We've made it to 2011 -- the first year of the century that doesn't feature multiple zeroes -- and I wish you the best as we embark on another calendar year of "Carole & Co."
Of course, with a new year invariably comes resolutions (most of which we fail to keep, human nature being what it is). Among the most common of those resolutions is to lose weight...and for those of you aiming to do just that, we may have some inspiration.
Did you know Carole Lombard was once a fat little girl? No kidding -- that's what the May 10, 1936 Des Moines Register said:
Well, we know she had a few extra pounds (and curves) during her days at Mack Sennett, pounds she took off through a training and diet regimen with noted Hollywood masseuse Sylvia (http://community.livejournal.com/carole_and_co/110803.html). But fat? Did someone mistake Lombard for her Sennett stablemate, Madalynne Fields? (And photos from Carole's childhood as Jane Alice Peters certainly show no signs of obesity.)
Yet that's what the Register headline read; there is also a subhead, "Now an Air Line Chooses Her Streamlined Figure as a Model by Which to Select Its Pretty Air Stewardesses."
Unfortunately, the body copy from the photo is too small to read, so I can't tell you more about it, such as what airline used her figure as a model. (And for those who thought the first flight attendants were hired for their medical and safety skills, this may indicate things were changing, eventually culminating in the "coffee, tea or me" mindset of the 1960s.)
But the page is nice, particularly that large photo of Carole in a swimsuit, right? Uh, no. While you would think that mentioning Lombard in the headline would indicate that she'd have the dominant picture, but from (barely) making out the caption, its subject is one Grace Bradley, a fellow Paramount player nearly five years younger than Carole. Here she is in a teddy, decorating a Christmas tree:
Bradley gave up her career in a few years to marry former Lombard co-star William Boyd, "Hopalong Cassidy" of western fame. She had been his widow for 38 years when she died this past Sept. 21, her 97th birthday.
This page is being auctioned at eBay, with bids starting at $9.99 (no bids have been entered as of this writing). Bidding ends at 6:50 p.m. (Eastern) on Wednesday. To learn more, go to http://cgi.ebay.com/221211C-HOLLYWOOD-ACTRESS-CAROLE-LOMBARD-DIET-1936-/390276093494?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5ade449636. (And if you get it, please let us know what the copy reads!)