Warner Brothers & Busby Berkeley

Carole Landis 1937

"I believe in dreams. Dreams and a little of the stuff it takes to back them up." ~ Carole in 1937

In the spring of 1937 eighteen year old Carole auditioned for director Busby Berkeley. He was impressed with her dancing and with her beautiful figure. Busby gave her a bit part in the musical Varsity Show. She was only supposed to be in a few scenes but when a dancer quit Busby put Carole in the big dance finale. Off screen she and Busby started a highly publicized romance. He was twenty-three years older than her and had been married several times. With Busby's help Carole was given a one year contract at Warner Brothers for $50 a week. Since she was still considered a minor she actually had to got to court to get the contract approved. She was given small roles in more than a dozen films including Hollywood Hotel, Gold Diggers In Paris, Boy Meets Girl, and Blondes At Work.

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Posing for leg art in 1937

Carole Landis 1937
Carole in July of 1937

Most of the parts were forgettable but she was beginning to make a name for herself in Hollywood. Carole posed for hundreds of publicity photos and became known for her sexy leg art. She said "It was the leg art that did the trick. Naughty leg art, if you happen to look at it in that light. You see when the boys needed someone to pose in a skin-tight white bathing suit, go sleigh riding in shorts, or climb a ladder in a skirt they would yell 'Get Landis!' and Landis was willin'. That made everybody happy except, maybe, the goody-goods and the bluenoses and I suspect they took a second peek now and then.". In April of 1938 she made her radio debut in the Warner Brothers Academy show "Special Agent". During her time at the studio she became close friends with Diana Lewis and Pat O'Brien.

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Carole with Busby Berkeley

Carole Landis 1938

Busy encouraged her to change her hair from platinum blonde to brunette. He wanted to marry her but his mother did not approve of their romance. Then in the Spring of 1938 Irving Wheeler, Carole's estranged husband, sued Busby for alienation of affection. The story made headlines all over the country and she was featured on the cover of the New York Daily News. Although Irving lost the case the bad publicity hurt her reputation. When her contract with Warner Brothers expired they did not renew it. Carole's romance with Busby ended in the Summer of 1938. She said "I think Busby is a very grand person and I have the highest regard for him. I do hope someday he'll meet the right person to bring him happiness as a life companion. I wasn't the right person.".

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Carole with Rosemary Lane on the set of Gold Diggers In Paris

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Carole Landis 1938

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