Russ Columbo, Happy Birthday from Your Angel, Carole Lombard

by Beverly Adam (author of Two Lovers: the love story of Carole Lombard and Russ Columbo)

“Carole Lombard  and Russ Columbo were the gayest of gay and continued to dance the rumba long after everyone had gone home…” Silver Screen Magazine reported on the charming couple’s partying in 1934.



Looking back at their romance, I can write they were truly two people who were destined to meet and fall in love. And oh how they enjoyed each other’s company and that of others!


Russ Columbo had once hosted at the height of his radio and theater career in the early 1930’s  a party at the famed  Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York city, hosting over 200 reporters to celebrate his success at the local Paramount Brooklyn Theater. His musical variety shows were sold-out, five shows a day. He set a record that would not be broken for a quarter of a  century at the theater.


The gifted singer and songwriter Russ  Columbo grew-up in show business and performed as a child  as a violin prodigy. He was born into a large Italian American family  on January 14, 1908, in Camden, New Jersey  and had taken the radio airwaves by storm as The Valentino of The Radio, making all the young girls’ hearts flutter with his velvety voice and handsome profile.

And then one fateful night at the Cocoanut Grove his eyes met hers and they started an unforgettable romance. She told reporters, “His love for me was the kind that seldom comes to any woman.” In another interview she said, “I have married, divorced, and loved again.” This was in 1934. Carole Lombard showed her love both in action and words, and sometimes by the gifts she gave him. They were noted in newspapers and by the inventory of his estate.

What kind of gifts would you give a male Hollywood star on his birthday? We know that Carole Lombard gave Russ an Alaskan malamute puppy.


She, according to the accounting of Russ Columbo’s estate, gave him a silver platinum cigarette case with his initials set in small diamonds. It may have looked something like this (see below).


The silver cigarette case Carole Lombard gave Russ Columbo probably looked something like this, but with his initials on top set in small diamonds.




Russ Columbo wearing a trinity ring on his wedding finger. Carole Lombard often wore the matching signet ring.  It was featured with the magazine article where  she stated she had “loved” him.

53bdffd362c600ea5d2c72ef0cc9788fListed among the other items she was known to gift Russ was a Cartier watch inscribed from her to him. Carole Lombard also gave him a ring with an inset solitaire diamond.


1933 Cartier watch.







Happy Birthday Russ!

Love, your Angel,

Carole Lombard