Sunday, November 23, 2014

Rare Footage

Watch some rare clips of Carole from vintage newsreels and documentaries ...

Carole's story in a 1990's documentary

Carole and Lilli Palmer (Rex Harrison's wife) attend the same event in 1948

Footage of Carole at a 1941 parade and a London party

Carole Landis and Roy Rogers go to the zoo

At this premiere Carole and Tony Martin are the first couple shown

In the Tovarich trailer Carole is seen talking on the phone at the 8 second mark

Carole and Evelyn Keyes attend Hedda Hopper's movie premiere

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Manila Calling

In 1942 Carole starred in the World War 2 drama Manila Calling. She plays a beautiful American showgirl who gets trapped on an island in the Phillipines. The cast includes Lloyd Nolan, Cornel Wilde, James Gleason, and Elisha Cook Jr. Manila Calling is available on DVD. You can watch some clips from the movie here ....


 With Lloyd Nolan

With Lloyd Nolan

With James Gleason

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

World War 2

During World War 2 Carole spent more time visiting troops than any other actress. She took time off from her career and dedicated herself to the war effort. Carole toured the country selling war bonds and entertained soldiers all over the world. The press called her "a heroine" and "pride of the yanks". She joined the Hollywood Victory Committee and worked tirelessly with the Red Cross, the Naval Aid Auxiliary, and Bundles for Blue Jackets. Carole collected cigarettes for the soldiers, taught first aid, and donated blood as often as she was allowed. She never turned down a request to help and visited more than 250 military bases across the United States. When she went to Camp Bowie for a three day appearance in 1942 she danced with 200 soldiers, sang 15 songs, and signed 1000 autographs. In September 1942 she visited the Mare Island Navy Yard where she sang for the injured men in the hospital ward. Carole became one of the soldier's favorite pin-up girls and they nicknamed her "The Blonde Bomber". When she appeared on the Command Performance radio show one soldier requested that she "just sigh" into the microphone. In November 1942 Carole started a five month tour of Europe and Africa with Mitzi Mayfair, Kay Francis, and Martha Raye. She met her husband, Major Tommy Wallace, during this tour and she wrote about her experiences in her 1944 book Four Jills In A Jeep.

Carole was a hostess at the Hollywood Canteen and she invited soldiers to her beach house every weekend. In June 1944 she began a U.S.O. tour with Jack Benny, singer Martha Tilton, harmonica player Larry Adler, and pianist June Bruner. During their camp shows Carole sang and jitterbugged with the boys. She spent much of her time visiting wounded soldiers and she wrote hundreds of letters to their families. Jack Benny said "You soon forgot she was Carole Landis, the sex symbol, the Hollywood star, the sweater girl, because she was a real human being and had a warm heart that spilled over with kindness". During their two month tour of the South Pacific Carole almost died when she contracted malaria and amoebic dysentery. She was hospitalized for weeks, lost 15 pounds, and suffered with these illnesses for the rest of her life. Carole became an Air Raid Warden, a commander in the Aerial Nurses Corps, and an honorary Colonel in the American Legion. She auctioned off her favorite opal ring to raise money and she donated several movie projectors to bases overseas. Carole traveled more than 125,000 miles during the war. She performed for soldiers in Australia, Brazil, Algeria, Bermuda, Scotland, England, New Guinea, Ireland, Guam, and New Zealand. Carole said "Whatever we do for soldiers can't be enough in return for what they do for us. They are wonderful!"

