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While playing baseball with friends, she caught the attention of the film director Allan Dwan, who later recalled seeing "a cute-looking little tomboy ...
out there knocking the hell out of the other kids, playing better baseball than they were.
Her performance was well received, with a reviewer for Motion Picture News writing that she displayed "good poise and considerable charm." Gehring has suggested that a facial scar she obtained in an automobile accident was a factor in this decision.
She was the highest-paid star in Hollywood in the late 1930s.
Lombard was born into a wealthy family in Fort Wayne, Indiana, but was raised in Los Angeles by her single mother.
She selected the name "Carol" after a girl with whom she played tennis in middle school.
In October 1924, shortly after these disappointments, 16-year-old Lombard was signed to a contract with the Fox Film Corporation.