St. Carole Lombard
By Michael Moriarty
I’d heard and read of “the greatness of Carole Lombard” but I had never really been exposed to enough of Lombard to have my own opinion.
Today, a viewing of the film, In Name Only, with Cary Grant, changed all that.
She gives, in my not so humble opinion, an Oscar-winning performance, the stunning depth and profound simplicity of which has rarely been equaled.
By contrast with her co-star, Cary Grant? His own, stylishly comic style, is painfully short of Lombard’s startling reality!
The “Academy”, refusing to even nominate her because of the film’s unimpressive success at the box office, could have changed all that by giving Ms. Lombard her divinely earned Oscar!
Do you know how much courage it takes for a film actor or actress to rely solely upon his or her own profoundest sense of Reality?!
An Oscar would have helped the film’s box-office immeasurably and would have helped give Carole Lombard, proven comedienne, a huge pedestal as an equally dramatic actress.
Carole Lombard’s “Truth” is a most breath-taking high-point in the history of American Realism!
I found her close-ups so realistic that they could have appeared in a documentary!
To see that she’s only 24th on the American Film Institute’s list of greatest female stars is now heartbreaking. What she accomplishes with her role for In Name Only is an acting lesson of such depth and simplicity that I’m still overwhelmed at merely recalling it. Had the profound greatness of her dramatic skills been recognized, she would now be ranked at the very top of Hollywood’s greatest stars, both male and female!
In addition to the infinity of her talent, the “Industry” itself had most obviously found her to be one of the most endearing and reliable “workers” in the entire profession!!
No wonder The Eternal Superstar of Hollywood, Clark Gable, fell madly in love with her and married her, only to fall even more insanely in love as the marriage unfolded!
Carole Lombard dies in a plane-crash at the horrifying age of 33?!?!
A sort of, if the perfectionists in my readership will forgive me, perfect, female Christ!
No wonder Clark Gable, shortly after that, chose to serve in World War II!
Ms. Lombard had helped to raise over 2 million dollars (roughly equal to $33,276,018 today) in war bonds for World War II’s American military! In that spirit but, I personally feel, beyond that gift to the spirit of his late wife, Gable’s remorse over the loss of Lombard made life, in my opinion, a great deal less worth living for that gigantically talented but shockingly stricken widower.
Despite remarrying twice following her death, Gable chose to be interred beside Lombard at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California when he died in 1960.
Seeing In Name Only was, for this old has-been actor, the eye-opening encounter with a new heroine in my life.
I know she might hate me for kvelling over her like this but I know no other way of living with my feelings for her but by sharing them.
Michael Moriarty is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor who starred in the landmark television series Law and Order from 1990 to 1994. His recent film and TV credits include The Yellow Wallpaper, 12 Hours to Live, Santa Baby and Deadly Skies. Contact Michael at email@example.com. He can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/@MGMoriarty.