vp19 (vp19) wrote in carole_and_co,

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Second in command

Carole Lombard would have been the first to tell you that plenty of people had a hand in shaping her glamorous image -- and among those members of "team Lombard" were the studio portrait photographers. By the end of the 1920s, when talking pictures quickly made silent movies yesterday's news, all the principal studios took their portrait work in-house. It's been said they defined each studio's style as much as any cinematographer.

At Paramount, Lombard's home base from 1930 to 1937, Eugene Robert Richee headed the stills department -- but the work there was so vast, both in terms of films and players, that a number-two man was needed. This job went to a man named William Walling Jr.

Not much is known about Walling, not even his birth and death dates. He worked with many of Paramount's stars, notably the younger ones such as Ida Lupino. And while Richee did the bulk of Carole's Paramount sessions -- particularly after Otto Dyar left for Fox in 1933 -- Walling got his chance for sessions with Lombard and some of the studio's other top-shelf stars, such as a few of Marlene Dietrich's films. For example, it was Walling who accompanied Carole to an airport and took some shots of her near a plane...photos that would have a sad irony some years later.

Walling also took this portrait of Lombard -- and on the back of this print, it makes its origins clear:

The photograph is 10" x 13", in sepia (here, it's been converted to greyscale for clarity), and in reasonably good shape save for some creases on two corners.

Would you like it for your collection? Then be prepared to pay triple digits. Two bids have been made as of this writing, with the top bid an even $100. Bidding closes just after 10 p.m. (Eastern) tonight. For more information, or to place a bid, go to http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-Photograph-of-Carole-Lombard_W0QQitemZ330394308633QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item4ced091019

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