On March 26, 1958, Clark Gable put on a tux (complete with tails, no less) and headed to the RKO Pantages Theater for the 30th Annual Academy Awards. He attended as a presenter with his Teacher’s Pet co-star, Doris Day. This marked one of the handful of times that Clark attended the awards and is especially significant because it is one of just a few occasions that he appeared on television. Clark and Doris presented the two awards for Best Screenplay, Adapted and Written for the Screen.
Clark and Doris appear at 4:40, after Bob Hope does some stand-up (lot of Russian and I’m-never-nominated jokes). Notice they play the theme from Teacher’s Pet when they walk out. Clark looks very nervous; he was notoriously scared of crowds and public speaking. And what is with his haircut?
The big winner that year was Bridge on the River Kwai, walking away with Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Original Score, and Best Film Editing in addition the screenplay Oscar. Sayonara was also a big winner, winning four Oscars.
Other presenters that evening included John Wayne, June Allyson, Vincent Price, Bette Davis, Gary Cooper, Fred Astaire, Ronald Reagan, Gregory Peck, Ernest Borgnine, Cyd Charisse, Lana Turner and Sophia Loren–wow!
Some of my all-time favorite pictures are from the rehearsal a few days prior:
PS…you can watch Kirk and Burt’s hilarious performance here.
From April 1939:
Clark Gable has about decided to wear a thin upper lip mustache with waxed ends for his role of Rhett Butler. His idea was to wear all black throughout the picture but he was talked out of it because the picture will be done in color—so he has compromised on grays and blues.
This 1937 is purely MGM propaganda–“We have two hot male leads! Look at how great they both are!” A bunch of hogwash to think that because they were both leading men they were instantly rivals. Clark and Bob, in fact, grew to be good friends in the years following. Bob and his wife Barbara Stanwyck had a ranch near Clark and Carole’s and the four of them were often together. Only thing worthwhile in this article is some of the quotes:
“I see Mr. Taylor as a rival!” marvels Mr. Gable, spreading his four-square smile. “Never even thought of such a thing. Bob’s a fine boy, a fine-looking boy, a young, healthy, virile, clean, intelligent American boy, and God knows we need more of them in this business. I’m glad he came along. He has taken some of the burden off my shoulders, and I’m grateful to him. I’ve worked plenty. I do too many pictures. I’d rather do less and be seen less. For a long time Bob Montgomery and I were the only leading men on the lot, and we were kept going from one woman star to another. Bill Powell has been here for only the last year and a half. Then Spencer Tracy joined the gang. Now, with Taylor, there are five of us. And as for Bob all I can say, and say it from the heart, is welcome to our Culver City.”
Mr. Taylor is all but diffident as he hesitates to say: “I don’t know how Gable feels about me, but I’d like to be a pal of his. He’s completely a man. When I came here people kept asking, ‘Why don’t you get acquainted with Clark?’ I told them, ‘He doesn’t want any of me.’ You see, I felt he was too big to be bothered with small-fry. So for a long time it was just a case of ‘Hello’ or ‘How are you?’ when we happened to pass on the lot. I’d been a fan of his ever since seeing him in ‘Free Soul’—still am. After that picture I talked about him for weeks, then did more talking when I saw him in ‘The Secret Six.’ But I didn’t have the nerve to talk to him on the lot. Finally there was a matter of business I wanted his advice on, and I got up guts enough to ask him if he’d let me see him about it. He opened up like a book, and he’s been swell ever since. Now we go to lunch together, and I get a big kick out of it. My being a leading man hasn’t made any difference. I couldn’t be a rival of his even if I were chump enough to have any such fool idea.”
I love his description of liking Clark in A Free Soul and being intimidated by him.
“That’s the way I figure myself,” explains Mr. Gable. “When I came into pictures I hadn’t the faintest notion of ever becoming a star. Such a possibility never entered my head. Far from it, I didn’t think I could even be a leading man, for at that time leading men were different from those of today. I wasn’t a pretty boy. And, anyway, they didn’t think much of stage actors then. They’d rather have a good-looking doorman or a truck-driver. My looks, romantically, weren’t worth a nickel. I’d never have got my foot in at all if it hadn’t been for gangster pictures. All that saved me was that I could look tough.”
