Sunday, December 14, 2014

Happy Holidays

Celebrate the holidays with Carole and her friends ....

Happy Thanksgiving

Merry Christmas

 Christmas with Kay Francis

A Christmas scene with Carole, Kay Francis, Martha Raye, Phil Silvers, and Mitzi Mayfair ...


Happy St. Patrick's Day

Friday, December 5, 2014

Cowboys From Texas

In 1939 Carole starred in the western Cowboys From Texas. She plays June Jones, a rancher's daughter who meets three cowboys known as the "mesquiteers". The cast includes Robert Livingston, Duncan Renaldo, and Charles Middleton. Cowboys From Texas has not been released on DVD. You can watch the movie at Amazon Prime

 Duncan Renaldo and Carole

Carole and Charles Middleton

Monday, December 1, 2014

Road Show

In 1941 Carole starred in the Hal Roach comedy Road Show. She plays Penguin Moore, the owner of a failing circus. During filming Carole suffered a concussion when a vase hit her on her head. The cast includes John Hubbard, Adolphe Menjou, Patsy Kelly, and Margaret Roach. Road Show had been released on DVD and you can watch the entire movie here ...

John Hubbard and Carole

 Adolphe Menjou, Carole, and John Hubbard

John Hubbard, Margaret Roach, and Carole

It Shouldn't Happen To A Dog

In 1946 Carole starred in the comedy It Shouldn't Happen To A Dog. She plays a detective who solves crimes with the help of her doberman. The cast includes Allyn Joslyn, Henry Morgan, Jean Wallace, and Rodney the dog. It Shouldn't Happen To A Dog has not been released on DVD. You can watch the entire movie here ....

 With Allyn Joslyn

 With Allyn Joslyn

With Rodney the dog

 With Allyn Joslyn

With Allyn Joslyn

 On the set with Rodney


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 and her friend Marguerite Haymes

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.

Carole's Pacific Palisades home
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 "barbiturate 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

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