Carole Lombard died 76 years ago today, at the age of 33. Her brief time on earth ending after crashing into a snowy mountaintop near Las Vegas, she left behind a world of grieving fans and one distraught husband.

Celebrate, rather than mourn, Carole today. She would not be one to wallow, after all!

carole lombard

Some great Carole content around here:

Last year I chronicled the newspaper headlines around the time of her death, starting with January 16, through January 23:

75th Anniversary of Carole Lombard’s Death

Here’s a piece regarding Carole and those persisting baby rumors:

Carole Lombard, Clark Gable and The Baby That Never Was

Some rare Carole photos I came across in vintage scrapbooks:

Rare Carole Lombard Photos

A psychic in 1936 predicted Clark and Carole’s future. How right was she?

1936: A Hollywood Psychic Predicts Clark Gable and Carole Lombard’s Future

My top 5 Carole Lombard Films:

Carole Lombard Top 5

The story of how Clark once gifted Carole a wildcat:

Clark Gable, Carole Lombard and One Wild Cat

Carole jokes around on the set of “They Knew What They Wanted” with pictures to prove it:

Carole Lombard Behaving Like a Mugg!

 

carole lombard

There’s also plenty of articles in the Article Archive:

Can the Gable-Lombard Love Story Have a Happy Ending?

What’s Become of the Good Scout?

Lombard: As She Sees Herself

Blonde Beauty Grows Up

Subject: Lombard

At Home with the Gables

She Knew What She Wanted

What the Loss of Carole Lombard Means to Clark Gable

and many others.

Celebrate Carole Lombard Gable today, and long may she rest in peace next to her beloved Clarkie.

Carole Lombard Clark Gable

clark gable

From April 1941:

One of the reasons, admittedly a minor one, that Clark Gable and Carole Lombard get along so famously is that both see eye to eye on the matter of “dressing up” and putting on the ritz.

Framer Gable goes for those dusty old trousers and sweaters in his real farm life as well as in the still pictures, and Carole, he says, will have no part in that general feminine conspiracy which aims at getting the male into white-tie-and-tails at the slightest provocation.

Gable’s new picture, with Rosalind Russell, is “The Uniform,” but the title doesn’t mean he’ll be duded up any more than usual. Gable is not one of our clothes-conscious stars–“Don’t have to be,” he says, “with the kind of parts I play.”

This relegation of wardrobe to the minor matters file in Gable’s life impressed Walter Pidgeon on their first meeting some years ago. Gable had been instrumental in having Pidgeon cast in a leading role with him, and Pidgeon–who has worked with clothes-conscious stars–sought him out to confer on wardrobe.

“Tell me what you’re wearing,” said Walter, “and I’ll pick out suits that don’t conflict.”

“You name it,” said Gable, “and I’ll steer clear of what you choose.”

__

“The Uniform” was re-titled They Met in Bombay.

clark gable carole lombarc circus

From July 1941:

Because Clark Gable and Carole Lombard interested themselves in his career, tall, handsome Reed Hadley, who hails from Texas via New York theatre and radio acting stopovers, appears to be safely launched in Hollywood.

Young Hadley first attracted Miss Lombard’s attention when he appeared with her on a national radio broadcast. Gable met him at that time also.Both were impressed with young Hadley’s appearance and talents.

Gable subseqyently suggested to Director Clarence Brown that Hadley be tested for the role of a young British officer in “They Met in Bombay” at MGM. Gable and Rosalind Russell are co-starring in the picture and a requirement of the officer part was that it be filled by a man whose uniform could be donned by Gable.

Hadley, who has that stature,w as signed for the part without formality of a test, after being interviewed by Director Brown.

___

Not sure how true this is. I don’t find Reed Hadley being credited for a role in They Met in Bombay, but he did have a long career in film and television.

carole lombard 1936 my man godfrey

Continuing our news clippings series, following Carole around in 1936…we pick up in May.

Here’s January-April.

 

May 12:

Carole Lombard’s hospital party, after she recovered from the flu, brought guest dressed as doctors and nurses. They arrived in ambulances and sat around on hospital cots sipping cocktails from medicine bottles. A hospital shower for Margot Grahame, about to lose her appendix, netted her 16 hot water bottles.

