Thursday, January 22, 2015

Carole In Varsity Show

In 1937 eighteen year old Carole auditioned for director Busby Berkeley. He was impressed with her dancing and her beauty. Busby gave her a small role in his musical Varsity Show. Off screen Carole started a highly publicized romance with the director. In a 1969 interview Busby said "I put out a simple announcement and 723 showed up for auditions. I selected only three out of the group and one of them turned out to be Carole Landis."

 Carole and Busby Berkeley

Carole in Varsity Show

Varsity Show was released on September 4, 1937. Carole appeared in a couple of scenes and was featured in the dance finale. The cast includes Dick Powell, Rosemary Lane, Sterling Holloway, and Mabel Todd. You can watch Carole's scenes here ...

Carole in the school dance scene

 Carole is on the left

Carole is last on the left

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Carole and Tommy Wallace's Love Story

On January 5, 1943 Carole married Captain Thomas Wallace in London, England. He was a twenty-five year old Air Force pilot from Pasadena. Tommy had been part of the English Royal Air Force's American "Eagle Squadron". She met him on November 13, 1942 when she was entertaining soldiers in England. Carole said "Something hit me right in the heart. I only looked at him for a minute, but I saw his wonderful dimples, his tremendously expressive eyes, his curly hair." He proposed on their first date but she waited several weeks before agreeing to marry him. Tommy couldn't get an engagement ring so he gave her his signet ring. She had wanted to get married on January 1, her 24th birthday, but it was against British law. The wedding was almost canceled when she suffered an appendicitis attack in December 1942. She recovered in time for the ceremony and the doctor who removed her appendix gave her away.  While getting ready at the Savoy hotel Carole said she was "nervous". This was her third marriage and Kay Francis tried to convince her to cancel the wedding. Carole wore a cream colored satin dress designed by Hartnell, a strand of pearls, and orange blossoms in her hair. Her bouquet was made of white carnations and orchids. The ceremony took place at 2:00 PM at the Church of Our Lady Of Assumption on Warrick Street. Tommy was a Presbyterian but he agreed to have a Catholic ceremony. He told reporters "I am probably the luckiest man in the world". Tommy's friend Gus Daymond was his best man and Mitzi Mayfair was the maid of honor. Mitzi had collected ration coupons so Carole could get her dress and shoes.

The ceremony was performed by Father Waterkeyn and Father Harris. Hundreds of fans and photographers waited outside the church to see the bride and groom. Carole said "I want to have a wonderful marriage and children whom I may love and make a fuss over long after the movies are gone." She wrote about their romance in her book Four Jills In A Jeep and the wedding was recreated in the 1944 film. The large wedding cake was actually made of cardboard with a small white cake inside. They had no honeymoon because Carole went to North Africa three days after the wedding to perform for the troops. Tommy was stationed overseas during most of their marriage so they spent very little time together. She wrote to him every day they were apart and kept six photos of him in her bedroom. They finally took a honeymoon trip to New York City in September 1943. Tommy hated her Hollywood lifestyle and wanted her to give up her career to become a housewife. Carole was also very disappointed that they didn't have children. When their marriage started to fall apart she attempted suicide. The couple separated in October 1944 and were divorced the following year. Carole always considered Tommy the great love of her life. In an interview she said "No woman ever loved a man more than I loved Tommy Wallace. And Tommy loved me, too. All my life, above all the rest, I want to remember that." Tommy married his second wife Joanne in 1946. They moved to England and had two sons. He served in the Air Force during the Korean war and later worked for Goodyear. Tragically in 1968 Tommy was killed in an accidental shooting.

* We want to thank Tommy's family for giving us information about his life after Carole *

This is a newsreel about Carole and Tommy's wedding

Friday, January 9, 2015

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. 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


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

I Wake Up Screaming (Hot Spot)

In 1941 Carole starred in the film noir I Wake Up Screaming. Carole is Vicky Lynn, an ambitious starlet who is killed by a mystery man. She was under contract at Fox when she made the movie. Betty Grable plays Vicky's sister Jill who must solve her murder. Most of Carole's scenes are flashbacks since her character dies early in the film. Betty and Carole had also played sisters in Moon Over Miami but they did not get along with each other. One day on the set Betty upset Carole by reading a bad review she had gotten out loud. The rest of the cast includes Victor Mature, Laird Cregar, Elisha Cook Jr, and Allyn Joslyn. Carole and Victor had been good friends since they costarred in One Million B.C. I Wake Up Screaming was filmed at Fox Studios in Los Angeles from July 21 until August 25, 1941 and retakes were filmed in September.


The movie was directed by H. Bruce Humberstone. Before filming began Carole's dentist spilled silver nitrate on her lips so they were blue for three weeks. It didn't affect the movie because it was shot in black and white. The costumes were designed by Gwen Wakeling. In the movie Carole sings a song titled "The Things I Love". I Wake Up Screaming was based on the novel by Steve Fisher. The original title for the movie was "Hot Spot" and it was released in England with that name. The movie was released on October 31, 1941 and it was re-released on August 1, 1948. It was remade in 1953 with the title "Vicki". I Wake Up Screaming was a box-office success and it got great reviews. A lot of critics said that Carole's haunting performance stole the movie from Betty. It is available on DVD.

With Betty Grable

With Allyn Joslyn

Friday, January 2, 2015


Carole adored her fans and never turned down an autograph request. She usually personalized her autographs and often added the greeting "Happiness Always". Here are some authentic autographs ...

A signed photo from 1948 (from Elizabeth's personal collection)

A signed press release (from Elizabeth's personal collection)