vp19 (vp19) wrote in carole_and_co,

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A cottage for sale, er, rent

It's probably Carole Lombard's most famous residence, at least among those solely connected to her. And apparently now you can call it home, too...provided you're willing to pay rent that, for a month, may be more than the rent many of us pay for a year.

This house, on 7953 Hollywood Boulevard, was recently put on Craigslist, for a monthly rent of $5,800 (if only I'd won MegaMillions or Powerball!). It's not listed there anymore, so perhaps the seller found a willing renter. What will that person get?

* Four bedrooms.
* Three baths.
* Fireplaces.
* Wood floors.
* And basking in the aura of a legend during a remarkable era in her life.

(Thanks to the Classic Movies blog -- http://classicmovieblog.blogspot.com/ -- for the information.)

Lombard moved into this house (which she, too, apparently rented) in April 1934, some months after her divorce from William Powell and while she was seeing Russ Columbo. After his unexpected death that September, she had a romance with screenwriter Robert Riskin, but his reluctance to have children doomed any possible marriage. In early 1936, she began seeing Clark Gable, but the location of her house, at the western end of a heavily traveled thoroughfare, made it impossible for them to maintain a discreet relationship. So in the spring of 1936, Carole moved into a more secluded home in Beverly Hills.

During her two years on Hollywood Boulevard, Lombard developed a reputation as the film industry's most imaginative party giver, many of them given in that home. Professionally, she finally emerged as a top-tier star thanks to hits such as "Twentieth Century" and "Hands Across The Table."

The house's interior was designed by former MGM star turned decorator William Haines; apparently none of his furniture remains inside. Here are some photos of the interior -- compare and contrast, then and now (and note the portraits of Carole atop the fireplace!):

Now, some more photos of the house as it looks today:

What a showplace. (Several other entertainment notables also called this home, including character actor Max Showalter and British pop-rock star Morrissey.) One can only guess what it must be like to live there, with Lombard's spirit hovering over the place. (It reminds me of a short-lived '80s sitcom called "Jennifer Slept Here," where Ann Jillian played the ghost of a fun-loving movie star whose mansion is inhabited by a family, though she only made her presence known to their teenage son.)

To close, I thought I'd play the song whose title is noted in the subject line, "A Cottage For Sale." Written by Willard Robison and Larry Conley in 1929, more than 100 versions have been recorded, including Frank Sinatra, Billy Eckstine, Nat "King" Cole, Ruth Etting and Julie London; heck, even Little Willie John, Ivory Joe Hunter and Chuck Berry have tried their hand at it. Here it is when it was new, in 1930, recorded by British star Jack Hylton's orchestra (and taken off an HMV 78 rpm disc):


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