Carole Lombard October 6, 1908 – January 16, 1942 was an American actress. She was particularly noted for her comedic roles in several classic films of the 1930s, most notably in the 1936 film My Man Godfrey. She is listed as one of the American Film Institute's greatest stars of all time and was the highest-paid star in Hollywood in the late 1930s, earning around US$500,000 per year (more than five times the salary of the US President). Lombard's career was cut short when she died at the age of 33 in the crash of TWA Flight 3.
* 1 Ancestry and early life
* 2 Career
* 3 Personal life
* 4 Death
* 5 Awards and honors
* 6 Portrayals
* 7 Filmography
o 7.1 Features
o 7.2 Short subjects
* 8 References
* 9 External links
Ancestry and early life
Lombard was born Jane Alice Peters in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Her parents were Frederick C. Peters (1875–1935) and Elizabeth Knight (1877-January 16, 1942). Her paternal grandfather, John Claus Peters, was the son of German immigrants, Claus Peters and Caroline Catherine Eberlin. On her mother's side, she was a descendant of Thomas Hastings who came from the East Anglia region of England to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1634.Lombard was the youngest of three children, having two older brothers, Fred C. Peters Jr. and Stuart Peters. She spent her early childhood in a sprawling, two-story house at 704 Rockhill Street in Fort Wayne, near the St. Mary's River. Her father had been injured during a work related accident and was left with constant headaches which caused him to burst out in paroxysms of anger which disturbed the family. Lombard's parents divorced and her mother took the three children to Los Angeles in 1914, where Lombard attended Virgil Jr. High School and then Fairfax High School. She was elected "May Queen" in 1924. She quit school to pursue acting full-time, but received her GED from Fairfax in 1927 Lombard was a second generation Bahá'í who formally enrolled in 1938.
In My Man Godfrey (1936).
Lombard made her film debut at the age of twelve after she was seen playing baseball in the street by director Allan Dwan; he cast her as a tomboy in A Perfect Crime (1921). In the 1920s, she worked in several low-budget productions credited as 'Jane Peters', and then later as 'Carol Lombard'. Her friend Miriam Cooper helped Lombard land small roles in her husband Raoul Walsh's films. In 1925, she was signed as a contract player with Fox Film Corporation (which merged with Daryl Zanuck's Twentieth Century Productions in 1935). She also worked for Mack Sennett and Pathé Pictures. She became a well-known actress and made a smooth transition to sound films, starting with High Voltage (1929). In 1930, she won a contract with Paramount Pictures after having been dropped from both Twentieth Century and Pathé.
Lombard achieved a few minor successes in the early 1930s in 1930's Safety in Numbers with Charles "Buddy" Rogers and 1932's No Man of Her Own with Clark Gable, but she was continuously cast in second-rate films. It was not until 1934 that her career began to take off. That year, director Howard Hawks encountered Lombard at a party and became enamored with her saucy personality, thinking her just right for his latest project. He hired her for Twentieth Century, alongside stage legend John Barrymore. Lombard was at first intimidated by Barrymore, but the two quickly developed a good working rapport. The film bolstered Lombard's reputation immensely and brought her a level of fame that her previously lackluster career had eschewed her from.
with Fred MacMurray in Swing High, Swing Low (1937)
Also in 1934, she starred in Bolero with George Raft and it was for this film that she turned down the role of Ellie Andrews in It Happened One Night. In 1935 she starred in Mitchell Leisen's Hands Across the Table which helped to establish her reputation as a top comedy actress. 1936 proved to be a big year for Lombard with her casting in the screwball comedy My Man Godfrey alongside ex-husband William Powell. Her performance earned Lombard an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. It was followed by Nothing Sacred in 1937, casting her opposite Fredric March and under the direction of William A. Wellman. It was Lombard's only film in Technicolor and was regarded a critical and commercial smash. Nothing Sacred put Lombard at the top of the Hollywood tier and established her one of the highest paid actresses in the business.
In Vigil in the Night (1940).
In 1938, Lombard suffered a flop with Fools for Scandal and moved on to dramatic films for the next few years. In 1939, Lombard took roles opposite James Stewart in producer David O. Selznick's Made for Each Other (1939) and Cary Grant in In Name Only (1939). She also starred in the dramatic Vigil in the Night in 1940.
Audiences did not respond as well to Lombard in dramatic roles and she made a return to comedy, teaming with director Alfred Hitchcock in Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941). The film gave Lombard's career a much needed boost and she followed her success with what proved to be her last film, and one of her most successful, To Be or Not to Be (1942).