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A book details the mysterious life of a Lombard tennis pal



Carole Lombard lived for less than one-third of a century, but the people she not only met, but influenced over that brief span are remarkable. One of them has been profiled in a biography published this spring, a book that not only celebrates, but re-evaluates her life.

Tennis champion Alice Marble -- U.S. Open singles champion four straight years, Wimbledon winner in 1939 -- is the subject of "The Divine Miss Marble" by Robert Weintraub.



Marble (1913-1990), whom Lombard befriended in the mid-1930s when her tennis career was beginning, is a fascinating character, a pioneering female athlete who also sang, wrote, designed fashions and helped black tennis star Althea Gibson break the sport's color line. Marble taught future champion Billy Jean King and female astronaut Sally Ride.

However, according to Weintraub, much of what we think we know about Marble doesn't pass scrutiny, leaving her legacy similar to another Lombard friend...



...Orson Welles, whose later propensity for stretching the truth raised eyebrows in a book published many years after his death (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/610122.html).

Marble's fibbing apparently comprised a major part of her autobiography "Courting Danger," where she claims to have pursued Nazis on a secret mission while in neutral Switzerland during World War II. Trouble is, reports show she was in multiple U.S. cities while the war was going on. Moreover, two men she claimed to have affairs with (one of which she was said to have married) never existed.

Marble's friends in the sport included King's fabled "battle of the sexes" rival in 1973, tennis hustler Bobby Riggs, shown at the Wimbledon Ball in summer 1939:



It turns out during the war, Marble was stateside, assisting a now-iconic comic book about a pioneering superheroine:



Marble wrote for its "Wonder Women Of History" segment, which profiled notable women from Florence Nightingale to anti-slavery icon Sojourner Truth.



The 512-page book will be released next Tuesday; see a preview at https://www.google.com/books/edition/The_Divine_Miss_Marble/iODrDwAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&printsec=frontcover.

Our sixth star in the 20-day list had yesterday's honoree, Robert Montgomery, as her leading man in her final feature, "Ever Since Eve," with more career success than she often gets credit for. One of Hollywood's most generous and popular women, the "sweetheart of San Simeon," Marion Davies.

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