What do you think, are his looks worth a nickel?? He is right, though. Clark helped usher in a new era of leading man. Gone were the overly romantic, fluffy stylings of Valentino and Gilbert, in were the rough, tough and manly men who would slap your face one minute and take you in their arms the next.
“I was lucky to get anywhere,” Mr. Gable is grateful to say. “It’s all in the luck of the game. But popularity in pictures is very temporary. It may be for this year, then it’s gone forever. You’re up today and down tomorrow. There’s no use trying to keep it up. You just have to struggle along and make the best of it. But the trouble today is that the average beginner wants to start as a star and work down. He needn’t worry about the working-down part—there’s sure to be plenty of people to help him. What has helped me most of all is experience. I’ve had seventeen years of it. Best of all was that I got in theatrical stock companies. It’s unfortunate we haven’t them today, for there’s no other place where an actor gets such valuable training. It’s like an interne learning to be a doctor. Bob Taylor is fortunate for having studied in the studio dramatic class. He came out of it knowing something about the work he was going to do. I only hope there’ll be more like him. We haven’t enough young actors to fill the bill. It is because of the lack of them that there are so many foreign actors in American pictures. Not that I object to them generally. But I don’t think it a good idea to have foreigners play American characters, for no matter how good they are they can’t be convincing. It takes actors like Taylor to play those parts. When I started I was at least what might be called a home-grown, or garden variety of actor. Sprouting in Akron, after coming down from the Ohio back-hills, I was just about as green as they come. With Taylor it was different. He came out of college, where he had played in the dramatic society. But it was simply the glamour of the theatre that got me. I’d sit pop-eyed in the gallery watching the actors and say, ‘Oh God, if I could only do that!’”
It’s interesting what he says about foreign actors in American roles—wonder if he still thought that after starring opposite Vivien Leigh as a certain Miss O’Hara?
You can read the article in its entirety in The Article Archive.
It’s Valentines Day, so let’s all go on a date with Clark Gable, shall we?
Ok, first of all, this really isn’t “a date,” more like just meeting a journalist for a quick lunch, so the title is pretty misleading. Also it is of note that it’s long been Hollywood lore that Clark and the author of this piece, May Mann, had a thing going for a while. Apparently to score her first interview with him, she sat outside his dressing room door in a tight, lowcut dress. From then on she scored several interviews with Clark and they were spotted out on the town together in the late 1940’s, So this whole thing is one big charade, but hey let’s read it anyway…
Of course there isn’t a girl who would need the slightest urging or a second bid to accept a date with Clark Gable. If Clark suggested horse-back riding, the girl would agree and rustle riding pants and boots, even if she’d never been closer to a horse than on the grandstand at Santa Anita. Or if Clark were at Sun Valley or Yosemite in winter, and he said: “Let’s go skiing!” a girl would brace herself for a dozen spills and a probable broken neck rather than admit she wasn’t athletic, and lose out on “a date with Clark Gable!” Should such an opportunity present itself, she would most likely give her arm a good pinch to see if she were awake or just delirious in the middle of a dream. And that girl might be one of Hollywood’s top-flight stars, a secretary at the studio, or a girl behind the counter in a department store. And the date might be a ride around the bloc in Clark’s sixteen-cylinder Packard roadster, or dinner and dancing at the Trocadero. Even though the Gable dates are pretty well written down on Carole Lombard’s calendar, Clark is still eligible enough. And though the chances of any mere Miss being dated by Gable when there’s the glamorous Lombard in the offing, one never can tell when the circumstances might just be right, and such an opportunity might come to some lucky girl.
Once in the not so distant past, I was sent by an enterprising editor to write a newspaper feature on “How It Would Be to Have a Date With Gable.” When I was introduced to Mr. Gable on a movie set at his studio. And got a first-hand close-up for that boyish grin, the Gable dimples and his engaging personality, I stepped right out of my classification of Hollywood news correspondent into the Clark Gable Movie Fan class. I was not a little confused as I tried to explain the nature of the interview, and kept thinking how faultless were his gray tweeds, the dull green shirt and matching tie of soft wool, and how remarkably well the coat fit on his broad shoulders. Clark wears clothes with a careless grace, seemingly unaware of his sartorial elegance.