May 20:

The romance scouts are speculating on the temperature of Gable’s friendship with Carole Lombard. He has been meeting her at the Paramount gate every afternoon at 5.

May 28:

At Carole Lombard’s house party the other night, a departing guest asked if he might borrow a book. Carole agreed, but not enthusiastically. “Don’t look so forlorn,” the borrower said, “I’ll remember where I got it.” 

“Never mind remembering where you got it,” Miss Lombard snapped, “just remember to bring it back.”

May 29:

Carole Lombard has just moved into her new home in the exclusive Beverly Hills section of Hollywood. Miss Lombard, who is co-starred with Fred MacMurray in Paramount’s “The Princess Comes Across,” describes one of the highlights of her house.

“It has no dining room,” said Miss Lombard. “This may sound crazy to those who are acquainted with my penchant for entertaining but the very fact that I do love to have my houses full of guests whenever possible is one reason I’m so enthused about this plan. I always eat on a small table before the fire when I’m alone. And when I do entertain I always have so many people that a buffet supper is the logical and graceful method.

“I think dining rooms in houses today are just wasted space.”

Lots of press for “The Princess Comes Across.”

carole lombard fred macmurray princess comes across

June 5:

Carole Lombard had a disguise backfire on her the other day when she ventured into downtown Los Angeles to do some shopping. She wore tailored tweeds and dark glasses, and scarcely had left her car when somebody yelled, “There’s Greta Garbo!”

Immediately she was surrounded by a gawking throng, and couldn’t move until she removed the goggled and proved she wasn’t the elusive Swede. Oddly enough, because she had her hair combed straight back, and because the crowd was expecting to see Garbo, nobody recognized her as Miss Lombard.

June 19:

While rumors persisted that “everything was set but the date” regarding Carole Lombard’s romance with Clark Gable, the latter was involved in new difficulties with his estranged third wife. They came to light when he filed suit for recognition of property settlement made with Mrs. Rhea Langham Gable when they separated last fall.

June 27:

The unusual illness of blonde Carole Lombard which permits her to work in Hollywood but not on location in Alaska was the subject of bitter comment here today, it was reported.

The sophisticated star declared she was unable to join a movie company on an expedition to Ketchikan, Alaska, where the 1936 salmon run was to be filmed for an outdoor picture.

Other members of the cast, many of whom were hired for the single picture, could not understand why Miss Lombard’s illness permitted her to accept engagements here.

The studio cast of 15 players hired a ship on which they were to live, and made all preparations for the departure Saturday.

Paramount officials said that Miss Lombard reported she was unable to make the trip because she feared the damp climate expected in Alaska might aggravate her illness.

Commented one of the actors who had been looking forward to the trip: “But she’s still well enough to run around with that big-eared star.”

A little digging reveals this film was to be called “Spawn of the North.” It was supposed to star Carole and Cary Grant. It was finally made in 1938 with Dorothy Lamour, Henry Fonda and George Raft.

July 1:

Not until you have been out with some of the better known screen favorites can you fully appreciate how many imbeciles there are among the fans…One night Carole Lombard and Clark Gable and a  few others were ankling along a boulevard when a crowd gathered. Gable and Lombard were surrounded by them, shoved and pushed and otherwise mangled…They both tried to smile and groped for a way out…Their obvious predicament amused the crowd, which responded with happy cracks, which is what usually follows when people are self-conscious…Finally one greasy-looking man pushed forward–close to them and shouted: “Humph. They’re not so much.” He probably had more fun the next day telling friends about it.

August 8:

(Jimmy Fidler)

Carole Lombard’s laugh is raucous and unattractive, loudest of any woman I know. Sound technicians guard against it constantly.

August 30:

Convicted of sending improper letters through the mails to a film star’s secretary, Frank T. Shadow, alias Frank Chateau, was in jail today awaiting sentence.

Miss Madelyn Fields, secretary to Carole Lombard, was the complaining witness.

Wonder what that was about??

September 7:

Clark Gable and Carole Lombard glimpsed whispering this and that in a Hungarian lunchery.

