Aside from the San Fernando Valley house she shared with Clark Gable and her Indiana birthplace, now a bed and breakfast, Lombard's best-known home was probably this one on Hollywood Boulevard:
That's Carole standing in front of the house in April 1934, not long after she moved in. This is where she gained a reputation as a top Hollywood partygiver, and only her ensuing romance with Clark Gable -- a delicate situation that required her to find a place with a bit more privacy -- drove her to seek another residence. Here's what the backyard looked like, complete with swimming pool:
But -- surprise! -- that's not the Lombard house that's the theme of today's entry. Fooled you, didn't I? Instead, we're turning the clock back four years before that, to 1930. (And speaking of "turning the clock back," a reminder to most of you in the U.S. to set your clocks back an hour tonight for the resumption of Standard Time.)
We've previously discussed Lombard's 1930 U.S. Census records, and how she listed her first name as "Carole" that April, even though legend has it she didn't add the "e" to her first name until the release of "Fast And Loose" later that year (http://community.livejournal.com/carole_and_co/81610.html). We also noted that she lived with her mother and two older brothers on 138 North Wilton Place in Los Angeles. Well, the news today is that we now have a current photograph of the address, and it appears to be the same house that would have stood there in 1930:
(This photo was taken a month ago, and evidently the house was recently painted. A Google map photograph of the address shows the house color as beige.)
Some more from Census figures: Monthly rent was $100, and the Peters household owned a radio. This information is courtesy of Allan R. Ellenberger's book, "Celebrities in the 1930 Census" (McFarland & Co., Inc., 2008). This directory provides an extensive listing of household information collected for over 2,265 famous or notorious individuals who were alive during the 1930 United States Census. (Ellenberger has a blog on Hollywood history, "Hollywoodland," that I wholeheartedly recommend at http://blog.allanellenberger.com/. He's also currently working on a biography of Miriam Hopkins, a star whose career path frequently intersected with Lombard's.)
I don't know about you, but seeing that picket fence (which may or may not have been part of the house in 1930) conjures up visions of this, from "Nothing Sacred":
Guess that job at the radium factory didn't provide Hazel Flagg enough money to paint, or maintain, the fence.