Sunday, April 13, 2014

Magazine Covers

Carole appeared on many magazine covers during her career

Carole's first cover in 1938

With Betty Grable

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Searching For Cadet Girl

In 1941 Carole starred in the musical Cadet Girl. She plays a singer who falls in love with a West Point cadet. The cast includes George Montgomery, John Shepperd, and Chick Chandler.

Unfortunately Cadet Girl is not available on DVD and it's never been shown on television. There is a print in UCLA's archives but it can only be seen by request. The movie was also screened at Cinecon in 2010.

We will pay money for a any copy of Cadet Girl . If you have any information please email
us at

With George Montgomery

With Chick Chandler

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Manila Calling

In 1942 Carole starred in the World War 2 drama Manila Calling. She plays a beautiful American who gets trapped on an island in the Phillipines. The cast includes Lloyd Nolan, Cornel Wilde, and Elisha Cook Jr.


 With Lloyd Nolan

With Lloyd Nolan

Saturday, March 15, 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 last evening alive with her married lover Rex Harrison.


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 and Rex Harrison 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's Pacific Palisades home

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.


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 bedroom

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 on the 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

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 broke and having health problems.

Carole's mother and sister

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

Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Powers Girl

In 1943 Carole starred in the comedy The Powers Girl. She plays an aspiring model who must help her sister after she loses her job. The cast includes Anne Shirley, George Murphy, and Dennis Day. Carole's dresses were designed by Adrian.


George Murphy and Carole

Anne Shirley and Carole

Friday, February 28, 2014

Secret Command

In 1944 Carole starred in the World War 2 drama Secret Command. Carole is Jill McGann, a secret agent who goes undercover to expose a deadly plot. Fox loaned her to Columbia to make the movie. Pat O'Brien plays Sam Gallagher who pretends to be Jill's husband while they search for spies at a ship-building plant. The cast includes Chester Morris, Ruth Warrick, and Barton MacLane. Pat was one of the film's producers and he requested that Carole be his costar. They had been friends since 1937 and would work together again in Having Wonderful Crime. Secret Command was a low budget independent film made by Torneen productions. It was based on the Saturday Evening Post story "The Saboteurs".

The original title of the movie was Pilebuck. Carole was paid $2,500 a week and she never missed a day of work even though she was suffering from the flu. Secret Command was directed by Eddie Sutherland, one of Carole's closest friends. It was filmed at Columbia Studios from January 17 until March 8, 1944. The costumes were designed by Jean Louis. Carole wore a blue butterfly dress from the film during her tour of the South Pacific in 1944. Secret Command was released on July 30, 1944. The film's tagline was " a handful of men and women who fight the enemy within our gates". The movie received mixed reviews and was not a box-office success. It was nominated for an Oscar for Special Effects.