Though her career was cut short due to a plane crash in 1942, Carole Lombard would leave her mark on the world of cinema. Starting out in the silent era, Lombard would do her best work in as a comedy actress. She would thrive in the zany rapid fire dialogue of the “Screwball Comedies” of the era.
She was born in Fort Wayne, In in October 6, 1908. Her birth name was Jane Alice Peters. Her mother, who would steer her towards the burgeoning movie industry, would raise her by herself in Los Angeles. Lombard’s break would come at the age of 12 when she was discovered by film director Allan Dwan.
Lombard would make her way to the silver screen via the Mack Sennett Bathing Beauties where she was used in comedy shorts. After an appearance in the 1930 film The Arizona Kid, Paramount Pictures would offer the immensely talented Lombard a film contract. There, Lombard would become a force in Hollywood.
In early 1930, Lombard would meet and fall in love with dashing leading man William Powell. Though they would only be married for a single year, Lombard and Powell would form such a dynamic chemistry that they would use in the 1936 classic film My Man Godfrey.
Lombard would make several classic films in her brief career. She had an ease and aura that transcended the decades. Her performances are as real now as the were some near 80-plus years ago. She owned the screen, not only because of her beauty, for she was gorgeous, but her personality as well.
Upon hearing of her death, Franklin Roosevelt had this to say about Lombard –
“Carole Lombard 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.” -Franklin D. Roosevelt