Carole's Lovers

Carole was a hopeless romantic and she spent her life searching for true love. She married four husbands and was engaged three times. Carole also dated some of Hollywood's most eligible bachelors. Here are some of the men she loved ....

Here is Carole with Willis Hunt Jr, her second husband. Willis was a twenty-seven year old yacht salesman from a wealthy family. He was divorced from heiress Dolly Brewer and had a reputation as a playboy who loved to party. Willis proposed to Carole two weeks after meeting her. She said "We like to do the same things. I think it will work". On July 4, 1940 they eloped in Las Vegas. He became abusive and she walked out on him two months later. They were divorced in November 1940 and Carole claimed it made her suffer a nervous breakdown. She told reporters "There I was being so happy, so ecstatic, so delirious, so willing to forsake all others. To stop being Miss Big and try being the Little Woman. He didn't want a Little Woman." Surprisingly Carole and Willis remained friends and continued to go out together. In December of 1969 Willis was stabbed to death by his wife at the age of fifty-five. His wife, Willia Dean Hunt, was charged with murder but she was acquitted.

Carole was engaged to screenwriter and producer Gene Markey. He was twenty-three years older than her and had been married to Hedy Lamar. Carole started dating him in 1941 but she continued to see other men.  She said "Gene Markey gives me books of plays to read, books about the theater; he talks to me about the theater and gives me the feeling we are talking about it". Gene gave Carole her beloved Great Dane Donner. Their relationship got serious in the Spring of 1942 and they were engaged for a short time. When the press announced they were getting married in Washington Carole told them "I'm going to Washington for a visit, that's all. Mr. Markey is there and of course I will see him, but there are no immediate plans to announce." Soon after they parted as friends. In 1946 Gene married Myrna Loy. He died on May 1, 1980 at the age of eighty-four.

Carole started dating agent Kenny Morgan in December of 1938. A few months later they were engaged but they broke up in the Fall of 1939.

Carole and director Hal Roach Jr. (son of producer Hal Roach) had a brief relationship during the filming of One Million B.C. in 1939

Carole and art director Cedric Gibbons started dating in October of 1940 but she left him for Franchot Tone. They also went on a few casual dates in 1941.

Carole began a serious relationship with Franchot Tone in November of 1940. She fell madly in love with him and wanted to get married. Although Franchot ended the relationship they remained close friends.

Carole and movie legend Charlie Chaplin started a brief romance in March of 1941. In April he gave her a 150-carat topaz bracelet.

Carole and actor George Montgomery had a short-lived romance when they worked together on the 1941 musical Cadet Girl

Carole and actor Burgess Meredith went out on a couple of dates in 1941. He remained one of her closest friends

Carole and actor Tony Martin went out on several dates in early 1942

Carole and her attorney Greg Bautzer had a brief fling in the Fall of 1942

Carole had an an on-again off-again affair with entertainer George Jessel that lasted for years