Are actresses goddesses?
Well, at times they may play one, as Honor Blackman did when she portrayed Hera in the 1963 epic "Jason And The Argonauts." (We think of Honor as a swingin' sixties British chick, so it may surprise you to learn that her career began in 1947, and she will turn 84 this August.)
But in the strictest sense of the word, the answer is no. Whether they're on stage, radio or the big or small screen, good actresses certainly command the power to project themselves into another person (real or fictional), and that in itself is a sort of magic. That's as far as it goes, though, and the successful ones know it. If someone had told Carole Lombard she was a goddess, she probably would have reacted with a hearty laugh and, depending upon how well she knew the person, a self-deprecating, possibly salty comment.
However, some apparently disagree with that assessment. In his book "The Great Movie Stars -- The Golden Years," first published in 1970, David Shipman writes:
"Very early on, movie stars became confused with gods and goddesses. As the cinema grew up the concept went completely out of fashion, but there's a strong case to be made for the divinity of Carole Lombard. One is certain that, at Olympian banquets, she's right up there next to Zeus. If she's not (invited), she's probably throwing things."
And in 1965, several years before Shipman's book, we learned that Lombard was indeed a goddess of sorts. That's because she was part of a documentary called "The Love Goddesses" that purports to tell the history of sex appeal in cinema from the silent days to sixties. It did reasonably well at the box office, though it's rarely been revived.
Yes, Lombard was featured -- but, truth be told, this Olympian "club" wasn't all that exclusive; the film included archive footage from nearly four dozen actresses, including several who were still alive in 1965 (Lombard films featured were "No Man Of Her Own" and "Now And Forever"). But how many of the "goddesses" got their own lobby card to help promote the film?
The card is from the British release of the movie; it was distributed by Paramount in the UK, so an old Paramount publicity still was dusted off and used.
This lobby card is being auctioned at eBay; you've got just over a day to bid on it, as the auction closes just after 4 p.m. (Eastern) Thursday. As of this writing, one bid has been made at $9.99. If interested, go to http://cgi.ebay.com/Vint-CAROLE-LOMBARD-THE-LOVE-GODDESSES-UK-Lobby-Card_W0QQitemZ310152804391QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item48368c3827&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=65%3A1%7C66%3A2%7C39%3A1%7C293%3A1%7C294%3A50.
While that's a nice photo of Carole, here are some I might have chosen, since to me, they more clearly reflect the "goddess" ideal: