I was really surprised that Carole doesn't have her own thread, and I thought she really needed one.
Carole Landis (January 1, 1919 Fairchild, Wisconsin, USA – July 5, 1948 Pacific Palisades, California, USA ) was an American film and stage actress.
Landis was born Frances Lillian Mary Ridste in Fairchild, Wisconsin to a Norwegian father, Alfred Ridste, and Polish mother, Clara Stentek Ridste. Her father abandoned the family before Carole was born. Clara had been having an affair with a man named Charles Fenner and some believe he was Carole's real father. She later married Charles but the marriage didn't last. Carole was the youngest of five children. Two of her brothers died in childhood – Jerome was burned by scalding water and Lewis was accidentally shot. According to family sources Carole was sexually abused during her childhood.
Landis at age 15 married Irving Wheeler age 19, a neighbor, in January 1934 but this marriage was annulled in February 1934. They later remarried on August 25, 1934, but divorced in 1939. She quit high school at age 15 and set herself on a path towards a career in show business.
Landis worked as a nightclub singer and a hula dancer in San Francisco before her 1937 film debut as an extra in A Star Is Born. She dyed her hair blonde and changed her name to "Carole Landis" after her favorite actress, Carole Lombard. Landis landed a contract with Warner Bros. Busby Berkeley, director-choreographer, proposed to her in June 1939, but later broke it off, due to the rumors that she was a call girl.
She continued appearing in bit parts until 1940 when Hal Roach cast her as a cave girl in One Million B.C. The movie was a sensation and turned Carole into a star. She was nicknamed "The Ping Girl" (which was supposed to be short for purring) and "The Chest" due to her impressive 36 DD inch bust. Although she desperately wanted to be taken seriously as an actress she was willing to pose for endless cheesecake photos if it helped her career. Carole's trademark was a gold cross she always wore around her neck, which had been a gift from her friend Diana Lewis.
Tall, lean, glamorous and with a strong singing voice, Landis appeared in a string of successful films in the early forties, usually as the second female lead. In a time when the singing of many actresses was dubbed in, Landis's own voice was considered good enough and was used in her few musical roles. Landis landed a contract with 20th Century Fox and began a sexual relationship with Darryl F. Zanuck. She had roles playing opposite fellow pin-up girl Betty Grable in Moon Over Miami and I Wake Up Screaming, both in 1941. When Carole ended her relationship with Zanuck, her career suffered and she was assigned roles in B-movies.
Her marriage to second husband, yacht broker Willis Hunt Jr., lasted just four months. She then married an Army Air Corps captain named Thomas Wallace in 1943, but this marriage also ended in divorce in 1945. Her many boyfriends included Franchot Tone, Gene Markey, Charlie Chaplin, and George Montgomery. Landis became a popular pin-up with servicemen during World War II. In 1942, she toured with comedienne Martha Raye, dancer Mitzi Mayfair and actress Kay Francis with a USO troupe in England and North Africa. Two years later, she entertained soldiers in the South Pacific with Jack Benny. Landis traveled more than 100,000 miles during the war and spent more time visiting troops than any other actress. She nearly died from amoebic dysentery and malaria she contracted while traveling overseas.
Besides being an actress, Landis was also an author. She penned several newspaper and magazine articles about her experiences during the war, including the 1944 book Four Jills in a Jeep, which was later made into a movie. She also wrote the foreword to Victor Herman's cartoon book Winnie The WAC.
In 1945 she starred on Broadway in the musical A Lady Says Yes with Jacqueline Susann, with whom she evidently fell in love and had an affair. Susann purportedly based the character Jennifer North in her book Valley of the Dolls on Landis. In 1945, Landis married Broadway producer W. Horace Schmidlapp, who had been introduced to her by Susann. She desperately wanted to become a mother, but it was later discovered that she suffered from endometriosis and was unable to have children.
Landis was plagued by depression her entire life and attempted suicide in 1944 and 1946. By 1948, her career was in decline and her marriage with Schmidlapp was collapsing. She entered into a romance with actor Rex Harrison, who was married to actress Lilli Palmer at the time.