“Please understand, Mr. Gable, I don’t want a date personally, I just want to write how it would be—“ and then I hastened to add: “Of course I don’t mean it wouldn’t be nice to have a date, but I assure you I don’t expect one, and this is all business.” (And I felt myself blushing, actually.)
Clark just grinned at me, having a lot of fun at my expense, and suggested we go over to a quiet corner and talk. He soon placed me at ease by relating some commonplace events of the day, and making some friendly inquiries about this rather beflustered and suddenly movie-struck reporter. Prop-men were breaking up the set and so we walked over to his dressing-room. The only photograph there was a large one of Carole Lombard in a beautiful silver frame standing on a small table by an easy chair. A small vase of salmon rosebuds stood by the picture, which showed Miss Lombard in riding habit, without make-up—and looking very natural and lovely.
Clark said he really thought perhaps a story based on reality would be better than one on fancy, and that we should write it after we’d had a date. However, he told about the places he’d like to go, the things he liked to do; what he said when he telephoned a girl, how he always asked her where she would like to go. If she suggested the Trocadero, he would ask her what she was wearing and send a corsage of flowers in harmonizing colors from his florist. For the occasion he would rent one of the long black limousines from the studio, as he only owns two sport roadsters and a hunting station wagon of his own. And of course he would wear white tie and tails and a top hat. But he said if given his preference, he would rather dress comfortably and call the girl and go for a ride. If the circus was in town he would certainly take her there, and they’d munch hamburgers and drink pink lemonade. But if the racing season were on, he’d suggest they go to Santa Anita. And then he always likes the tennis matches. Too, he likes small dinner parties at the homes of friends. Sometimes six months pass before he dons a dinner jacket—and then he will have to drive over to his studio, and take one out of his dressing-room for a formal occasion. And so we wrote an entertaining story, though Clark said at the time that someday he would give me a firsthand story on a date with him.
Several months later, my telephone rang one afternoon, and a rather boyish, but low modulated voice spoke from the receiver: “Hello, this is Clark Gable.” And when in stunned silence, I failed to answer, the voice repeated: “Can you hear me, this is Clark Gable speaking. How are you?” And then concluding that of course it was some boy friend trying to play a joke on me I blandly replied: “You don’t fool me one bit. Now next time you call just say you’re the King of Siam and I’ll believe you just as much.” There was a laugh at the other end of the wire and the voice persisted: “But truly, this is Clark, and I happen to be just a short distance from your house, and I thought you might have lunch with me.”
I didn’t even bother to powder my nose, or change my dress, because of course I expected no one. Five minutes later a car drove up my front gate, and I glanced out the window to see Clark Gable in person coming up the walk!
I’m sure Carole cocked an amused eyebrow at May’s line “Even though the Gable dates are pretty well written down on Carole Lombard’s calendar, Clark is still eligible enough.” Oh really? I do like her description of Clark calling and her not believing him, even though it’s more than likely hogwash.
By this time we had reached a popular section of the city, where we selected a restaurant. Clark parked his car at the curb, then noticing he had parked partly on a red zone, he turned on the ignition and backed out again, and we found another place up the street. A girl who dates with Clark need never have fear of landing in a traffic court. He is very thoughtful and considerate of the law and observes parking rules.
By this time several side-walkers who had recognized Clark when he attempted to park the first time had spread the word, and he was greeted by a dozen or more people who came running up the sidewalk, in full speed, shouting, “It’s Clark Gable! It’s Clark Gable!” Clark smiled good-naturedly and came over to my side of the car to help me alight, but before he could open the door he was besieged from all sides by autograph hunters, who popped up from nowhere, so it seemed, and girls and women who frantically rushed to reach him. He tried to make room to open the car door to help me out and I took mental note, that this was how it was to have a date with Clark Gable, and that I was in the shoes of Lombard—for the time being!
Finally Clark was able to get me out of the car into the swirling mob, which seemed to be increasing by the minute. Traffic was in a decided snarl, and extra policemen appeared from several directions. Two of them secured our arms and helped us to reach the sidewalk. All of which was so different than I had ever imagined a date with Gable would be like. But this was only the beginning.
