I chose a quote by director, Howard Hawks as the title of this post because it describes, to me, why so many of us love Carole Lombard without ever having met her. Born Jane Allen Peters she was born on this day in 1908.
Carole was one of the classic stars I would have most like to meet, spend time with. Her laid-back attitude, sense of humor, likability came across clearly on the silver screen, well beyond her talent as an actress and comedienne, which was impressive.
According to Garson Kanin, Carole never had a dressing room when shooting a movie. Instead, she preferred to socialize with the cast and crew members during her breaks. A beauty…
…who seemed to never take herself too seriously, she remains to this day one of the best comedic actresses the silver screen has ever seen.
Desi Arnaz On Carole Lombard:
“Carole had a quality which is rare. You can count the women who have had it on the fingers of one hand. Carole, while doing the wild antics of a clown…could make you laugh, and yet at the same time make you want to go to bed with her.”
Film Director Mitchell Leisen On Carole Lombard:
“We called her The Profane Angel because she looked like an angel but she swore like a sailor. She was the only woman I ever knew who could tell a dirty story without losing her femininity.”
Barbara Stanwyck on Carole Lombard:
“She was so alive, modern, frank, and natural that she stands out like a beacon on a lightship in this odd place called Hollywood.
William Wellman on Carole Lombard:
“She was the greatest star in the world. . .the greatest actress. . .she could do anything.”
David Shipman on Carole Lombard:
“There is a strong case to be made for the divinity of Carole Lombard. One is certain that at Olympian banquets, she’s right up there next to Zeus.”
And then there’s the legendary love affair and marriage to Clark Gable…Hollywood royalty…a golden couple…
Beyond the beauty, comedy and romance, there was a hell of a lot of substance to Carole Lombard.
“I live 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.”
Gone far too soon, she is remembered for what she left us and still missed for the rich legacy that could have made us all richer still…
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. Roosevelt greatly admired her work for the war effort, and ironically she was returning from an engagement selling War Bonds when her plane crashed. After her death the President said…
“She brought great joy to all who knew her and to millions who knew her only as a great artist. She gave unselfishly of time and talent to serve her government in peace and war. She loved her country. She is and always will be a star, one we shall never forget, nor cease to be grateful to.”
[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!’”
An original is every sense was Carole Lombard.