With Linda Darnell

UNITED WE STAND (Written by Carole in 1944)

Hitler wasn't guessing when he incorporated into his psychological warfare the strategy of "divide and conquer." It worked in Norway and it worked in France, and because there is no immunity to Fascism, it's trying hard right here in the United States. There is one antidote.
We've got to remember that we're all in this together. British, Russians, Chinese. And French-Polish-Yugoslav-Jewish-Irish-Mexican-English or what-have-you-Americans. Indians, whites, and Negroes. Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, boys in the AAF or Merchant Marine. And civilians. Yes, civilians. All the names from Pearl Harbor onwards are written on our memories and on our hearts and in your steel and your blood and your courage. The exploits at home aren't of this kind. But believe me, boys, they do exist. In two and a half short years, the country has rolled up its sleeves, and our production record can be heard in the planes that roar over Germany; our War Bond record is built into every tank and destroyer, and the blood banks of the Red Cross are only one of the "musts" on the daily lists of the men and women on the home front. None of us here can give as much as you. We all know it. That's why there is such a determination to give all we can, in time, spirit, money, work. We believe in you. We know you're good. But you've got to believe in us, too, because the home front is also a fighting front. And because this belief, this unity, brings the day of Victory right up there in plain sight. Unity is the one thing Hitler and his cohorts cannot cope with.

With Marlene Dietrich

With Jack Benny, Larry Adler, June Bruner, and Martha Tilton

With Gilbert Roland

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Carole Landis & Raquel Welch

In 1940 Carole starred as a sexy cave woman named Loana in One Million B.C. Twenty-six years later bombshell Raquel Welch
played the same role in a remake of the film.

Carole as Loana

 Raquel as Loana

 Carole in 1940

 Raquel in 1966

 Carole was 21 when she starred in One Million B.C.

 Raquel was 26 when she starred in the remake

  Carole and her cast filmed in black and white

 Raquel and her cast filmed in color

Friday, October 10, 2014

Dance Hall

 In 1941 Carole starred in the musical Dance Hall, She plays a beautiful lounge singer who helps a songwriter and falls in love with her boss. The cast includes Cesar Romero, June Storey, and William Henry. Carole sings several songs including "There's Something In The Air" and "There's A Lull In My Life".

With Cesar Romero

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Carole's Last Day

Tragically on July 5, 1948 Carole was found dead in her Pacific Palisades home. She had committed suicide at the young age of twenty-nine. Carole spent her final evening alive with her married lover Rex Harrison. Here is a timeline of her last day ...


12:00 PM - Carole hosts a pool party for a dozen friends including Rex Harrison. She goes swimming and appears to be in good spirits. Carole tells her friends they have to leave early because she is having a private dinner with Rex Harrison. This is the seventh night in a row that they have dinner together. Rex Harrison is married to actress Lili Palmer and has a four year old son. Carole has been having an affair with him for over a year. Because of the affair she had filed for divorce from her husband Horace Schmidlapp. Financial problems had also forced her to put her Pacific Palisades home up for sale.

Carole in her backyard in 1948
5:00 PM - Carole puts on a plaid skirt, a white blouse, and gold sandals. She is also wearing her favorite gold cross and a St. Christopher medal. Before dinner Carole and Rex Harrison each have a Scotch and Soda. They dine on cold roast chicken, a tossed salad, and lemon chiffon pie that Carole had baked herself. She plays "Warm Kiss, Cold Heart" on her phonograph. Rex Harrison will later claim they had a pleasant evening discussing Carole's career. The truth is Carole is hopelessly in love with him and desperately wants him to leave his wife. During the evening they get into an argument and he ends their relationship.
Carole and Rex Harrison

9:00 PM - Rex Harrison leaves Carole's house. He is the last person to see her alive. After leaving Carole Rex Harrison goes to visit his best friends Roland and Nan Culver who live a few blocks away. Carole is heartbroken over the end of their affair and makes a decision to end her life. She collects all of the photos and mementos from their relationship and puts them in a suitcase. Then she drives to the Culver's house and leaves the suitcase in their driveway. The next day Nan Culver finds the suitcase and gives it to Rex Harrison. He burns everything that is in it.
Carole's Pacific Palisades home

12:00 AM - Carole returns home and has a few drinks. Her autopsy would later show that her blood alcohol level was .12 which meant she was not drunk. She tries to call several friends including Marguerite Haymes but no one is home. Marguerite will get Carole's message later that evening but decides it's too late to call her back. Carole decides to write two final notes on her personal stationary. First she writes a four line lovers farewell to Rex Harrison. The she writes a heartbreaking note to her beloved mother. She folds the note to her mother and puts it on her dresser.

