June 7th, 2009

carole lombard 07
  • vp19

Separately, icons; together, a goldmine?

Each possessed incredible beauty, but while both seemed ethereal, each were down to earth and liked by just about everyone in the business.

Both had rough beginnings on screen, but honed their skills and eventually became renowned actresses, particularly in comedies.

Each had ties to one of filmdom's most revered actors and gentlemen. One discovered that friendship with him was both stronger and more successful than marriage; the other loved him deeply, but we will never know how their romance would have turned out.

Technicians and crew members vied to work on their films -- not just because they were nice to look at, but because they were nice to be with.

Both wre popular with many segments of the moviegoing audience, which back then was just about everybody.

They occasionally socialized with each other as part of a friendship.

Both helped define a very special era in American movies.

And neither lived for even one-third of a century.

We are, of course, speaking of Carole Lombard and Jean Harlow, the latter of whom died 72 years ago today. She was only 26.

And one more thing about them -- in 1931, it was reported that Harlow and Lombard would make a film together (http://community.livejournal.com/carole_and_co/12097.html), although both would have been in supporting roles.

So Carole and Jean had a lot in common, personally and professionally. They liked each other and socialized every now and then. Which leads not one fandom, but two, into asking this question:

Where is a photo of Carole Lombard and Jean Harlow, together?

Jean's not the only star Carole's never been photographed with (ever seen a picture of Lombard with Barbara Stanwyck? Neither have I), but both were so popular, so beloved, and had a marvelous way in front of a camera that it seems inexplicable that they were never photographed together.

The most likely opportunity for a Harlow-Lombard photo probably came in early 1937, when Lombard was up for a best actress Academy Award (which of course she didn't win). It just so happened that they were seated at the same table. (Also remember that in those days, the Oscar ceremonies were not televised, and there was no "red carpet." The event was held at a large hotel ballroom.) Were any pictures taken? If so, none have surfaced, whether they be stills from photographers or frames from newsreels.

I will add this, however: Anyone in possession of a photo of Jean Harlow and Carole Lombard has something very valuable, a photo that would generate at least five figures from an auction house if in good condition. If it's in mint or near-mint shape, make it six figures.

For now, let's remember Jean Harlow as a beloved, classy lady, just as Lombard and Clark Gable did when attending her funeral:

  • Current Mood
    sad sad