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Carole Landis, a Hollywood star who met a tragic end, has seemingly been forgotten by time, but now Christian Blauvelt is determined to keep her legacy alive.
The award-winning author recently co-authored a book in collaboration with Turner Classic Films (TCM), “Hollywood Victory,” which explores how stars from the Golden Age of Cinema supported American troops during World War II.
Encourages Blauvelt to explore the realizations of Bob Hope, Marlene Dietrich, James Stewart and Clark Gable – pour n’en nommer que quelques-uns – il met également en lumière Landis, décédé il ya près de 74 ans le 5 juillet 1948, à 29 years.
“There are so many unsung stars that I think really deserve more attention for their work during this time,” Blauvelt told Fox News Digital. “She’s not very well known today, but Carole Landis, along with a few other actresses, have gone together and traveled more miles around the world, entertaining our frontline troops, than anyone else.
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“Despite her achievements, hardly anyone knows who Carole Landis is today, which is a real shame,” Blauvelt added. “He is a star who has traveled tens of thousands of miles to visit our troops, show them a good time and just make them feel good about themselves during a time of uncertainty and great misery to come. She embodied a true sense of togetherness.”
According to TCM, the Wisconsin-born actress appeared in several small roles before rising to fame with the 1940s prehistoric fantasy “One Million BC.” She then starred in such films as 1941’s ‘Topper Returns’ and ‘I Wake Up Screaming’, as well as 1945’s ‘Having Wonderful Crime’.
In 1942, Landis became heavily involved in the USO. He also wrote a book about his experience, “Four Jills in a Jeep,” which was acquired by 20th Century Fox and made into a movie in 1944. It featured Landis’ real-life touring companions: Martha Raye, Kaye Francis and Mitzi Mayfair. .
“It was something unique for an actress to write a book about her experience entertaining with the troops,” Blauvelt noted. “It was a unique path for a woman to take on such a position, harnessing her glamor for a good cause. It sounds like something that would happen naturally today, but back then it wasn’t that common.”
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Blauvelt described the blonde pin-up as “the female equivalent of Bob Hope”. In 1943, she performed in Britain and North Africa, then in the South Pacific in 1944. The initiative taken by Landis, she said, went beyond what is expected of a female star.
“It was amazing to learn how to turn fame into something really meaningful,” explained Blauvelt. “It’s something we don’t see all the time. And I don’t think we saw it as powerfully as it was expressed in World War II… And there was a real understanding that the war effort transcended politics.
“You could be far to the left, to the far right, or somewhere in between,” he continued. “People still came together to face this common threat. Regardless of politics, people came together and realized they needed to monetize their fame to raise money through war bonds, visit wounded servicemen, entertain troops, anything that could be done to deal with the threat that wants to completely destroy our way of life, which was world fascism.”
Landis is said to have visited more than 250 military bases during the war. He not only participated in bond drives, but also supported organizations serving the armed forces. Despite experiencing health problems related to amoebic dysentery, malaria and pneumonia during his USO duties in the South Pacific, Landis found his involvement in supporting the troops personally rewarding, TCM noted. She served coffee and befriended the military at the Hollywood Canteen, where they could enjoy a hot meal and dance for free with her favorite stars.
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Nicknamed “Pride of the Yankees” by the press and “The Blond Bomber” by soldiers, Landis was reportedly busy with the Red Cross, Naval Aid Auxiliary, and Packets for Bluejackets. He taught first aid and donated blood in his spare time. He reportedly danced with 200 soldiers, invited them to his beach house on weekends, and wrote hundreds of letters to his families.
Landis’s titles included Air Raid Warden, Commander of the Air Nurse Corps, and Honorary Colonel of the American Legion.
But the life of the star is cut short. Blauvelt said those who know Landis today tend to remember her for her tragic passing.
Landis, whose personal life was plagued with problems, was found dead of an apparent suicide. According to multiple reports, Landis was heartbroken after learning that actor Rex Harrison refused to leave her wife Lili Palmer for her. He was the actor who first found Landis at his house.
Blauvelt shared that his book aims to celebrate Landis’ life and accomplishments, as well as those of his peers.
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“I hope readers get a sense that true unity is possible,” he said. “Not just in Hollywood, but in America in general. Hollywood is a place where there are so many different points of view and so many political affiliations that they are often at odds with each other. And yet, here is a moment when they chose to come together. Why can’t we have that again? The unit that reigned in Hollywood at the time was representative of the United States as a whole. He showed that if the movie industry could come together, so could the rest of America.
“I hope that at this time when it seems like we are so divided, that little glimpse of unity that we have had in the past, shared by people like Landis, can inspire us to do it again.”