Date of Death16 January 1942, Table Rock Mountain, Nevada, USA (airplane crash)
Birth NameJane Alice Peters
NicknameThe Profane Angel
The Hoosier Tornado
Ma (by Clark Gable)
Height5' 2" (1.57 m)
Mini BiographyCarole Lombard was born Jane Alice Peters in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on October 6, 1908. Her parents divorced in 1916 and her mother took the family on a trip out West. While there they decided to settle down in the Los Angeles area. After being spotted playing baseball in the street with the neighborhood boys by a film director, Carole was signed to a one-picture contract in 1921 when she was 12. The film in question was A Perfect Crime (1921). Although she tried for other acting jobs, she would not be seen onscreen again for four years. She returned to a normal life, going to school and participating in athletics, excelling in track and field. By age 15 she had had enough of school, though, and quit. She joined a theater troupe and played in several stage shows, which were for the most part nothing to write home about. In 1925 she passed a screen test and was signed to a contract with Fox Films. Her first role as a Fox player was Hearts and Spurs (1925), in which she had the lead. Right after that film she appeared in a western called Durand of the Bad Lands (1925). She rounded out 1925 in the comedy Marriage in Transit (1925) (she also appeared in a number of two-reel shorts). In 1926 Carole was seriously injured in an automobile accident that resulted in the left side of her face being scarred. Once she had recovered, Fox canceled her contract. She did find work in a number of shorts during 1928 (13 of them, many for slapstick comedy director Mack Sennett), but did go back for a one-time shot with Fox called Me, Gangster (1928). By now the film industry was moving from the silent era to "talkies". While some stars' careers ended because of heavy accents, poor diction or a voice unsuitable to sound, Carole's light, breezy, sexy voice enabled her to transition smoothly during this period. Her first sound film was High Voltage (1929) at Pathe (her new studio) in 1929. In 1931 she was teamed with William Powell in Man of the World (1931). She and Powell hit it off and soon married, but the marriage didn't work out and they divorced in 1933. Casada por azar (1932) put Carole opposite Clark Gable for the first and only time (they married seven years later in 1939). By now she was with Paramount Pictures and was one of its top stars. However, it was La comedia de la vida (1934) that showed her true comedic talents and proved to the world what a fine actress she really was. In 1936 Carole received her only Oscar nomination for Best Actress for Al servicio de las damas (1936). She was superb as ditzy heiress Irene Bullock. Unfortunately, the coveted award went to Luise Rainer in El gran Ziegfeld (1936), which also won for Best Picture. Carole was now putting out about one film a year of her own choosing, because she wanted whatever role she picked to be a good one. She was adept at picking just the right part, which wasn't surprising as she was smart enough to see through the good-ol'-boy syndrome of the studio moguls. She commanded and received what was one of the top salaries in the business - at one time it was reported she was making $35,000 a week. She made but one film in 1941, Matrimonio original (1941). Her last film was in 1942, when she played Maria Tura opposite Jack Benny in Ser o no ser (1942). Tragically, she didn't live to see its release. The film was completed in 1941 just at the time the US entered World War II, and was subsequently held back for release until 1942. Meanwhile, Carole went home to Indiana for a war bond rally. On January 16, 1942, Carole, her mother, and 20 other people were flying back to California when the plane went down outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. All aboard perished. The highly acclaimed actress was dead at the age of 33 and few have been able to match her talents since. IMDb Mini Biography By: Denny Jackson
Carole Lombard, the 5' 2" beauty was a comedy hit during the 30s and 40s. Born in Fort Wayne, Indiana on October 6, 1908 under the name of Jane Alice Peters. Young Jane Alice loved the Friday night movie night with her family and would perform the night before's show in the morning. Her mother and her father divorced in October of 1914. Jane Alice, her two older brothers, and their mother, Elizabeth Knight Peters moved to Los Angeles. When she was 12 she had a small part in a silent film called a Perfect Crime. An executive in 1925 from FOX PICTURES asked her to do a screen test, which was a success, but the film, which was to be her first spy film, Marriage in Transit (1925), wasn't. Carole Lombard, the actress, was born. In early 1927 she was tested by the Mack Sennet Studio, who put her under contract, only this time it was a comedy, not a spy film. Lombard became the top comedienne at the studio as she molded herself into the comedy life. Paul Stei, a Pathe director, saw her in a Sennet comedy and immediately put her under contract for $150 a week. Several films later she took a side step when director, Cecil B. DeMille called for her and then changed his mind. When she left Pathe in 1930 at the age of 18 she returned to FOX. She soon signed with Paramount for $300 a week but after 6 years was earning the sum of $35,000 a week! In October 1930 she met William Powell and then eight months later they were married on the day of June 26, 1931. Carole age 23 and William age 39 were married for 23 months but divorced in 1933. They stayed friends and film partners. In 1937 in Al servicio de las damas (1936) (with Powell) earned her an Academy Award Nomination. There was a new person now, the crowned King of Hollywood" Clark Gable. They had made one movie together Casada por azar (1932) in 1932. They were married, in March 1939, after Gable was separated from his wife Rhea Langham. They bought and lived in a 20 acre ranch in San Fernando Valley. They weren't Hollywood Socialites; they weren't glamorous; they wanted a simple life out of Hollywood's bright lights. They nick named each other Ma and Pa and were role modeled as the ideal marriage. Tragedy struck on a war bond tour that Carole and her mother were on. The plane they were traveling in (TWA Flight #3) crashed. Her last words, in her home state of Indiana, to all the people were just before boarding the plane, "Before I say goodbye to you all - come on - join me in a big cheer- V for victory!" All 22 passengers died in the crash.
IMDb Mini Biography By: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
|Clark Gable||(29 March 1939 - 16 January 1942) (her death)|
|William Powell||(26 June 1931 - 16 August 1933) (divorced)|
Trade MarkPlatinum blonde hair and blue eyes
TriviaDuring World War II, after her death, a Liberty ship was named after her.
A 1926 auto accident badly cut her face. Advanced plastic surgery and adroit use of make-up covered the scars. However, at the time the belief was that use of anesthetic during the operation would leave worse scars, so she endured the reconstructive surgery without an anesthetic.
Linked romantically to crooner Russ Columbo until his accidental death late in 1934.
Lombard was listed in the credits of Safety in Numbers (1930), her first Paramount release, as Carole (instead of Carol as in her previous billings). They decided that this would now be the official spelling and she went along with it. She legally changed her name to Carole Lombard in 1936. Only in her first film, A Perfect Crime (1921) did she use her real name, Jane Peters.
Interred at Forest Lawn, Glendale, California, USA, in the Great Mausoleum, Sanctuary of Trust, on the left hand side, next to Clark Gable.
Second cousin of director Howard Hawks, Kenneth Hawks and William B. Hawks.
Both of her marriages were childless.
Cousin-in-law of Mary Astor, Athole Shearer, Bessie Love, Dee Hartford and Eden Hartford.
A natural tomboy with athletic prowess and spirit far exceeding her size (she was a petite child who stood 5' 2", with shoes) the future screen star frequently joined her brothers in roughhousing.
She was posthumously awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as the first woman killed in the line of duty in WWII. FDR greatly admired her work for the war effort, and ironically she was returning from an engagement selling War Bonds when her plane crashed. In 1983, Orson Welles claimed he'd been told that Lombard's plane had actually been shot down by American Nazi sympathizers.
Her film Ser o no ser (1942) was in post-production when she died in a plane crash, and the producers decided to leave out a part that had her character ironically saying, "What can happen in a plane?"
Was called the "Queen of Screwball Comedy".
The Jack Benny radio show that followed her death was cancelled because Benny, a good friend and admirer, was grief-stricken. The time was filled with music instead.
Lucille Ball said she finally decided to go ahead with "Te quiero, Lucy" (1951) when Carole, who had been a close friend, came to her in a dream and recommended she take a chance on the risky idea of entering television.
She was offered the lead role in a proposed melodrama, "Smiler with a Knife," to be directed by a newcomer at RKO named Orson Welles. She turned it down, opting to return to screwball comedy in Matrimonio original (1941). Welles refused to make Smiler without her; instead, he began work on Ciudadano Kane (1941).