She spent her final night alive with Harrison. Rex Harrison later claimed they had a pleasant evening discussing Carole's career. The truth was that Carole was hopelessly in love with him and desperately wanted him to leave his wife. During the evening she gave him an ultimatum and he ended their relationship.
Rex Harrison was the last person to ever see her alive. Rex Harrison drove to the Culver's house which was a few blocks away from Capri Drive. Carole was heartbroken over the end of their affair and made a decision to end her life. She collected all of the photos and mementos from their relationship and put them in a suitcase. Then she drove to the Culver's house and left the suitcase in their driveway. The next day Nan Culver found the suitcase and gave it to Rex Harrison. He took it home and burned everything that was in it.
Carole returned home and had a few drinks. Her autopsy later showed that her blood alcohol level was .12 which meant she was not drunk. She tried to call several friends including Marguerite Haymes but no one was home. Marguerite got Carole's message later that evening but decided it was too late to call her back.
Sadly Carole died alone on the bathroom floor. She was lying on a carpet next to an open cabinet. Her arms were bent as if she had been trying to raise herself up. Carole's head was resting on a jewelry box and her left hand she was holding a satin bookmark with the Lord's Prayer on it.
Capt. Emmett E. Jones, West Los Angeles detective and Carole's body
Detectives John Laymen and Emmett Jones
Harrison and the maid discovered her the following afternoon on the bathroom floor. Harrison called a doctor and the police. According to some sources, Landis left two suicide notes, one for her mother and the second to Harrison who instructed his lawyers to destroy it; during a coroner's inquest, Harrison denied knowing any motive for her suicide and told the coroner he did not know of the existence of a second suicide note.
Carole's body was taken to Bogg's and Mashmeyer's funeral home. Rumors circulated that she was pregnant with Rex Harrison's love child. Her autopsy confirmed that she was not pregnant. Carole was unable to have children because she suffered from endometriosis. The official cause of her death was "barbituate poisoning due to ingestion of overdose of Seconal".
On Thursday, July 8 Coroner Ben Brown held an informal inquest to find out what the motive was for Carole's suicide. Rex Harrison arrived at the hearing with his boss Darryl F. Zanuck. When Rex Harrison was asked why Carole had taken her life he said. "I'm sorry, but I can't give you any explanation for it at all. We talked about scripts of a new play I had and the possibilities of her playing in it. We also discussed her project of returning to England. I told her I might be able to help." He claimed that Carole was having financial problems and suffered from an amoebic infection. Carole's maid Fannie Mae Bolden and her best friend Florence Wasson also testified at the hearing. When it was over Coroner Brown told the press "I've gone as far as I can. I have gone to the limits of my authority. The testimony itself revealed no criminal action, and I cannot go further". Carole's family refused to believe that she took her own life. They thought that Rex Harrison was in some way responsible for her death and that he paid the police to cover it up. Her family even hired a private investigator but they were never able to prove Rex Harrison did anything illegal. Although he was never charged with a crime it seems clear that Harrison was not honest about what happened that night.
On July 10, 1948 Carole was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale. Hundreds of her friends and fans came to say goodbye. Her grave is plot 814 in the Everlasting Love section. It is at the top of the hill right next to the road. There are dozens of other celebrities buried at Forest Lawn including Jimmy Stewart, Jeanette MacDonald, and Jean Harlow. The cemetery is located at 1712 S. Glendale Avenue.
After Carole's death she was given a star on the legendary Hollywood Walk Of Fame. She was honored for her contribution to motion pictures. The star was awarded to her in the 1960's shortly after the walk of fame was created. Her one-time boyfriend George Jessell has the star next to hers. There are more than 2,000 stars on the Hollywood walk of fame. You can find Carole's star at 1765 Vine Street in Hollywood.
One more dead pic here, scroll down that page and you find it. Also a lot other stuff about her can be found on that site.