"Dearest Mommie - I'm sorry, really sorry, to put you through this but there is no way to avoid it - I love you darling you have been the most wonderful mom ever And that applies to all our family. I love each and every one of them dearly - Everything goes to you - Look in the files and there is a will which decrees everything - Good bye, my angel - Pray for me - Your Baby"

2:00 AM - Carole goes into her upstairs bathroom and takes an envelope filled with Secanol out of her cabinet. She was not a chronic user of Secanol. Her doctor had given her a prescription when she was hospitalized in October 1946. It appears that this was the first time she took any of the pills. There is writing on the envelope that says "Red - quick - 2 hours. Yellow, about 5, Can take 2. Use for severe pain". Carole swallows approximately forty Secanol tablets. She leaves the envelope and a glass of water on the bathroom counter. Then Carole goes into her bedroom and lays down on the bed for several minutes.

3:00 AM - She walks back into the bathroom where she collapses. Sadly Carole will die on the bathroom floor. She is lying on a carpet next to an open cabinet. Her arms are bent as if she had been trying to raise herself up. Carole's head is resting on a jewelry box and her left hand she is holding a satin bookmark with the Lord's Prayer on it. She had taken five times the amount of Secanol needed to cause death. Carole had suffered from bouts of depression during her life. This was the third time she had attempted suicide but in the past she had always been rescued by friends.
Carole's body

Carole on bathroom floor

11:00 AM - Rex Harrison calls Carole several times but her maid, Fannie Mae Bolden, tells him she is not awake yet. He goes to the house and tells Fannie "Well, I think she's dead". Together they go to the upstairs bathroom where they discover Carole's body. Harrison says "Oh, no, my darling, why did you do it?". He will later claim that he felt Carole's wrist and there was a slight pulse. Instead of calling for an ambulance he goes home and calls his boss Darryl Zanuck. Fannie goes to a neighbors house where she calls the police and Florence Wasson, Carole's best friend. The police arrive and take photographs of Carole's body.

A detective views Carole's body
The police in Carole's bedroom

4:00 PM - Florence calls Dorothy Ross, Carole's sister, in Long Beach to tell her what happened. Rex Harrison returns and is questioned by the police. They find the note that Carole left for her mother but there are conflicting reports about the second note. Florence claims that it was actually a memo that Carole wrote about taking her cat to the vet. Lili Palmer later admits that a police officer found the note Carole wrote to Rex Harrison in the bathroom. Rex Harrison pays the officer five hundred dollars and destroys the note. There are dozens of reporters at the house. The press speculates that Carole was having serious money and health problems.

Carole's mother and sister at her house

7:00 PM - Carole's mother Clara Ridste and her sister Dorothy Ross arrive at the house. Her mother is heard screaming "Oh my baby, I want to see my baby. Why didn't somebody call me?" and then collapses. Carole's body is taken to Bogg's and Mashmeyer's funeral home. Rumors circulate that she was pregnant with Rex Harrison's love child  but her autopsy confirms that she was not pregnant. Carole was unable to have children because she suffered from endometriosis. The official cause of her death is "barbituate poisoning due to ingestion of overdose of Secanol". Her funeral is scheduled for Saturday, July 10 at Forest Lawn Memorial Park.



About marrying Rex Harrison: "Oh, I'd love to marry him but you know how those things are."

After Lupe Velez's 1944 suicide: "I know just how Lupe Velez felt. You go just so far, and then what have you got to face? There's always the fear of being washed up. You begin to worry. You get bitter and disillusioned. You fear the future because there's only one way to go and that's down.".

On July 2, 1948: "I've never been so happy in all my life. The sun's shining. It's a wonderful day!"

Carole made this recording two days before she died