Clark doesn’t like to turn down autograph hunters, so we’d hardly gone ten feet, with me hanging on his arm, and a dozen women frantically clutching at me, endeavoring to get to him, when Clark stopped and started signing autographs. People stepped all over my toes in the general rush, but their faces were smiling and eager—so I could only try to tuck my toes still further back and hope I’d be able to walk out alive. No one grabbed roughly at Clark, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a screen star shown more genuine respect and admiration. Though he was surrounded by three hundred people who firmly pushed their way up for autographs, they were courteous.
“That isn’t Carole Lombard,” was among the whispers floating around my ears—and I think the most ignored, and lease carefully handled person on the crowd on the sidewalk was the girl who was finding out what it was to have a date with Clark Gable!
Clark signed and signed while at frequent times I could hear little rips in my fur coat, as tugging hands sought to gain closer position to Gable. While Clark autographed he talked to me and said he hoped I didn’t mind, that this was all in a day’s work and that just the minute he signed another fifty we would continue our way to lunch. Thirty minutes later he announced in a most attractive way with his famous smile, and who would refuse those dimples, that he was “really very hungry and if you don’t mind I’d really like to go to lunch, and perhaps later I can sign some more autographs—“ whereupon a mighty cheer went up from the crowd and a path automatically opened down the sidewalk. People grabbed his hand and said: “It’s such a thrill seeing you, Mr. Gable” and “We like your pictures, Clark Gable” and boys yelled: “Hiya Clark!” to which Clark kept right on grinning. As for me, several women reached to squeeze my hand and said: “You lucky girl,” while one pretty young thing, with her heart in her eyes, and her eyes for Gable, came right out and said: “I wish I were you!” Others openly commented on “who’s the girl with Gable—“ and “Wait until Lombard hears about this”—and “Oh, he takes out lots of girls” and “That Lombard romance is just publicity” and even from the outer edges of the crowd: “What’s the girl like with Gable—what’s she wearing?”
Clark took my arm and guided me through the crowd into the little restaurant we had selected, because it was close and we believed would be quiet, and we had heard the food was excellent. As we opened the door, Clark gave my hand a little reassuring squeeze. He seemed to sense the feelings of a girl who had been an exhibition before a public mob, for the first time.
Now a girl having lunch with Clark would picture a small table in a remote corner replete with white linen and gleaming crystal and silver, with perhaps soft music, and Clark sitting there talking to her. But do the girls who have luncheon with Clark enjoy such intimacy, such privacy, such a romantic picture? Decidedly not! With his entrance, came business with a rush. The place was crowded with patrons old and new. The proprietor stood at the door warning his new customers that Mr. Gable was not to be disturbed at his table. Small children came in on the pretext of buying ice cream cones, and stood looking so wistfully sown at Clark’s table, with their pieces of paper and pencils in hand, that Clark melted and beckoned them to come down and he would sign an autograph. Others soon took advantage—and another autographing spree was on. Two cooks from the kitchen joined the fracas, and waitresses hurriedly gathered up menu cards to be autographed, and which are now displayed with the day’s menu so guests will know Gable ate there, if only once.
I sat there pondering if this could last forever—the autographing, I mean, when Clark suddenly said, “Now, no more. After all, I have a guest, and we would like lunch.” And so we were permitted to order.
Can’t you just picture it? I can, and am jealous of all those people getting to meet him on the sidewalk!
To learn if they finally get to eat their food, read the rest of the article in The Article Archive.
From April 1940:
1940 is going to be a great year for husband wife teams. Joan Blondell and Dick Powell start things going in April when they co-star in “I Want a Divorce” for Paramount. Then Metro will follow with a picture co-starring Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, and another with Robert Taylor and Barbara Stanwyck.
Shame that never happened!
New today is an article about the freshly single Mr. Gable. Having separated from his wife Ria, Hollywood’s shiniest star was now available and on the prowl! Or is he…
Let’s plunge right into this new private life he’s having for himself and learn All. Maybe your imagination turns riotous at the very idea of his amusement program. Since he’s single again our most popular actor ought to be having a hot time in the swanky Beverly Hills every night. With his appeal, his money, and his screen halo, his leisure divertissements should be just colossal.
