Back to : Forest Lawn Glendale - Celebrity Graves
The Final Resting Place of Carole Lombard.
6th.October 1908 - 16th.January 1942.
Located in the Great Mausoleum, Sanctuary of Trust on the left hand side 3rd. up from
the bottom next to her then husband Clark Gable.
Cause of Death - Plane Crash.
Carole Lombard was an American actress. She was born Jane Alice Peters in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Her parents were Frederick C. Peters and Elizabeth Knight. Lombard's paternal grandfather, John Claus Peters, was the son of German immigrants, Claus Peters and Caroline Catherine Eberlin. Lombard's mother's family originates in England; her ancestors John and Martha Cheney emigrated to the North America in 1634.
Lombard made her film debut at the age of twelve after she was seen playing baseball in the street by director Allan Dwan, who cast her as a tom-boy in A Perfect Crime (1921). In the 1920s she worked in several low-budget productions credited as Jane Peters, and then later as Carol Lombard. In 1925 she was signed as a contract player with 20th Century Fox and she also worked for Mack Sennett and Pathé Pictures. She became a well known actress and made a smooth transition to sound films, starting with High Voltage (1929). In 1930 she began working for Paramount Pictures.
In October 1930 she met William Powell and the couple were married on June 26, 1931. Lombard commented to fan magazines that she did not believe their sixteen-year age difference would present a problem, but friends felt they were ill-suited as Lombard had an extroverted personality while Powell was more reserved. They divorced in 1933 but remained friends and worked together without acrimony.
Lombard became one of Hollywood's top comedy actresses in the 1930s. In comedies like Twentieth Century (1934) directed by Howard Hawks, My Man Godfrey (1936) directed by Gregory La Cava, for which she received an Academy Award for Best Actress nomination, and Nothing Sacred (1937) directed by William A. Wellman, she received praise from critics and was described as one of the key exponents of screwball comedy. Despite her glamorous looks Lombard was a natural comedienne, and was not afraid to look silly for the sake of being funny. Off screen, she was much loved for her down-to-earth personality and sense of humor. She also loved playing pranks during filming. About her husband Clark Gable, she once joked, "If his pee-pee was one inch shorter, they'd be calling him the Queen of Hollywood."
In the mid-1930s Lombard started an affair with Clark Gable. Their relationship was kept quiet due to the fact that Gable was still married to his second wife, Ria. Gable was finally divorced from Ria on March 7, 1939, and on March 29, 1939, Gable and Lombard were married. They bought a ranch, previously owned by director Raoul Walsh in San Fernando Valley, California. They called each other "Ma" and "Pa," and lived a happy, unpretentious life. Although he remarried twice after Lombard's death, to all who knew Gable, she was the love of his life.
When at the end of 1941 the US entered World War II, Lombard traveled to her home state of Indiana for a war bond rally. At four o'clock in the morning of Friday, January 16, 1942, Lombard and her mother boarded a plane to return to California. After refueling in Las Vegas, the plane took off on a clear night, and twenty-three minutes later crashed into Mount Potosi, 30 miles southwest of Las Vegas. All of the 22 passengers aboard were killed. Just before boarding the plane in Indiana, Carole had addressed her fans, saying, "Before I say goodbye to you all, come on and join me in a big cheer! V for Victory!" President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who admired her patriotism, declared her the first woman killed in the line of duty during the war and posthumously awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Shortly after her death at the age of thirty-three, Gable (who was inconsolable and devastated by her loss) joined the United States Army Air Forces, serving as a gunner on a bomber on combat missions over Europe. The Liberty ship SS Lombard was named for her and Gable attended its launch on January 15, 1944.
Her final film, To Be or Not to Be, directed by Ernst Lubitsch and co-starring Jack Benny ― a satire about the Nazism and the World War II ― was in post-production at the time of her death. The film's producers decided to cut the part of the film in which her character asks, "What can happen in a plane?" as they felt it was in poor taste, given the circumstances of Lombard's death. A similar editing instance happened when the 1940 Warner Brother cartoon, A Wild Hare, was reissued. Lombard's name was originally mentioned in a game of "Guess Who," but all reissue prints have the name dubbed over with Barbara Stanwyck.
She is interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California. The name on her headstone is "Carole Lombard Gable". Although Gable remarried, he was buried next to her when he died in 1960.
She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.