Bubbly child star Shirley Temple enthusiastically celebrates Christmas Day. An apocryphal story claims that Temple stopped believing in old St. Nick when a department store Santa asked for her autograph. One of the most popular stars of the 1930s, she saved Fox from bankruptcy with her films’ box office success.
Comely comedienne Carole Lombard decks the halls in time for Christmas. Often playing ditzy but sexy screen heroines, the effervescent Lombard married and divorced debonair William Powell before finding lasting love with handsome Clark Gable. She died tragically at the age of thirty-three in a plane crash outside Las Vegas, Nevada.
Inventive screen comedian Buster Keaton helps his family decorate the Christmas tree. Called “The Great Stone Face,” the athletic Keaton performed spectacular stunts in his imaginative silent films, including Sherlock, Jr. (1924), The General (1926), and The Cameraman (1928), before becoming a gagman and writer for other comedians.
Claudette Colbert admires her oversized portrait lining Vine Street in Hollywood for the 1932 Santa Claus Lane shopping season. Sophisticated and charming, Colbert gave her parts a down-t0-earth common sense and humorous attitude. She earned an Academy Award for her role in It Happened One Night (1934).
The Munsters scare up a large haul of Christmas presents. Starring Fred Gwynne, Butch Patrick, Al Lewis, Yvonne De Carlo, and Beverly Owen, the 1960s television show The Munsters highlighted the comic misadventures of a friendly but clueless family of monsters who never quite understood why people responded to them so strangely.
Musical comedy star Jack Haley gives a little ho-ho-ho as a bug-eyed Santa Claus in this M. B. Paul photo. Remembered affectionately for his role as the Tin Man in the classic The Wizard of Oz (1939), Haley sang and danced his way through many a Fox musical.
READ MORE: SIMPLE PLEASURES OF THE CHRISTMAS SEASON