September 16:

I (Jimmy Fidler) accept more seriously than most the rumors of an ultimate marriage of Carole Lombard and Clark Gable. In the first place, I think Carole is more than willing. In the second place, at a shooting range the other evening I asked Clark if he intends to marry again. “Sure,” he answered, “Why not? I’m normal.” “What sort of woman will your next wife be?” I persisted. He ceased firing, lowered the gunbutt from his shoulder, and said, “A woman who can make me laugh.” How well Carole Lombard fulfills the requirement!

Lots of (good) press for “My Man Godfrey.”

carole lombard william powell my man godfrey carole lombard william powell my man godfrey

October 5:

Carole Lombard is to appear in a color feature called “Safari.” Twentieth Century Fox is already shooting an African item titled “White Hunter.” 

That didn’t happen.

October 10:

Carole Lombard is taking the necessary legal steps to change her name to just that. Born Jane Peters, the actress has attained world fame as Carole Lombard. Therefore, she wants to use that name at all times.

October 22:

Carole Lombard is demanding an increase in salary or threatens not to sign her new contract.

Right above that was this blurb:

Mickey Mouse is 8 years old. He was created just that long ago by Walt Disney, who is now 34 years old and is reputed to make $500,000 a year on Mickey.

That’s about what the Walt Disney Company makes a year now doesn’t it? Found that funny. Adjusted for inflation that is over $8 million. Which is still just a tad less than the Disney company rakes in in a year.

October 28:

Carole Lombard is taking singing lessons against the time she must lift her voice in “Morning, Noon and Night.”

That was a working title for “Swing High, Swing Low.”

November 4:

Carole Lombard supervised the decoration of her new home and designed all of the furniture.

carole lombard name change 1936

Carole signing the papers to legally change her name

November 7:

Mrs. Jane Peters Powell legally went out of existence today as the name was supplanted in public records by that of Carole Lombard. 

Miss Lombard was granted court permission to drop her legal name in favor of her screen name in a hearing before Superior Judge Fletcher Bowron.

The actress declared that the name Carole Lombard was valuable to her from a business standpoint and she wished to protect it through the court action. Her name originally was Jane Peters. The Powell was added upon her marriage to William Powell, whom she later divorced.

November 11:

Visit of Carole Lombard to the Hall of Records to legalize her movie name has given the movie colony another reason to believe the blonde screen actress and Clark Gable, star leading man, soon will march to the altar. Two reasons, romantic and psychic, were read into Miss Lombard’s visit. The romance between the two had been going on since Gable and his wife separated last year.

clark gable carole lombard 1936

November 21:

Clark Gable being presented a “gag” package at the airport, as a send-off from Carole Lombard.

November 24:

Carole Lombard has arranged an intimate dinner party at her new home in Bel Air, swanky suburb. Guests will include Fieldsie, her secretary, her mother, brother and sister-in-law who reside in Hollywood. And , to sustain romantic rumors, perhaps Clark Gable.

November 28:

Carole Lombard not only will sing, but will hoof some snappy tap steps in “Swing High, Swing Low.”

December 5:

Carole Lombard will get $150,000 a year for three years under a new contract with Paramount. She will do three pictures a year.

That’s $2.6 million adjusted for inflation. No small potatoes, but then you think of the stars nowadays getting $20 million for one picture.  She essentially got $7.8 million for nine.

December 10:

Carole Lombard, film actress, was reported ill with laryngitis today.

carole lombard fashion

December 11:

Carole Lombard, film actress, was confined to her home with a severe attack of laryngitis contracted while working late on a set.

December 15:

The dilapidated automobile Carole Lombard gave Clark Gable as a valentine is “not for sale at any price,” Gable told salesmen and souvenir hunters today. He refused $1,000 for the ancient chariot.

“I’ve become attached to it,” Gable explained.

The car came to him last Valentine’s day, very old and in a state of disintegration. But the actress had painted large red hearts and rosy cupids on the white hood and chassis, and Gable treasures it now.

He spurned his larger automobile recently, and escorted Miss Lombard to a  glittering premiere in the old wreck.

