Lombard, Carole

Lombard, Carole (b. Jane Alice Peters)

(1908–42) movie actress; born in Fort Wayne, Ind. Raised in California from age six, she made her screen debut at age 12. Her movie career was interrupted by an automobile accident but she recovered to appear in a series of Mack Sennett slapstick comedies, beginning with The Girl from Everywhere (1927). She went on to become one of the most unusual combinations in Hollywood's history—a beautiful, intelligent, stylish, natural actress, adept at sophisticated comedy. She made several films with her first husband, William Powell, and one with her second husband-to-be, Clark Gable. John Barrymore, with whom she made Twentieth Century (1934), called her "perhaps the greatest actress I have ever worked with." She finished To Be or Not to Be with Jack Benny (1942) just two weeks before her death in a plane crash when returning from a war bond drive.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.