Screwball Tragedy: Carole Lombard

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Overview: Carole Lombard was an actress best known for parts in screwball comedies. She was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana on October 6th, 1908 as Jane Alice Peters. Her family moved to Los Angeles, California after her parents’ divorce. At a young age, she decided to pursue an acting career in the movies. She fulfilled her goal and even became the highest paid actress in Hollywood in 1937. In 1939, she married the actor voted the “King of Hollywood,” Clark Gable. Carole Lombard, along with her mother, press agent, and nineteen army personnel, died on January 16, 1942 when their plane crashed into Mt. Potosi in Nevada. She had just completed a tour raising money for the war effort.
Carole Lombard, born on October 6th, 1908 as Jane
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Sennett didn’t think audiences would notice Carole’s scar when she was performing pratfalls and other forms of physical comedy, so he took her on. After working with Sennett for a year and a half, Carole was contracted by Paramount Pictures in 1930. Around that time, she met actor William Powell, and the two were married in 1931. They divorced two years later, but remained friends. It was during their brief marriage that Carole first met actor Clark Gable. They co-starred in the drama No Man of Her Own, but there was very little chemistry between them off set. In fact, at a party for the cast and crew, Carole presented Clark with a ham with his picture on it, insinuating that he was an over-dramatic actor. Carole then met and fell in love with the Italian singer Russ Columbo, but their romance was cut short was he was killed by a friend’s gun that was accidentally set off. Her grief motivated her to focus more on her work than…show more content…
The zany comedies Twentieth Century and My Man Godfrey (which co-starred her ex-husband William Powell) earned Carole the nickname “the queen of screwball.” In 1937, she became the highest-paid woman in Hollywood. Carole’s personal life underwent great change during this period, too. She and Clark Gable met again and this time hit it off. The couple married in a simple ceremony on March 29, 1939. Carole and Clark called each other “Ma” and “Pa” and preferred to live a life away from the hustle and bustle of Hollywood. They lived, instead, on a ranch in Encino, California where they could hunt, raise livestock, and ride horses. The main source of conflict between the newlyweds was Clark’s wandering eye. At the start of the 1940s, Carole returned to comedies after a string of dramas that were not enthusiastically received by fans. After working on Alfred Hitchcock’s only comedy, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Carole played alongside Jack Benny in Ernst Lubitsch’s To Be or Not to Be. The movie, also a comedy, centered around an acting troupe in Poland that brings down a Nazi
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