November 5th, 2011

carole lombard 06
  • vp19

Getting plenty of (Photo)play

By 1935, Carole Lombard's stature as a star was growing and growing, something confirmed by her increasing visibility in the film industry's top fan magazine, Photoplay. That cover is from that November's issue, but to give you an idea of how pervasive her presence was becoming, let's go back to the March issue. She wasn't on the cover that month -- the honor belonged to Loretta Young (who had first been a Photoplay cover subject in November 1930, when she was only 17!):

Nevertheless, Lombard was all over the issue; she was mentioned in at least a dozen different places, even if there wasn't a specific print article about her. Perhaps the most interesting was this three-page fashion spread, which may be in black and white, but does describe the colors used:

Carole was also featured in a beauty tips column regarding how milady should prepare if invited to a dance:

"Carole Lombard's method is to fill her tub with pleasantly warm, not hot, water, add bath salts or one of those scented bath lotions that make your water as soft as milk and leave a clinging fragrance on the skin. While Carole is relaxing in this tub, she cleanses, stimulates, and refreshes her face. She has one of those convenient little shelves that slide across the tub, and on this rest her creams and lotions. Thus, two jobs are done at one time, and when Carole emerges she is ready for the more fascinating business of hair, make-up, and so on."

Above is a recent photo of the bath in the Hollywood Boulevard house Lombard called home at the time, but that shelf is nowhere in sight.

A seer makes some predictions about the stars, and stated Carole "has the biggest future of any girl in pictures," though she didn't elaborate. Check the article and see what her batting average turned out to be.

Lombard was even featured in a pair of ads, one for Talon zippers, the other for Old Gold cigarettes:

For someone as acutely aware of the value of publicity as Lombard, keeping in the public eye in a positive sense was of immense benefit to her career. And it paid off that year, as her home studio of Paramount, finally comprehending her talent and how to best use it, began creating film vehicles designed with her in mind, beginning that fall with "Hands Across The Table."
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