Monday, October 1, 2012


Singer RussColumbo was a rising singing star in 1934. He was just signed to a long term radio contract, and he was signed to a movie deal with Universal. His first film for the studio was supposed to be film adaptation of the broadway show Show Boat. Also, Russ was engaged to one of the most beautiful actresses in Hollywood - Carole Lombard. Columbo was tragically  killed on Sunday, September 2, 1934, the innocent victim of an accidental shooting. He was 26 years old when he died.

Russ's pall bearers included Stuart Peters, Carole's brother; Walter Lang, the film director and future husband of Madalynne Fields, Carole's friend, (He would later direct the film version of "The King and I"); actors Gilbert Roland and Zeppo Marx, (substituting for director, Lowell Sherman, who fell ill and had to cancel. Sherman died later that year.); musician, Sheldon Keate Callaway; and singer, Bing Crosby. The pall bearers wore white gardenias, Russ's favorite flower, and was given by Carole as an expression of her love.
I had always heard that Bing Crosby was a pallbearer at the funeral for his fellow peer, but I was never sure if it was just Hollywood rumors. He indeed was a pallbearer as the following sad pictures show...  


  1. Wow, David, where did you find these photos? They're fantastic!

  2. Amazingly I think I found them just on a Russ Columbo website.

    Look at 3:40. Bing Crosby on the Joe Franklin show. He talks very graciously about Russ Columbo and mentions having been a pallbearer. I have written a book Two Lovers: the true love story of Carole Lombard and Russ Columbo about their relationship with Bing Crosby.