It's far from a done deal, but in the near future, another Carole Lombard biography could join these two on bookshelves.
The prospective author is a British woman named Michelle Morgan. Her most recent book, "Marilyn Monroe: Private and Undisclosed," has been issued on both sides of the Atlantic, and has been lauded for being meticulously researched, having many hithereto unpublished items and for its fair but generally positive treatment of Monroe's life.
Morgan says Lombard fans have told her they want a positive biography of Carole, one that doesn't view her as "tragic" because of her premature death. "That is exactly the problem I had with Marilyn," she said, adding she "got tired of people calling her tragic because she died at 36." While conceding much of Monroe's life, such as her childhood, had its tragic elements, she wanted to write about her "as a person rather than an icon, because I wanted to prove she was a real-life human being who could laugh as well as cry." (Lombard was probably one of Monroe's influences as an actress, although the types of roles they played were entirely different and the forceful, active female comedic characters of the '30s had somewhat disappeared by the '50s.) I don't know whether this charming photo is in her book, but it likely describes what she's talking about:
Morgan said she hopes to begin work on the Lombard project shortly. Since Larry Swindell's "Screwball" is long out of print and the few other biographies, such as Wes Gehring's "Carole Lombard: The Hoosier Tornado," have been published by small presses with fairly narrow distribution, we could use another Lombard bio -- especially since 2008 will mark the centennial of her birth. With luck, this could be what we're looking for.