Warner Brothers & Busby Berkeley

Carole Landis 1937
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 was twenty-three years older than her and had been married several times. Busby helped Carole get 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, and Blondes At Work.

Carole Landis Leg ArtCarole Landis Leg Art
Posing for leg art in 1937

Carole Landis Rosemary Lane
With Rosemary Lane on the set of Gold Diggers In Paris

Although most of the parts were forgettable 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".

Carole Landis Busby BerkeleyCarole Landis Busby Berkeley
With Busby Berkeley

Carole Landis Ronald Reagan
With Ronald Reagan

Busy encouraged Carole to change her hair from platinum blonde to brunette. He wanted to marry her but his mother did not approve of their romance. Irving Wheeler, Carole's estranged husband, sued Busby for alienation of affection in May of 1938. The story made headlines all over the country and Carole was featured on the cover of the New York Daily News. Irving lost the case but the bad publicity hurt Carole's 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.".

Carole Landis 1937Carole Landis 1937

Carole Landis Glenda Farrell Suzanne Kaaren
With Glenda Farrell and Suzanne Kaaren


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Carole Landis New York Daily NewsCarole Landis 1937 ArticleCarole Landis Veda Ann Borg 1937

Carole Landis 1938Carole Landis 1937Carole Landis Hugh O'Connell