Here is the final portion of Frederick Othman’s series on Carole Lombard, published on January 21, 1942. In this segment we learn she buried shrunken skulls in her yard!
Carole Lombard and Gable Gave Up ‘Flossy’ Dwelling
Happy Film Couple Lived in Simple Home Without Swimming Pool or Guest Rooms
When Carole Lombard married Clark Gable in 1939, there was no whoop-de-do. They drove to Kingman, Ariz., in the coupe of their good friend and press agent, Otto Winkler, said their vows, and came home again.
Then they held a reception at Carole’s house. The only guests were their old friends, the newspaper reporters. Everybody had a big time, host and hostess included, and that was all there was to the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. G. Nearly all, anyhow.
Carole tried to sell the house, but there were no takers. According to her the folks were a little leery about the human heads buried in the backyard. She wasn’t spoofing, either. They were genuine shrunken heads from the wilds of South America, presented her by an admiring explorer. She buried ’em under the petunias after he left.
Rented Big House
Eventually she rented the place to Director Alfred Hitchcock. Not until he signed the lease did she tell him about the skulls under his bedroom window.
Mr. and Mrs. G., meantime, had moved into a home of their own, like no other movie star’s house. Their combined income approached $1,000,000 a year and they could have had solid gold door knobs and a Roman bath if they’d wanted it. They didn’t.
“You get enough of that flossy business on the sound stages.” Carole explained in showing visitors around the establishment, which wasn’t any larger nor any fancier than yours or mine.
They had no swimming pool, because Miss Lombard said pools were good only for breeding mosquitoes. They had one bedroom, because she said what was the use of house guests, anyhow? they did have an elegant front porch, though, for sitting down purposes, and a living room furnished with some of the biggest, softest couches ever seen in these parts.
Carole liked to jump on ’em.
She liked company, too, so long as the company went home at bedtime. She served scotch and soda in glasses the size of mason jars, while she drank soda pop and figured out ways the amuse the man she called “Pappy.”
Theirs was a genuinely happy marriage. This was proven by the fact that the radio oracles constantly were announcing their impending divorce.
Miss Lombard, ever reticent, lamented the fact that it was not in the cards for her to be a mother. Her childlessness was her second real sorrow. The World War was the other. She could not understand why men insisted on shooting each other.
Died in the Service
But that was before the United States joined in the fray. Once that happened, Miss Lombard forgot her idealism. She forgot everything–even life itself, as it developed–in her effort to help win the war. She quit the comforts of her home for the gloom of the sound stages, simply to earn more money so she could pay more taxes. When she was invited to Indianapolis to sell defense bonds, she whooped as only Lombard could whoop, and headed east. She peddled $2,000,000 worth of bonds and flew home–and you know the rest of the story.
The Treasury Department said she died in the service of her country. And so she did. There isn’t any more for us to say.