Carole Lombard: Early Years in Slapstick

Today is the birthday of the great screen light comedienne Carole Lombard (1908-1942). As impossible as it may seem to disassociate your mental image of her from that ethereal voice, the fact remains that young Jane Alice Peters got her start as a child in silent pictures, acting in films for Allan Dwan and Raoul Walsh and others before becoming one of Mack Sennett’s Bathing Beauties in 1928, even starring in one film The Campus Vamp a.k.a The Campus Carmen. Here it is!:

The following year, she began appearing in talkies and the better known phase of her career, at one point becoming the highest paid star in Hollywood.

For more on silent and slapstick comedy films please check out my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from etc etc etc


To find out more about show business past and presentconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famousavailable at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.




  1. “The Campus Vamp” and “The Campus Carmen” are two different films; “Vamp” was released Nov. 25, 1928, while “Carmen” came out some two months earlier, on Sept. 23. Incidentally, portions of “Vamp” were used in the 1985 film “Maxie,” where Glenn Close portrays a woman possessed by the spirit of a 1920s flapper…played by Lombard! (


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