Carole Landis

Active - 1937 - 1948  |   Born - Jan 1, 1919   |   Died - Jul 5, 1948   |   Genres - Comedy, Musical, Drama

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Biography by AllMovie

Of Polish and Norwegian descent, Carole Landis moved with her mother and siblings from Wisconsin to California, where at age seven she made her inauspicious stage debut in an amateur talent show. Within five years, Carole began winning beauty contests. In high school, she was only interested in athletics, organizing a girl's football team which was dissolved by the principal on the grounds that it was "unladylike." Married at 15 and separated a few weeks later, Carole dropped out of school to pursue an acting career. She was principal singer and star hula dancer at the Royal Hawaiian club in San Francisco. Entering films in 1937 as a bit actress, Carole played a thankless leading role in the 1939 serial Daredevils of the Red Circle. Later that year, she was selected to play the prehistoric heroine of Hal Roach's One Million BC; according to Roach, she won the role on the basis of her athletic prowess and running ability. Signed at Roach, Carole was dubbed "The Ping Girl" in the studio's publicity, appearing in comedy leads in Turnabout, Road Show, and Topper Returns (all 1941). In 1941, half of Carole's Roach contract was purchased by 20th Century-Fox. She received good reviews for her performances in such Fox films as I Wake Up Screaming (1941), Orchestra Wives (1942) and My Gal Sal (1942). In 1942, Carole joined Martha Raye, Kay Francis and Mitzi Mayfair for a Hollywood Victory Committee tour of the British isles. She wrote a book on the subject of this tour, Four Jills in A Jeep, which in 1944 was filmed by Fox with the four actresses starring. Carole was one of the most tireless performers on the USO circuit, at one point contracting malaria but insisting upon maintaining her hectic schedule. On the home front, she was a principal fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. After briefly appearing in a 1945 Broadway musical, Carole returned to films, but her star had eclipsed and she had to make do with B pictures. In 1948, Carole Landis committed suicide.

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