Considered by many to be the prototype for the icy blondes in Alfred Hitchcock's films.
The plane crash that killed her took place less than a month before the Oscars. Despite her mother's premonition of the disaster, she refused to take a train to Los Angeles. She was reputedly in a rush after getting wind of an alleged affair between her husband Clark Gable and Lana Turner who were filming Somewhere I'll Find You (1942) at the time. The decision to take the plane was decided literally by the flip of a coin, with Carole winning the toss.
Was named #23 Actress, The American Film Institutes 50 Greatest Screen Legends
Was a second-generation Bahá'í who formally declared her membership to the Bahá'í Faith in 1938.
Her performance as Maria Tura in Ser o no ser (1942) is ranked #38 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
Attended Virgil Junior High School on Virgil Avenue in Los Angeles in the early 1920s. The school exists as Virgil Middle School on Vermont Avenue, one block from the original school today.
Part of her honeymoon with Clark Gable was at the Willows Inn in Palm Springs. The Inn continues to operate to this day and anyone can stay in the same room, called "The Library Suite" today. The room remains largely unaltered since the Gables stayed there more than 60 years ago.
Carol Lynley (born as Carole Jones a month after the actress' death) was named after Lombard.
She was of English and German heritage.
Carole Lombard had a little dachshund named Commissioner that ignored Clark Gable completely. After her death in 1942, the dog would not leave Gable's side.
Just before her relationship with Clark Gable began in earnest, Carole read and loved the book "Gone With the Wind". Excited, she sent a copy of the book to Gable, with a note attached reading "Let's do it!". Gable wrongly assumed she was making a sexual advance to him, and called Carole to organize a date. When he found out Carole wanted to make a film of the book with him as Rhett Butler and herself as Scarlett, he refused, and kept the copy of the book she had given him thereafter in his toilet.
Attended Fairfax High School in Los Angeles. Was elected "May Queen" in 1924. Quit soon thereafter to pursue acting full time. Graduated in 1927.
She was often doubled by her old school friend, Dixie Pantages. Dixie had an even more unusual background than Carole herself did: she was born in extreme poverty, but when her mother died, she was adopted by the wealthy Pantages family so that their own daughter, a childhood playmate of Dixie's, could have a sister. When that happened, her name changed legally from Dixie Nelson to Dixie Pantages as a result of the adoption becoming legal.
Twice turned down opportunities to play a newspaperwoman, in El secreto de vivir (1936) and Luna nueva (1940). The roles brought their respective actresses (Jean Arthur and Rosalind Russell) considerable attention.
According to Garson Kanin, she never had a dressing room when shooting a movie. Instead, she preferred to socialize with the cast and crew members during her breaks.
After her death, the Van Nuys News ran an unusual front page tribute: "Down deep in their hearts, those who had chatted with her over the back fence or across a garden row knew that Carole Lombard wanted more than anything else to be a model housewife and a good neighbor. And she was just that. She was a loveable person, just as much at home in blue denims and ginghams as she was in furs and jewels.".
She was good friends with Gloria Swanson.
Gable and Lombard first met in late 1924 while working as extras on the set of Ben Hur (1925). They would make three films together as extras, Ben-Hur, The Johnstown Flood (1926) and Días de colegial (1925) and star together in Casada por azar (1932), but not become romantically attached until 1936.
Turned down the part of Ellie Andrews in Sucedió una noche (1934). Claudette Colbert was then given the role and won a Best Actress Oscar for her performance.
Profiled in book "Funny Ladies" by Stephen Silverman. 
One of her classmates at drama school was Sally Eilers.
When touring Hearst's Castle, San Simeon, they show you a second floor bedroom where they say Carole Lombard and Clark Gable spent their wedding night. It's a room with a beautiful view and a huge water storage tank rests hidden above it. The water was gravity fed from an adjoining hill to provided water to the Castle.
She did a screen test for Charles Chaplin's La quimera del oro (1925).
Lombard shared her first screen kiss with Buck Jones in Durand of the Bad Lands (1925).
