February 24th, 2011

carole lombard 04
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A blogathon for Harlow's 100th

It seems likely that for several years, when March 3 rolled around, Carole Lombard sent a card -- or made a phone call -- to wish Jean Harlow a happy birthday. They were good friends, simpatico in so many ways: as skilled comedic actresses, sex symbols of a sort, people who were genuinely beloved by studio subordinates for reasons that extended far beyond their considerable physical beauty. Plus they had the same men play major roles in their lives -- William Powell (romantically for both) and Clark Gable (romance for one, a close friendship for the other).

In that spirit, we are delighted to announce that, with the centenary of Jean's birth coming up a week from today, a blogathon in her honor has been created:

It's being organized by a fine site, the Kitty Packard Pictorial (http://kittypackard.wordpress.com/). What's it about? Let its creator explain:

The Kitty Packard Pictorial is the lovechild of an LA gal suffering from an apparent glitch in the Space-Time Continuum. (Not that I don’t love our iPods and Crackberry’s … but freshly pressed 78s and coded telegrams are much more fun.)

The Pictorial was created as a very necessary means of self-expression, as well as to provide a platform through which we could fuse past with present—looking at the world each day through Black and White (and Technicolor!) glasses. The aim is to create a sense of then in our everyday nows through movies, photos, music, essays, news articles, books, art and anything else that happens to strike my fanciful whim. (what are blogs for, after all, if not to indulge one’s fanciful whims!)

Those whims are wonderful, by the way. And "Kitty Packard"? I think most of you should get the allusion...and why this site is administering this blogathon.

And in the best tradition of friendship, "Carole & Co." is proud to announce it will be among the participants in this blogathon. I had a delightful time taking part in the recent CMBA Alfred Hitchcock blogathon, and this should be equally as satisfying.

So in honor of Harlow's 100th, a few photos of "the Baby" in advertising of the day. (All three are from the early 1930s, essentially her pre-MGM days.) Here's "Howard Hughes star" Harlow for Coca-Cola:

Jean in 1931, pitching Luckies:

In 1932, Harlow was seen in magazines such as Photoplay endorsing something called the "Vita-Tonic Wave":

Heck, Jean spent much of her time at beauty salons:

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