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Russ Columbo Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Trivia (7) | Salary (1)

Overview (3)

Born in Camden, New Jersey, USA
Died in Los Angeles, California, USA  (accidental shooting)
Birth NameRuggiero Eugenio di Rodolfo Colombo

Mini Bio (1)

Russ Columbo was born on January 14, 1908 in Camden, New Jersey, USA as Ruggiero Eugenio di Rodolfo Colombo. He died on September 2, 1934 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

Trivia (7)

Linked romantically to Carole Lombard at the time of his death.
His mother was gravely ill at the time of his death and was never told of it. She lived the next ten years believing that he was alive, her husband writing her letters as Russ -- telling her of his life and continuing success in the movies.
Interred at Forest Lawn (Glendale), Glendale, California, USA, in the Great Mausoleum, Sanctuary of Vespers, to the left of the Last Supper Window.
Singer Russ Columbo, a major romantic idol in the early 1930s, was in the midst of a highly publicized romance with Carole Lombard (which her studio was said to have strongly opposed) when he was killed in a bizarre shooting "accident" at the age of 26. In 1955, popular recording star Alan Dale was approached by producers planning a film based on the life of Russ Columbo. It had long been noted that Dale's voice had a quality reminiscent of the ill-fated singer's, and in view of the dramatic and tragic events in Columbo's life, such a movie seemed like a good bet. For some mysterious reason the project never materialized.
Universal once considered him for the role of Gaylord Ravenal when their 1930s film version of Show Boat (1936) was still in the discussion stages, but his death ended the speculation.
The circumstances of Russ Columbo's sudden death, if true, constitute one of the most freakish freak accidents ever brought to popular attention. The story as it is most frequently given runs thus: Columbo was visiting the studio of a photographer friend when the friend, in lighting a cigarette, lit the match by striking it against the wooden stock of an antique French dueling pistol. The flame set off a long-forgotten charge in the gun, and a lead pistol ball was fired. The pistol ball ricocheted off a nearby table and hit Columbo in the forehead, killing him almost instantly. All this took place in about ten seconds.
After Russ Columbo's death, his girlfriend, actress Carole Lombard, and his friends got together and staged an elaborate subterfuge (similar to the plot of the recent film "Good Bye, Lenin!") to keep Columbo's mother from finding out that her son had died, since they thought the news would kill her. The secret campaign, which included making and sending her false reports of what he was supposedly doing and what was happening to him career-wise, continued until Lombard's own early death in 1942.

Salary (1)

Broadway Thru a Keyhole (1933) $7,500 /week

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