She made her film debut at the age of 12 in A Perfect Crime (1921) (There has been some speculation that she was actually a few years older than her given birthdate). In the 1920s she worked in several low-budget productions. In some of her early movies she was credited as Jane Peters, and then as Carol Lombard. In 1925 she was signed as a contract player with 20th Century Fox. She also worked for Mack Sennett and Pathe Pictures. She became a well known actress and managed to make a smooth transition to sound films, starting with High Voltage (1929). In 1930 she began working as for Paramount Pictures.
Carole Lombard was killed in a airplane crash in Nevada when returning from a War Bond tour in 1942. She is interred next to Clark Gable in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.