Becoming Carole Lombard

BECOMING CAROLE LOMBARD: Stardom, Comedy and Legacy (2020) Olympia Kiriakou

Becoming Carole Lombard is a historical critique of the development and reception of Carole Lombard’s stardom from the classical Hollywood period to present day. Based on original archival research, Olympia Kiriakou combines theoretically informed textual analyses of Lombard’s performances and star image across different media (biographies, publicity materials, photography and film) with a critical engagement of the cultural, economic, social and industrial conditions that shaped her stardom.

Sitting at the intersection of feminist film theory, star studies and comedy theory, this work presents Lombard as a case study to challenge the screwball canon and existent academic discourse about female physical comedy and the alleged “delicate” female body. In doing so, it formulates a new historical approach to understanding gender, femininity, and identity in Hollywood comedies of the 1930s. Moreover, this is the first research of its kind to offer a comprehensive understanding of Lombard’s stardom beyond her associations with the screwball comedy genre.

About the Author:

Olympia Kiriakou teaches film history and theory at Florida Atlantic University, hosts the podcast The Screwball Story, and created the website Dr. Kiriakou earned her PhD in Film Studies from King’s College London. She also holds an MA in Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto, and a BA, Honors in Multimedia Studies from FAU.