Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Women We Love: Carole Lombard

Object of our affection: Carole Lombard, actress.

- One of the Queens of the Golden Age of Hollywood, she ironically made her film debut as a tomboy in the 1921 silent A Perfect Crime. She also had an uncredited bit role in the original Ben-Hur.

- With High Voltage, she made a smooth transition into talkies and became a popular star in her on right. Her big break came when Howard Hawks (her second cousin) cast her opposite John Barrymore in Twentieth Century, proving she could act with the best of them.

- She received her one and only Academy Award nomination for the classic screwball comedy My Man Godfrey, opposite her then ex-husband William Powell. Another beloved romantic comedy, Nothing Sacred, followed. It was her only film made in Technicolor.

- After unsuccessfully campaigning for the role of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind (which starred her new husband, Clark Gable; the two had met while filming No Man of Her Own), she starred in Mr. & Mrs. Smith (Alfred Hitchcock's one foray into outright comedy) and, in what would tragically be her last film, Ernst Lubitsch's To Be or Not To Be. While returning to California following a war bond rally in 1942, the plane she and her mother were traveling in crashed outside of Las Vegas; there were no survivors.

- In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked her 23rd on their list of the 25 greatest American female screen legends. To this day, she continues to dazzle movie fans of all ages, and she will be honored as this month's "Star of the Month" on Turner Classic Movies. Eighteen of her movies will be screened every Monday in October, including the titles in bold above.

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