vp19 (vp19) wrote in carole_and_co,

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Who's that Guy?

No, this entry has nothing at all to do with Madonna or with her husband, director Guy Ritchie (although it should be noted that Madonna has called Carole Lombard one of her favorite actresses, and her film "Who's That Girl?" was a late-'80s attempt at '30s-style screwball comedy). This instead deals with the current "Profiles in History" auction of Hollywood memorabilia (http://community.livejournal.com/carole_and_co/#45756), and a question surrounding one of the 50-plus Lombard items.

It's a stylish 11 x 14 print taken by Hollywood photographer William E. Thomas and personally autographed by Lombard. Here's a close-up of what she wrote:

The inscription reads: "To Guy -- my 'Boss' -- who has been and always will be my dearest friend and adviser. 'Carole'"

It's possible "Guy" was a nickname Lombard gave somebody on the set; she was renowned for giving nicknames to just about everyone she met. But if "Guy" was this person's real name, who could he be?

A glance at Frederick W. Ott's "The Films Of Carole Lombard" lists two possibilities. One was Guy Endore, a screenwriter whose first assignment was the story for Lombard's 1935 film "Rumba." He later wrote screenplays for "The Devil-Doll," "Johnny Allegro" and in 1945 was nominated for an Oscar for "The Story Of G.I. Joe," the biography of World War II military scribe Ernie Pyle. (He also fronted for blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo on 1951's "He Ran All The Way.") A possibility, but a longshot.

A more likely contender would be someone who acted in two of Lombard's films -- and while he didn't play her "boss" in either one, he had the authority and seniority to warrant such a title, and was a person Lombard probably respected. That would be Sir Guy Standing, a veteran British actor born in London in 1873. He became a reliable and noted stage actor on both sides of the Atlantic for several decades, working with the likes of Richard Bennett and Lionel Barrymore. Paramount came calling in 1930, and he moved west, lending his charm to some 19 features. Here's a tobacco card of him:

Standing appeared in two of Lombard's films: "The Eagle And The Hawk" in 1933 and "Now And Forever" the following year. His best-known role was probably as Col. Tom Stone in "The Lives Of A Bengal Lancer" in 1935.

Standing became enamored with southern California, spending much time in Palm Springs and regularly hiking in the Hollywood Hills. In February 1937, he died at age 63 after suffering a heart attack at an auto dealer on Hollywood Boulevard -- not from a rattlesnake bite while hiking, as some reports have stated.

In retrospect, it probably wasn't inscribed to Standing, since William E. Thomas was a Pathe photographer...so this likely dates from 1929 or so.

Oh, by the way, the estimated value of the autographed print is $2,000-3,000. Perhaps Madonna can purchase it for her Guy.
Tags: auctions, madonna, now and forever, publicity stills, rumba, sir guy standing, the eagle and the hawk, william e. thomas

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