“Carole Lombard – The Tempo of the 20th Century” (Broadway and Hollywood Movies, June 1934)

By: Maurice Turet

As modern as the name of her newest picture, that’s Carole Lombard, lissome young actress who has been cast opposite John Barrymore in Columbia’s Twentieth Century. Her part of Lily Garland is regarded as the acting plum of the year. And Carole is as thrilled as she was when she played her first starring role…not many years ago.

Carole was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on October 6, 1908. Her parents, who are of Scotch and English descent, were rather well-to-do at the time. When Carole was seven, she moved with her parents to Los Angeles, where she attended the public schools, the Los Angeles High School, and then a year or two at the exclusive Marlborough School for Girls. Throughout her school career, she was solely interested in amateur dramatics and appeared in many high school plays.

When Carole was fifteen, she joined the Potboilers, a prominent Little Theatre in Los Angeles, where she appeared in a number of plays including Eugene O’Neill’s “Hairy Ape” and “Within the Law.”

A year later, she took a screen test; and much to her surprise, she clicked handsomely and was immediately awarded the coveted role opposite Edmund Lowe in Marriage in Transit.

Carole’s family were amused by her ambition. They had expected her to finish her education, make her debut in time-honored fashion and marry the scion of a socially prominent family. But Carole had other plans. And her family was wise enough to let Carole have her way, for she was after all quite young and there was time enough for everything.

That first leading role convinced the attractive girl, whose hair has since been likened to ripened corn, that there was a future for her on the screen.

She was offered leading roles in Western pictures and appeared twice as Buck Jones’ leading lady and as Tom Mix’s heroine on another occasion. Riding bucking broncos proved no hardship for her, as she had learned to ride before she could run. But somehow Western pictures didn’t seem to offer much acting opportunities so when she was given a long-term contract by Mack Sennett, she readily accepted it, despite the fact that she wasn’t particularly fond of custard pies or plaster baths. But she knew that Sennett had developed many a dramatic actress, including Gloria Swanson, Marie Prevost, and Sally Eilers.

And Carole was right, for the training proved exceedingly helpful. Besides, featured in a series of comedies with Sally Eilers she was brought to the attention of Paul Stein, the director who was looking for a leading lady to play in Show Folks. Which resulted in another long-term contract, but this time with Pathé, so creditably did she acquit herself in her first talkie venture.

It was about this time that she added an “e” to her first name, a sign of luck. And it sure did turn out to be a lucky stroke, for Paramount soon became interested in her and signed her up to play opposite Buddy Rogers. And one picture was all she needed to prove her real, innate capabilities. Since then she had mounted the glittering ladder, climaxing it with her latest Columbia role in Twentieth Century.

The four or five years during which time Miss Lombard had been prominent on the screen have changed her considerably. Always attractive, she had acquired a poise and polish, a finesse in acting technique, to add nothing of the reputation of being one of the most smartly-groomed Hollywood luminaries. She can wear gowns that hint of the bizarre and show off her supple figure to perfect advantage.

Miss Lombard was married, almost three years ago, to William Powell, suave and debonair screen actor. At that time Hollywood was amazed at the union, for not only was Powell fifteen years older than his bride; but he was sophisticated in every sense of the word, most decidedly a man of the world. While Carole, at twenty-two, was a glamorous young woman on the threshold of a career, pulsating with life and seeking romance and adventure.

But the two were married and all Hollywood was charmed that their prediction had gone astray…until two years later when Carole flew to Reno to obtain a divorce. Today, her most ardent escoris her ex-husband. And they are as fond of each other today as they were in the halcyon days of their courtship, for they have discovered, as many Hollywood artists do, that two careers are not compatible in one cottage.

White is Carole’s favorite color, but she also likes green and yellow. She rarely wears the same formal gown more than two or three times before giving it away to someone who needs it. She wears her sport clothes, however, until they fall apart.

She weighs 110 pounds and is five feet four inches. She guards her complexion by keeping it thoroughly clean…using soap and water every other day and a good cleaning creams in between. Her hair is shampooed very often, usually twice a week, and she uses hot oil applications to keep the hair from becoming unnaturally dry.

Miss Lombard’s favorite sports are swimming, tennis, horseback riding, skiing and pingpong. She likes to read, especially biographies and books on psychology. Emil Ludwig, by the way, is her favorite author; and she is very fond of Donn Brynne and Gene Fowler. Incredible as it may sound, she revels in poetry; and her musical tastes vary with her moods.

Helen Hayes and Greta Garbo are her favorite actresses…attends motion pictures regularly…considers herself a red hot fan…likes to cook and has no preference regarding food but rarely eats between meals…She has never gone abroad but went to Hawaii on her honeymoon…She has two dogs, a dachshund named Brownie and an Alaskan husky who answers to Bosco…she confesses to no economies and changes her perfume frequently…she likes being asked for her autograph and enjoys sitting for photographers…and Carole doesn’t diet, for if she did, she’d melt away! So, she’ll tell you…