Carole Landis: A Tragic Life in Hollywood

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McFarland, Sep 11, 2015 - Performing Arts - 316 pages
Before she was a glamorous actress, before she was a war-time pin-up star, even before she was Carole Landis, she was Frances Lillian Ridste, an insecure young girl from Wisconsin. She was strikingly beautiful, talented, and on her way to becoming a movie star, yet she spent her entire life searching for love. Though she appeared in more than 60 films during her short career, Landis was better known for her extraordinary beauty and many romantic relationships than for her acting or comedic timing. Like many starlets of the time, Landis worked her way up from uncredited bit parts (and according to rumors, from the casting couch) to leading roles in such films as Topper Returns (1940) and My Gal Sal (1942) over the course of her 11-year career. She spent more time visiting troops during World War II—traveling hundreds of thousands of miles and coming near death twice—than any other Hollywood star. Despite her seemingly glamorous and carefree life, Landis was unable to build a lasting relationship, a fact that contributed to her suicide at 29. This work examines Landis’s life and career in Hollywood, focusing on how her movie career affected her short, unhappy life.

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User Review  - jburlinson - LibraryThing

After a little research, (very little, but befitting the stature of the subject), we learn that "E.J. holds an undergraduate degree in economics from Fairfield University and a Masters in Business ... Read full review

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A terrific and well written tribute to an amazing actress. You'll learn a lot about Carole's life and career. I would recommend it to all her fans!


Fairchild and Two Fathers
San Bernardino Dreams
San Francisco and Hollywood
Hollywood Comes with a Reputation
The Edge of Stardom
War and Love Again
The South Pacific
Coming Home but to What?
July 4 1948 Independence Day
Radio Appearances
Chapter Notes
Selected Bibliography


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Page 135 - Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.
Page 118 - The War Department has recognized the Young Men's Christian Association, the Young Women's Christian Association, the National Catholic War Council (Knights of Columbus), the Jewish Welfare Board, the War Camp Community Service, the American Library Association, and the Salvation Army...
Page 232 - 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.
Page 266 - James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, Marie Wilson, Ralph Bellamy, Frank McHugh, Dick Foran, Bruce Lester, Ronald Reagan...
Page 232 - 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. Goodbye my angel. Pray for me.
Page 85 - The Informer 1935, The Grapes of Wrath 1940, How Green Was My Valley 1941, and The Quiet Man 1952.
Page 266 - Laura Hope Crews, Louis Jean Heydt, Hobart Cavanaugh, Charles Halton, Astrid Allwyn, Joyce Compton, Frank Faylen, William Haade, Carole Landis.
Page 243 - We don't remember an actor, foreign or domestic, who has breached so many rules of good taste in his conduct among fellow workers. "The wonder of the whole thing is that he hasn't had his face smashed in before now." * If Rex Harrison had few friends before the circumstances of the death of Carole Landis became known, he had nothing but enemies when they were learned. True, Carole had been scandalized by the doyens of the industry, but the run of the mill employees who, themselves, could not understand...
Page 189 - Maria knows just what to say to remove "any taint of abnormality. We like one another. I want to make you know about sex, to feel thrilling climaxes— not let you learn about it by being mauled by some brutal man. We are doing nothing wrong. We are not Lesbians like those awful freaks who cut their hair and wear mannish clothes. We are two women who adore one another and who know about being gentle and...

About the author (2015)

E.J. Fleming has been researching Hollywood for decades and has penned biographies of Carole Landis and Wallace Reid, among other books. He lives in the country in Connecticut.

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