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Carole Lombard’s Honeymoon Home

The “happiest bride in Hollywood,” Carole Lombard made her honeymoon home with William Powell in Whitley Heights.

Following their June 1931 wedding, the Paramount stars moved into a romantic four-bedroom Spanish Villa on Iris Circle with panoramic views, vaulted ceilings, tiled courtyards, and a two-car garage tunneling beneath the living room.

Eight months earlier, it had been love at first sight on the set of Man of the World—opposing personalities be damned: Lombard, 22, earned her nickname “Profane Angel,” while 38-year-old Powell exuded sophistication. To naysayers, she insisted theirs was a “perfect see-saw love.”

He proposed with an 80-carat sapphire ring, blue to match her eyes. It was the same color she wore on their wedding day.

As a wife, Lombard embraced domesticity. She learned to cook and meticulously decorated their home, which she filled with fresh flowers every week. Her husband, she gushed to Motion Picture magazine, was so impressed he’d pat a chair or lamp and remark, “Now this is a cute piece.”

In early 1932, the newlyweds invited cameras in to document their bliss. Powell joked that when couples do this, half the time “the divorce papers are filed before the magazine even gets to the stands.”

Indeed, the lovey-dovey photoshoot did little to quiet rumors about the strength of the marriage. Yes, Lombard was growing bored, but she insisted their few quarrels were blown out of proportion in the press.

The scrutiny took its toll and by their second anniversary, the honeymoon period was officially over. To salvage the friendship, they had to end the marriage, and in July 1933, Lombard and Powell divorced. But there was no bitterness, she insisted. “I must like the man, or I wouldn’t have married him in the first place.”

Even when linked to others, the exes could be spotted mingling at parties or Hollywood events. And in 1936, they reunited onscreen in My Man Godfrey, which earned both an Oscar nomination.

The two remained close until the very end, which came much sooner than either could have imagined.

In 1942, Lombard, 33, was killed in a plane crash returning home from a war bond rally in Indiana. Her grieving husband, Clark Gable, was gracious enough to invite Powell to the funeral.

Unconventional to most, the bond between Lombard and Powell was explained by friend Adela Rogers St. Johns: “…Weeping as though her heart would break, she put her arms around him and said goodbye to him as a husband. But she saved him as the best friend any woman ever had.”


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