Souvenir hunters have sought to buy it, and salesmen made attractive trade-in offers on new cars. Gable won’t sell.

“I’m very sentimental,” he grinned.

Awww….

December 20:

Carole Lombard’s jewels are for sale. At least her famous star sapphires (one of them is 157 karats) will no longer be worn by the Paramount star. “They’ve become too much of a fad,” announced Carole on the “Swing High, Swing Low” set today and for the present (until Carole hears of a buyer) her valuable collection will be placed in a safety deposit box.

December 22:

Carole Lombard, glamorous cinema actress, says she lives a relatively quiet life. “The popular notion that all my parties are hysterical and sensation is wrong. I entertain very little.”

December 23:

Carole Lombard, running true to reputation as a practical joker, is giving Clark Gable complete hunting equipment. (Maybe Clark will now take some lessons in shooting.)

December 24:

Carole Lombard: “As an actress, I think I’m something like an automobile. No I don’t mean that I can be driven just so far. I mean that a car has to be driven a certain number of miles before it’s broken in properly and really begins to perform. After 10 years before the cameras, I believe I’m just getting broken in and learning to loosen up in my portrayals.”

December 25:

Feminine Hollywood goes to the races Christmas day amid holiday furore and holiday fur. A silver fox cape is to complete Carole Lombard’s muchly zippered all-black outfit of short skirt with attached short-sleeves jacket and three-quarter length box coat. A silver zipper ending in a monogrammed silver tab runs up the front of the dress, with similar zippers on each of the pockets. The hat is broad-brimmed black felt.

December 30:

Carole Lombard has a bruised shoulder from blazing away with that hunting rifle Clark Gable bought her.

 

clark gable carole lombard camping

From September 1940:

Before Clark Gable was married, he would go on a hunting trip by tossing a sleeping bag and guns into an auto and whizzing away. Since his wife, Carole Lombard, has became a hunting and camping enthusiast, she has bought great masses of gadgets and equipment. The other day when they started a trip, Gable drove up to the house in a huge truck, sporting a sign: “Lombard Camping Co., Ltd.”

clark gable carole lombard

From November 1940:

Most publicized star-ranchers are Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, who can’t pick an orange or feed a hen without having to pose for a picture. So many yarns were written about Squire Gable’s real ambition—to leave the screen and go back to the land–that every mail still brings him a sale-offer of some other estate. One owner was sure that his $250,000 place would be exactly what the stars wanted, because it had two swimming pools and accommodations for 25 guests.

That’s just what Mr. and Mrs. Gable don’t want–especially the 25 guests. And Hollywood calls them shrewd bargainers because they paid Director Raoul Walsh only $40,000 for his 15 acres, well-stocked with citrus and nut trees, and with a good house on it. Gable is expecting to gather 100 sacks of walnuts this year, make a profit on them at $3.75 a sack. That will even up a little for getting a check for only $2.70 for his entire citrus crop. In the same mail he got the water bill for the week: $30.

Rather than repeat that humiliation, the Gables now give their oranges and lemons to the Children’s Hospital. Eggs and chickens, too, are sent to poor families but one such donation was more expensive than they had planned. From the flock of 500 Rhode Island Reds, Gable had selected six to enter in the Pomona County Fair. But the day before it opened, Mrs. Gable told the hired man to kill half a dozen chickens to give away. Three guesses what happened. 

 

princess

From August 1936:

Red Camellias for Carole Lombard. There’s a romance there, but Hollywood has been unable to learn the name of the man. Each morning during the past week the flowers have arrived on the set where she and Fred MacMurray are making “The Princess Comes Across.” Some accuse the shy MacMurray. Others speak the name of Clark Gable with whom rumors have linked the blonde Carole of late. But Carole herself, she just smiles, admitting cautiously that she has found new interest in life and that he is a well-known actor. Apparently she shares the secret with the red camellias only. If you remember right, this is Miss Lombard’s first popular romance since the death of Russ Colombo, the singer. Your correspondent would like to bet a new hat that these flowers are from Clark Gable.

carole lombard

Here is a little article that ran syndicated in newspapers throughout the country in January 1936. It’s supposed to be about food but the majority of the article prattles on about Carole’s early days in Hollywood and then she gives us a “recipe,” if you can call it that.

