Long before Jane Fonda became an exercise guru or leg warmers became a fashion statement, Carole Lombard stood tall when it came to physical culture. A natural (and talented) athlete since childhood, she kept herself in shape through an array of activities -- most notably tennis, but also swimming, horseback riding and other endeavors.
It's thus understandable why Lombard was asked to pose for a few workout photos, probably about 1930 or so. And she took to it as if she were back in phys ed class at Fairfax High School. Take a look:
Stretch! (Jack LaLanne, who got his start at Muscle Beach in the early 1930s, would no doubt approve.) Thanks to Tally for working on these.
Would you like to own these photos, and let Lombard give you some inspiration for your exercise regimen? The good news is, you can. Each of them can be purchased (as a professional photographic reprint) for #15.99 apiece. For the top photo, go to http://cgi.ebay.com/CAROLE-LOMBARD-LEGGY-EXERCISING-ART-DECO-8X10-PHOTO-B-/400148533206?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5d2ab60fd6; for the one on the bottom, visit http://cgi.ebay.com/CAROLE-LOMBARD-LEGGY-EXERCISING-ART-DECO-8X10-PHOTO-/400148533230?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5d2ab60fee.
The seller also has the bottom photo in its original linenbacked form, but that will cost you at least $49.99 for a minimum bid, with bidding closing at 9:55 p.m. (Eastern) on Tuesday. It's at http://cgi.ebay.com/CAROLE-LOMBARD-LEGGY-LINEN-BACK-Original-8X10-Photo-/150509133117?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item230b0b1d3d.
To close, how about some workout music...specifically, the great "Baby Workout" by Jackie Wilson? The song was a top five hit in the spring of 1963, and here's Wilson doing it on ABC's "Shindig" in late 1964 (live, not lip-synched). It's the close of the show, so you'll see the closing credits about halfway through, and the list of performers on that episode ranged from the Righteous Brothers to "Willy" (sic) Nelson. (Two acts who would find more success later in the '60s also appeared -- the Chambers Brothers and Bobby Sherman.) Enjoy a few minutes of sixties soul.