Carole Lombard as Irene Bullock in 'My Man Godfrey' Costume Designed by Travis Banton



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Carole Lombard, the famously foul-mouthed actress, was definitely Hollywood Royalty and the fact that she married the King of Hollywood, Clarke Gable in 1939, set that title in stone. She was also known as the “Queen of Screwball Comedies” having gained early comedic training as one of the Max Sennett Bathing Beauties. Lombard was perfect in the role of Irene, a spoiled and zany heiress who finds a “forgotten man” for a charity scavenger hunt and hires him as her butler. The sophisticated and clever film was a box office hit and her performance is considered by many as her finest performance. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role of a naïve girl who becomes a woman after falling in love with Godfrey.

Travis Banton, who was synonymous with the style of the 1930’s, created slinky and glamorous creations using the finest fabrics for the socialite character of Irene. They perfectly symbolized the contrasts with the “haves” and the Depression-era “have not’s” and it is a moment of comedic karma when the character is pushed into a trash heap wearing this crystal gown.



“Carole Lombard as Irene Bullock in 'My Man Godfrey' Costume Designed by Travis Banton,” Film Costume Collection, accessed June 18, 2024,

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