Hollywood Personalities and Their Ideas About Food: Carole Lombard

As Told by Valentine Lyon

Syndicated Press

January 23, 1936

 

When just seven years of age, Carole Lombard came to Hollywood with her mother and two brothers. They came only to stay six months, but none of them ever returned to their home in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Carole was familiar with camera scenes at a very early age. Always a tomboy, she grew up joyously, preferring the boy games to those of dolls. Even as a small girl she was not content to be star athlete among the girls, but insisted on participating in the boys’ sports and would scream with rage when opposed.

Her prized possessions are two medals received for sprinting and broad jumping. However, sports were not her only diversions. She took part in all school theatricals, playing varied parts. Once she characterized an old grey-haired mother, with a grown daughter, who was many years older than herself. Another time, she was the villain, carrying the character out even to the drooping mustachios. Still another time she was made Queen of the May and for this occasion she was robed regally, and to quote Carole, “my brothers kidded me to death, but I didn’t mind too much. they let me wear a grand taffeta period gown and a tiara, and that was compensation for the razzing.”

Soon after she entered High School, Carole was seen by a Fox executive and he suggested a screen test, which, although her mother did not approve, Carole accepted. This brought her a role in a melodrama with Edmund Lowe, “Married in Transit,” and later was put into three leads in Western thrillers; two with Buck Jones and one with Tom Mix.

“All I had to do was simper prettily at the hero and scream with terror while he was battling the villain. I was never allowed to express myself by giving my screen lover’s opponent a good kick,” Carole confessed. “It didn’t take me long to realized I adored working in the movies, but honestly didn’t believe that I was getting good training in Westerns.”

Mack Sennett next offered Carole a contract. She was advised to accept it, for many splendid stars had been through the Sennett pictures. She remained with the Sennett organization for a year and a half, then she left to play an important part in “Show Folks” on the old Pathe lot. This was a great success and she received a contract with Pathe playing the leads in many pictures.

Then the rising young actress came to the Paramount outfit, where she was considered a great find. She justified their faith in her and was cast opposite William Powell in two pictures, and later married him. Although they are now divorced, they are still the best of friends, and no affair at the Lombard home is complete without Bill Powell. As Carole says, “I must have liked that man or else I wouldn’t have married him in the first place. Now that we are divorced, we’re still the very best of friends. We’re both civilized people.”

The Lombard home is one of the loveliest in Hollywood. Of an artistic nature, Carole chose all the decorations herself. Her drawing room is in tones of blue with Directoire furniture–the dining room stunning with its white walls, black-and-white linoleum floor and dull emerald green satin drapes. Her boudoir is a symphony in dusty pink and rose beige.

One of Hollywood’s famous interior decorators remarked that Miss Lombard’s taste was so good that if she wanted to quit the screen she could become easily one of the leading decorators of the country.

When it comes to her screen wardrobe, Carole has as much to say as the designer, who admits that Carole’s taste is perfect. he admits that she is wholly responsible for her reputation as one of Hollywood’s best dressed women. Carole believes that flawless figure and pluperfect grooming are far more essential to a screen star than beauty.

A few weeks ago, Carole Lombard made her first solo flight, and is still thrilling over her new experience. She decided to become a flier herself after traveling by air several times to and from the Coast to New York.

Asked for her favorite recipe, Carole gave me a simple after the theatre or Sunday night dessert–she calls it A New Dessert.

A New Dessert

If you want to serve something really delicious try my newest and most “special occasion” dessert. Now that one may speak of champagne above a whisper let me at once announce that it is the first ingredient. That is, it should be iced while you choose your finest champagne glasses and put in each one a peeled, fresh peach with the pit intact. When the wine is iced, pour the champagne over the peach and sip it. The saturated peach makes the most delectable dish imaginable and for an impromptu supper after the theatre or on Sunday night there is nothing simpler to prepare.

 

All that and the “recipe” is to pour champagne over a peach? Anyone else cringe at the section about her thrilled over flying? Me too.