In 1999 the American Film Institute ranked Carole Lombard #23 on their list of 50 Greatest American Female Screen Legends.
Carole Lombard raised over $2 million in war-bonds in one day.
On two different occasions Carole turned down the opportunity to play a newspaper woman. Mr. Deeds Goes Downtown was the first, and His Girl Friday was the second.
Carole was a second generation Bahai and was formally declared in 1938.
Her first movie, A Perfect Crime (1921), is the only film in which Carole was credited as 'Jane Peters'.
Her face was cut badly from an auto accident in 1926. She underwent re constructive surgery without the use of an aesthetic as it was widely believed during that time that aesthetics would worsen scarring.
Mary Astor was her cousin-in-law.
She is credited with the invention of the slang terms "she's so blonde" and "dumb blonde" due in part that she played several blonde haired scatterbrains during the 1930s and mid-1940s.
Carol Lombard was flying on Transcontinental and Western Airlines (TWA) Flight 3 en route from McCarran Field, Las Vegas, Nevada, to Lockheed Air Terminal, Burbank, California, when it crashed about 33.1-miles (53-kilometers) southwest of Las Vegas at 19:20 hours on January 16, 1942. The aircraft collided with an almost vertical rock cliff, near the top of Potosi Mountain in the Spring Mountain Range. The three crew and 19 passengers were all killed. The official accident report states that the crash was caused by "the failure of the captain after departure from Las Vegas to follow the proper course by making use of the navigational facilities available to him."
Personal QuotesI've lived by a man's code designed to fit a man's world, yet at the same time I never forget that a woman's first job is to choose the right shade of lipstick.
"Marvelous girl. Crazy as a bedbug" - Howard Hawks.
[on why she wouldn't work with Orson Welles] "I can't win working with Welles. If the picture's a huge hit, he'll get the credit and, if it's a flop, I'll be blamed".
Bill Powell is the only intelligent actor I've ever met.
Of the concept of God: "I don't seem to get solemn about it, and some people might not understand. That's why I never talk about it. I think it's all here -- in the mountains and the desert. I don't think God is a softie, either. In the end, it's better if people are forced back into -- well -- into being right, before they're too far gone. I think your temple is your everyday living."
I think marriage is dangerous. The idea of two people trying to possess each other is wrong. I don't think the flare of love lasts. Your mind rather than your emotions must answer for the success of matrimony. It must be friendship -- a calm companionship which can last through the years.
I enjoy this country. I like the parks and the highways and the good schools and everything that this government does. After all, every cent anybody pays in taxes is spent to benefit him. I don't need $465,000 a year for myself, so why not give what I don't need to the government for improvements of the country. There's no better place to spend it.
[Her last words to the public before leaving on a fund-raising flight for the war effort, January 15, 1942] Before I say goodbye to you all, come on - join me in a big cheer - 'V for Victory!'
I know it's a sweet deal, but the story stinks... I don't care if it is [the studio's] money, I don't like it.
An at-home costume or hostess gown is absolutely essential for the woman who entertains, and for two reasons. First, this type of costume is extremely flattering, and that does wonders for any woman's poise, and secondly, it eliminates the possibility of appearing overdressed in case a guest shows up in a simple daytime outfit. If a woman has a limited wardrobe, it would be wise to sacrifice a second dinner or evening frock for one hostess gown. She'll soon rate it the most valuable asset in her clothes collection.
|Marriage in Transit (1925)||$75/week|
|Hearts and Spurs (1925)||$25/week|
|The Swim Princess (1928)||$400/week|
|Matchmaking Mamma (1929)||$400/week|
|Fast and Loose (1930)||$350/week|
|Casada por azar (1932)||$1,000/week|
|La comedia de la vida (1934)||$5,000|
|Comenzó en el trópico (1937)||$150,000|
|La reina de Nueva York (1937)||$18,750/week|
|Lazo sagrado (1939)||$150,000|
|Dos mujeres y un amor (1939)||$150,000 + % of gross|
|Noche de angustia (1940)||$150,000 + % of gross|
|Sabían lo que querían (1940)||$150,000|
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