- William Clark Gable was born on February 1, 1901 in Cadiz, Ohio, to Adeline (Hershelman) and William Henry Gable, an oil-well driller. He was of German, Irish, and Swiss-German descent. When he was seven months old, his mother died, and his father sent him to live with his maternal aunt and uncle in Pennsylvania, where he stayed until he was two. His father then returned to take him back to Cadiz. At 16, he quit high school, went to work in an Akron, Ohio, tire factory, and decided to become an actor after seeing the play "The Bird of Paradise". He toured in stock companies, worked oil fields and sold ties. On December 13, 1924, he married Josephine Dillon, his acting coach and 15 years his senior. Around that time, they moved to Hollywood, so that Clark could concentrate on his acting career. In April 1930, they divorced and a year later, he married Maria Langham (a.k.a. Maria Franklin Gable), also about 17 years older than him.
While Gable acted on stage, he became a lifelong friend of Lionel Barrymore. After several failed screen tests (for Barrymore and Darryl F. Zanuck), Gable was signed in 1930 by MGM's Irving Thalberg. He had a small part in The Painted Desert (1931) with starred William Boyd. Joan Crawford asked for him as co-star in Dance, Fools, Dance (1931) and the public loved him manhandling Norma Shearer in A Free Soul (1931) the same year. His unshaven lovemaking with bra-less Jean Harlow in Red Dust (1932) made him MGM's most important star.
His acting career then flourished. At one point, he refused an assignment, and the studio punished him by loaning him out to (at the time) low-rent Columbia Pictures, which put him in Frank Capra's It Happened One Night (1934), which won him an Academy Award for his performance. The next year saw a starring role in Call of the Wild (1935) with Loretta Young, with whom he had an affair (resulting in the birth of a daughter, Judy Lewis). He returned to far more substantial roles at MGM, such as Fletcher Christian in Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) and Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind (1939).
After divorcing Maria Langham, in March 1939 Clark married Carole Lombard, but tragedy struck in January 1942 when the plane in which Carole and her mother were flying crashed into Table Rock Mountain, Nevada, killing them both. A grief-stricken Gable joined the US Army Air Force and was off the screen for three years, flying combat missions in Europe. When he returned the studio regarded his salary as excessive and did not renew his contract. He freelanced, but his films didn't do well at the box office. He married Sylvia Ashley, the widow of Douglas Fairbanks, in 1949. Unfortunately this marriage was short-lived and they divorced in 1952. In July 1955 he married a former sweetheart, Kathleen Williams Spreckles (a.k.a. Kay Williams) and became stepfather to her two children, Joan and Adolph ("Bunker") Spreckels III.
On November 16, 1959, Gable became a grandfather when Judy Lewis, his daughter with Loretta Young, gave birth to a daughter, Maria. In 1960, Gable's wife Kay discovered that she was expecting their first child. In early November 1960, he had just completed filming The Misfits (1961), when he suffered a heart attack, and died later that month, on November 16, 1960. Gable was buried shortly afterwards in the shrine that he had built for Carole Lombard and her mother when they died, at Forest Lawn Cemetery.
In March 1961, Kay Gable gave birth to a boy, whom she named John Clark Gable after his father.- IMDb Mini Biography By: Ed Stephan <email@example.com> and Gable Freak
- Clark Gable was an American film actor, often referred to as "The King of Hollywood" or just simply as "The King." The 1930s saw him at the peak of his acting ability and his popular appeal, as he often portrayed down-to-earth, bravado characters with a carefree attitude. He was known as the epitome of masculinity with his unmatched charm and knowing smile. He was named the seventh greatest male star of classic American cinema by the American Film Institute.
Gable was born in Cadiz, Ohio, to William Henry Gable, an oil-well driller, and his wife, Adeline, in 1901. When he was six months old, his mother baptized him as a Roman Catholic and she would pass away just a month later. He quit high school at the age of 16 and was inspired to become an actor after seeing the play The Bird of Paradise. However, he was unable to begin a legitimate career until the age of 21, at which point he had inherited some money.
In 1924, Gable moved to Hollywood with his theatre coach Josephine Dillon, who was 17 years older than him. She paid for him to have his teeth repaired and his hair styled. She also trained him to lower his voice and attain better body posture, attributes that that were instrumental in contributing to his later success and eventual iconic status. She became his manager and the two eventually got married, although they divorced in 1930, a year before marrying his second wife Maria Franklin Gable.
