Landis, Carole (1919–1948)

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Landis, Carole (1919–1948)

American actress. Born Frances Lillian Mary Ridste on January 1, 1919, in Fairchild, Wisconsin; committed suicide on July 4, 1948; daughter of a railroad switchman; married four times.

Selected filmography:

A Star is Born (1937); A Day at the Races (1937); Four's a Crowd (1938); Daredevils of the Red Circle (serial, 1939); One Million B.C. (1940); Turnabout (1940); Road Show (1941); Topper Returns (1941); Moon Over Miami (1941); I Wake Up Screaming (1941); Dance Hall (1941); Cadet Girl (1941); It Happened in Flat Bush (1942); My Gal Sal (1942); Manila Calling (1942); Orchestra Wives (1942); Four Jills in a Jeep (1944); Secret Command (1944); It Shouldn't Happen to a Dog (1946); Behind Green Lights (1946); A Scandal in Paris (1946); Out of the Blue (1947); The Brass Monkey (1948); Lucky Mascot (1948); The Noose (1948).

Carole Landis was the daughter of a railroad switchman who abandoned the family when she was three. By age 12, Landis was entering beauty contests; by age 15, she had eloped with a policeman. They separated three weeks later. The following year, the well-built teenager migrated to San Francisco and took a job as a singer-hula dancer. With her arrival in Hollywood, the 18-year-old Landis, with the "best legs in town," appeared with little notice in 17 films. She first caught the audience's attention as the lead cavewoman in One Million B.C.

One of the first to entertain the troops during World War II, Landis' health suffered when she contracted amoebic dysentery and malaria. The movie Four Jills in a Jeep recounted her experiences overseas, and those of fellow performers Kay Francis, Mitzi Mayfair , and Martha Raye . After the war, Landis' career seemed to flatten out. She tried to counter it with a 1945 New York stage appearance in A Lady Says Yes. The termination of an affair with the married Rex Harrison, husband of Lilli Palmer , seemed to be too much. Landis was found dead of an

overdose of sleeping pills the night after a farewell dinner with Harrison. She was 29.

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