vp19 (vp19) wrote in carole_and_co,

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Carole in the comics

The public's interest in Hollywood during the Golden Age was so pervasive that material on the topic could be found just about anywhere -- even the Sunday comics.

For years, many papers ran a feature called "Seein' Stars," which could best be described as a Hollywood version of Ripley's "Believe It Or Not!" The format was similar -- a large panel with several drawings of film personalities, usually stars but sometimes directors, accompanied by an interesting tidbit about them.

The creator of "Seein' Stars" was a man named Frederic "Feg" Murray, who was from the Bay Area, graduated from Stanford and won a bronze medal in the hurdles at the 1920 Olympics. In 1934, he began "Seein' Stars," which initially ran on Sunday entertainment pages, but soon found its way onto the comics section in full color. The feature became so popular that for a time, Murray hosted a "Seein' Stars" variety show on NBC radio.

As you might guess, Carole Lombard was a subject of "Seein' Stars." Here she is, featured on April 5, 1936:

Lombard is lovingly rendered from one of her swimsuit stills, with this below the illustration:

According to Orry-Kelly, style designer at Warner Brothers-First National Studios, has the most perfect figure of any film star. She keeps in shape with tennis twice a week.

What's especially fascinating about that comment is that I'm pretty certain Orry-Kelly never worked with Lombard, so it wasn't as if he was being sycophantic or touting the studio line. (Despite his praise, when Carole made her lone film at Warners, "Fools For Scandal" in 1938, she had her gowns designed by old Paramount pal Travis Banton.)

Note that Ethel Merman, who worked with Lombard in "We're Not Dressing," is also featured. At the time, she was still trying for screen stardom, but after 1938 she would return to Broadway and not make another film for 15 years.

Lombard appeared at least one other time in "Seein' Stars" during her lifetime, on Aug. 20, 1939, although Murray simply reused the 1936 drawing and made it full color:

The 1936 panel (10 3/4" x 15 1/4", designed for a tabloid page, whereas the '39 panel was shaped for a broadsheet) is currently being auctioned at eBay. Bidding begins at $9.99, although as of this writing no one has yet bid, and ends just before 1 a.m. (Eastern) on Tuesday. To bid or learn more about the item, go to http://cgi.ebay.com/1936-CAROLE-LOMBARD-SEEING-STARS-SUNDAY-COMIC-TAB_W0QQitemZ330385610039QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item4cec845537..

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