Gable worked as an extra in Hollywood before making his talking film debut in The Painted Desert (1931), a western in which he played an archetypal villain named Brett. Gable would go on to star in many films including Red Dust (1932), Mutiny on the Bounty (1935), Wife vs. Secretary (1936), San Francisco (1936), Call of the Wild (1935), Saratoga (1937), Too Hot to Handle (1938), Possessed (1931), China Seas (1935) and Manhattan Melodrama (1934). While starring in various films, he signed a contract with MGM that lasted for twenty-three years.
In the 1930s, Gable firmly cemented his status as a cinematic legend. He starred in the now classic romantic comedy film It Happened One Night (1934), a film that earned all 5 of the major Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Gable and Best Picture. He also starred alongside Vivien Leigh in the Oscar-winning epic Gone with the Wind (1939), a film that, adjusted for inflation, would be the top-grossing movie of all time as it was estimated to have grossed an adjusted $4.4 billion. Arthur Miller, writer of The Misfits (1961), had described Gable as "the man who did not know how to hate".- IMDb Mini Biography By: Kyle Perez
- SpousesKay Williams(July 11, 1955 - November 16, 1960) (his death, 1 child)Sylvia Ashley(December 20, 1949 - April 21, 1952) (divorced)Carole Lombard(March 29, 1939 - January 16, 1942) (her death)Maria Franklin Gable(July 19, 1931 - March 4, 1939) (divorced)Josephine Dillon(December 13, 1924 - April 1, 1930) (divorced)
- ParentsWilliam Henry GableAdeline Gable
- Tapered mustache that hugged his upper lip
- Often played a virile, lovable rogue whose gruff facade only thinly masked a natural charm and goodness.
- Distinctive, powerful voice
- Oversized ears
- Gave his Oscar for It Happened One Night (1934) to a child who admired it, telling him it was the winning of the statue that had mattered, not owning it. The child returned the Oscar to the Gable family after Clark's death.
- He was already good friends with Hattie McDaniel prior to their making Gone with the Wind (1939) together, and wanted her to play the part of "Mammy", but it was her coming fully dressed and nailing the part that got her the coveted role. When it came time for the premiere on December 15, 1939, producer David O. Selznick attempted to bring along McDaniel. MGM advised him not to because of Georgia's strict segregation laws, which would have prevented McDaniel from being at the same function, on an equal basis, with whites. Gable was so outraged he told MGM he would not attend the premiere unless she was allowed to attend, also. She eventually convinced him to attend without her.
- On June 11, 1933, he was hospitalized for pyorrhea, an infection of the gums the day before he was to begin shooting Dancing Lady (1933). He was hospitalized for several days, after which most of his teeth were extracted. The infection would have killed him had he not been rushed to a private hospital for treatment. Afterwards, he went on a vacation to Alaska and Canada with his wife, as it would take a couple of weeks for his gums to heal enough so he could be fitted for dentures. MGM shot around him until he returned and was fitted with a dental plate, but on July 30, after one day's shooting, the infection felled him again. In the days before antibiotics, the infection was so serious that his gall bladder was removed. Out for another month, the film had to be shut down and went $150,000 over budget. MGM boss Louis B. Mayer docked him two weeks pay, which caused bad feelings between the studio and its top star, although his illness was genuine and he was not malingering. To teach him a lesson, Mayer lent him to Columbia Pictures, then a "Poverty Row" studio, to make a comedy. The movie, Frank Capra's masterpiece It Happened One Night (1934), swept the Academy Awards the next year and brought Gable his only Oscar.
- In 1939, part of his and Carole Lombard's honeymoon was spent at the Willows Inn in Palm Springs, CA. Today the Inn continues to operate and anyone can stay in the same room, which is largely unaltered since then.
- The only reason they come to see me is that I know that life is great - and they know I know it.
- [on his acting ability] I worked like a son of a bitch to learn a few tricks and I fight like a steer to avoid getting stuck with parts I can't play.
- This "King" stuff is pure bullshit. I eat and sleep and go to the bathroom just like everybody else. There's no special light that shines inside me and makes me a star. I'm just a lucky slob from Ohio. I happened to be in the right place at the right time, and I had a lot of smart guys helping me--that's all.
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