Every now and then, I find a Carole Lombard photo I forgot I had in my online collection. (I know that's the case because the image hasn't been resized, and the border is still there.) Once such uncovered treasure is found, I copy and upgrade it, then present it to you.
An example is above -- a Paramount portrait from 1936, p1202-1344. I don't know who took it, nor do I have a snipe available that could explain what this was promoting (it's probably "The Princess Comes Across," her lone film at the studio in '36, though if it came out late in the year it might be to give advance notice for "Swing High, Swing Low"). Whatever, it's quite stunning...and in the size I initially found it in, a scale roughly twice as big as an 8 1/2" x 11" glossy, it was pretty obvious that Lombard wasn't wearing a bra at that session.
Some more treasure just came my way, compliments of Carole Sampeck and The Lombard Archive. It's new to me, and likely you too, as it shows Carole next to a blonde icon whose centenary we're celebrating this year.
Before you get your hopes up too high...no, it's not the long-sought pic of Lombard and Jean Harlow. (If Carole Sampeck had such a photo, she might be able to retire from the proceeds of that image alone.) Neither is it a photo of Lombard and her RKO buddy Lucille Ball (who in her earlier years was a blonde, though I think her hair shade had darkened by the time she met Carole), which also would be quite valuable.
No, this image shows Lombard with someone she's been seen with before; in fact, we ran that photo just the other day. We're referring to Ginger Rogers (speaking of RKO), and while this second image of Carole and Ginger is not in the greatest of condition, it is fun to look at. Without further ado, Misses Lombard and Rogers...and friend:
Can't quite make out the "friend"? Here's a closer look:
Hope my computer work clarified the image, but just in case you're still having trouble with it, said "friend" is a Chihuahua. And as Carole Sampeck remarked when she sent the picture, "Lest anyone think Paris Hilton started that whole Little-Dog-As-Accessory thing, here you go!" (If Ginger is reading this somewhere, kindly do not throw thunderbolts toward Ms. Sampeck for comparing you to Paris Hilton. She lives just east of Dallas, not far from Fort Worth where you grew up, and the Metroplex has suffered enough awful weather this week.)
Carole Sampeck later commented, "If you look closely, you will see that Ginger's Chihuahua has its own fur coat! You can see its front paws protruding from the little furry sleeves. This is too funny. Wonder what the fittings were like?" We can only guess -- and speaking of guessing, I have no idea what the little canine's name was. I checked a few Ginger Rogers blogs, and none of them listed a name; in fact, none of them apparently had anything about pets she may have owned over the years. Perhaps such information was in Ginger's autobiography, which I have yet to read (though I'm increasingly becoming a fan of hers). Some Internet searching did turn up that more than a few Chihuahuas are named for Ginger Rogers...perhaps because of the breed's frequent gingery color?
I wish I could provide more information about this photo, such as when and where it may have been taken, but Ms. Sampeck didn't know; she said Lombard "had it tucked away among her things for some reason. Jeannie [Jean Garceau, personal secretary for Lombard and Clark Gable] did not know anything about its backstory, though." Lombard, ardent pet lover that she was, probably couldn't resist the image of a dog with a fur coat (and not its fur!).
For all the many Ginger fans who are seeing this entry, a lovely picture of her sans dog:
And for all the dog lovers, a photo of Ms. Sampeck's best friend, the remarkable Bailey (isn't she adorable?):