards, living solitary lives in caves or tree-tops. Carole Lombard is blonde and beautiful; her “cave” is a 22-acre ranch in San Fernando Valley; and far from being alone, Carole is married to Clark Gable.
But when you consider the sort of person Carole used to be, her present life does seem like complete seclusion. She used to make headlines on cinema pages by cutting a fancy figure in Hollywood Cafe Society. Today columnists in search of a Lombard item have to cook up rumors that she’s separating from her husband, having a baby or adopting one. She used to give lavish, unusual parties; once she took all the furniture out of the house and made the guests sit on huge, fluffy cushions. Now the Gables give small house parties for a few close friends. Instead of nightclubbing with the rest of the glitterbugs, she goes on hunting trips with her husband.
She hasn’t just drifted into this way of living; when she married Clark Gable, she decided to make their home the center of her life. She managed to carry out her decision without being obvious. Still a willing talker, she’s ready to converse on any subject from checkers to life insurance. But once you start probing into private matters she practically lapses into double talk. Neither her career nor Gable’s has suffered because of their “hideaway” habits, though her marriage was Carole’s first consideration. After all, if Clark Gable was included in the bargain, several million women would eagerly adopt a hermit’s life.
Hollywood would miss it’s resident hermit.