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Hollywood Memorial

Carole Landis

A popular film star of the 1930s and 1940s, making over 50 films, she was dubbed the ‘Sweater Girl’ early in her career. At age 15, Carole married Irving Wheeler, but the union was quickly annulled (the couple remarried in 1934). She worked as a dancer and singer, but in 1937 won a studio contract with Warner Brothers Studio, where she played mostly bit parts. In 1939, she divorced Wheeler, and when she was cast as the lead female role in ‘One Million B.C.’ her career began to take off. Critics and movie reviewers dwelled on her beauty, and not on her talent. She is known for her role in ‘Four Jills in a Jeep,’ based on a popular book of the same name that she wrote about her first USO tour. Considered highly intelligent, generous, and talented, she toured with the USO twice during the war, and almost died in 1945 from amoebic dysentery and malaria that she contracted in the Pacific. Despite a well-received comedy film in 1945, ‘Having Wonderful Crime,’ Fox dropped her contract. Carole was plagued by depression her entire life and attempted suicide in 1944 and 1946. By 1948 her career was fading and her marriage with Producer Harold Schmidlapp was failing. She entered into a romance with actor Rex Harrison who was at the time married to actress Lilli Palmer. Landis was reported to be crushed when Harrison refused to divorce his wife in her favor and unable to cope any longer, she committed suicide at Pacific Palisades, California, by taking an overdose of Seconal. Her final night alive had been spent with Harrison and it was Harrison who found her body the next morning. She was just 29 years old. Carole’s mother and sister, never believed that Carole committed suicide. They tried for years to prove that Rex Harrison was responsible for her death but could not find evidence. Her epitaph reads, ‘To our beloved Carole, whose love, graciousness, and kindness touched us all – who will always be with us in the beauties of this earth until we meet again’ in a grave at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale.