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Carole Lombard: Roles She Missed That Other Actresses Made Famous

By    |   Friday, 11 Mar 2016 04:28 PM





Carole Lombard, born Jane Alice Peters, began her acting career as a youth, starring in her first film, "A Perfect Crime," at the age of 12.

Lombard was cast by chance in the film, spotted on the street by a director. By the age of 15 she had quit school to make theater her full time career. In 1925, she was signed with Fox Films, kicking off her career in Hollywood. She appeared in three films that year: "Marriage in Transit," "Durand of the Bad Lands," and "Hearts and Spurs."

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Lombard's most notable performances include her roles in "To Be or Not to Be," starring with Jack Benny, and "My Man Godfrey." Although Lombard's short career (she died in a plane crash at 33) was relatively successful, there were a handful of roles she missed out on that other actresses made famous.

1. Hildy Johnson: "His Girl Friday" (1940)
Director Howard Hawks sought out Lombard to star in "His Girl Friday," opposite Cary Grant, but she was too expensive, according to Hollywood's Golden Age. Rosalind Russell was cast in the comedy instead.

2. Ellie Andrews, "It Happened One Night" (1934)
Claudette Colbert took the lead role opposite Clark Gable in "It Happened One Night" when Lombard couldn't take it because of a scheduling conflict with filming "Bolero," according to "Casting Might-Have-Beens." The film became one of Colbert's most famous roles and earned her an Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role.

3. Margaret Douglas, "They All Kissed the Bride" (1942)
Lombard missed out on this role in "They All Kissed the Bride" because of her death. She was already cast in the part at the time of her plane crash, so Joan Crawford stepped in to fill her shoes. Crawford donated her salary from the film to the American Red Cross, which had been instrumental in finding Lombard's body.

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Although Carole Lombard's short career (she died in a plane crash at 33) was relatively successful, there were a handful of roles she missed out on that other actresses made famous.
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