Daily Variety editor Arthur Ungar penned a page-one tribute to Lombard that led the Jan. 19, 1942, edition.
“Carole Lombard died in the line of duty. She was the first casualty of show business in this world war. She was in active service on a mission in defense of the United States — selling Defense Bonds — when death suddenly overtook her in the skies,” Ungar wrote.At a time when the country was polarized about whether to enter the conflict, Lombard had been an outspoken supporter of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
It was no surprise that she was among the first in what Variety then referred to as “the film colony” to raise her hand to help the war effort. U.S. Treasury officials put the movie star to work selling war bonds to finance the enormous military and industrial response to Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
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World War II impacted Hollywood differently then. After that, they no longer were “Americans” imho.