vp19 (vp19) wrote in carole_and_co,

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Saluting her 112th

What can I say today, Oct. 6 -- the anniversary of Carole Lombard's birth -- that I haven't said before? This marks the 14th time Carole's birthday has come up since this site began in June 2007, and even when my life was at its lowest in 2016 (I spent much of the year on Skid Row in Los Angeles after losing my money and belongings), I always made sure to celebrate. That's how much she's changed my life...a weird way to describe someone who died more than 13 1/2 years before I was born.

But it's true. Carole Lombard has inspired me for more than 34 years -- a longer span than fate would allow her on earth. Not that Lombard is a candidate for sainthood; she was as mortal as you or I, with weaknesses and foibles. But the way she lived her life, the tenacity she showed to bounce back from a potentially scarring injury (literally and figuratively), the generosity she showed others, and her professionalism and genius in a field of work she genuinely loved made Carole one of the entertainment industry's most beloved personalities, and the Hollywood community felt that way about her well before that tragic day of Jan. 16, 1942.

I often use the term "pure goddess" to describe Lombard for her luminosity and sheer ethereal beauty. Yet she never took herself or her looks all that seriously. In my humble opinion, that only enhanced her allure. As a comedic actress, Carole influenced generations of successors; Goldie Hawn, Teri Garr and Anna Faris all continue the Lombard tradition of funny and feminine (and those are among only the blondes!). Lucille Ball, a pal of Carole's at RKO, learned from her about both comedy and business and built an empire in a medium Lombard never had the chance to explore.

When a star has been gone for nearly eight decades, some fading from the public consciousness is inevitable. Thankfully for Carole, such erosion has been minimal -- in fact, books about her from fine authors such as Michelle Morgan and Olympia Kiriakou have only boosted her appeal. (Has this site helped? A little bit, I guess.) To see Lombard lionized and loved at sites on Facebook and Twitter -- with people who share my affection for her -- is rather reassuring, as I know that once I leave this mortal coil, her legacy will go on with people who cherish Carole as much as I do. (Incidentally, I still hope to write a Lombard book, though the coronavirus pandemic has affected the British publisher which showed interest earlier this year.)

Happy 112th birthday, Carole, from a world that will always love you.

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