Oh, no doubt Clark has to pop over to the studio to be glorified. But as soon as the director yells quits the lucky egg can come out of a clinch with a stream-lined siren and begin cutting up in grand and glorious fashion. From then on likely it’s every ambitious gal for herself-and-Gable. And curfew dare not ring on love.
But let’s jump right into the specific, without further haggling. I swear, invariably, that there’s nothing more enlightening than the exact data on certain people’s affairs. Henceforth, no hedging from the Gable front—what is he doing for his relaxation seeing that he’s back in the bachelor ranks? You know he isn’t the stuffy type who’d want to devote himself completely to his Art.
I’ve checked his lighter moments, both by a little detective work of my own, and by asking Clark pertinent, point-blank questions, and receiving point-blank replies.
“You suppose I might be partying every weekend?” He chuckled at this and reached into his right coat pocket for a cigarette and a lighter. Said gadget eventually flamed. “Well,” he retorted, “I did begin on that scheme! I was introduced to many fascinating persons in Hollywood. I’m awfully human, and I confess readily that I’m intrigued by a lot of action. Only I discovered, said to have to report, that I couldn’t take it! I can’t be up half the night and be any good the next day. I tried—and that’s precisely why I’m not continually on the go!”
He hasn’t been rushing any one beauty, contrary to all printed innuendos. Indeed, he hasn’t dated a one of his eligible leading ladies. I wouldn’t want you to brand him a hermit, however. While Clark’s no Lothario on the loose, he’s not vaccinated against feminine charms.
This article is pretty predictable; out to paint Clark as a guy not interested in dating a bunch of women, one who would rather be out fishing like the regular folks! Only really half true. While tales of Clark bedding every star in Hollywood are far from true, saying here that he “hasn’t sated a one of his eligible leading ladies” is far from true. By 1936, Clark had been involved with Elizabeth Allan, Loretta Young, Joan Crawford, Marion Davies and Anita Page, just to name a few.
Some notable Gable-quotables:
“Why don’t you give them the whole truth?” he challenged me, “Why assume I must be either anxious to dress up in a dinner jacket or that I’m a bull in a china shop? I don’t deny that some parties are nifty, and I like them. Yet who’d describe those formal parades as fun? I relish casual gatherings. I see as many movies and plays as I can. But I’m a bitter pill to friends when we venture forth on first nights. My comrades mutter, ‘Oh, let’s not go with him. He’ll stand around signing autographs for hours!’”
“Exercise is keen fun to me. I’ve a friend who functions as kind of a trainer. When I’m coming to the studio I must begin my day very early. He has a key to the front door and he arrives at 5:30am to haul me out of bed. At that unearthly hour a hefty tug cab do wonders towards awakening you! We have a few sets on a neighboring tennis court and then box some fast rounds. A shower and breakfast finish us up. That’s recreation I hate to miss.”
“Skeet-shooting’s my chief hobby. I belong to a gun club that isn’t a movie organization at all. The members are men from every sort of business—doctors, lawyers, merchants, salesmen. The one point we have in common is that we each own a gun. Oh, and dogs. We bring our dogs to the range and argue whose is superior. These men never discuss Hollywood.”
“Don’t ignore reading as a pastime. Not that I wasn’t to brag that I’ve read a book! I don’t pretend to be a serious student of literature; on the contrary, I’m not. I delve into topics that sound alluring, but generally magazines are more to my measure. I choose those dealing with business events, sports, and those with satirical sketches.”
See, a simple chap, ain’t he?
By the time this was printed, everyone knew that Clark Gable was no longer “up for grabs”—having been snatched up by a certain Miss Lombard.
Read the article in its entirety in The Article Archive.
This one is a little piece written on the set of Adventure—a period of time when Clark Gable wasn’t offering too many interviews. The article starts out promising, as it appears she is the first to get “the big scoop” on Clark since his return to the screen. In actuality, it’s really just a girl reporter gushing about Clark–rather cutely–and then recapping what he’d been through the last few years since Carole Lombard’s death.
Well, says I, here’s the great Gable. Take a good look. Yep, he’s heavier. Betcha he weighs 200 if he weighs a pound. He’s taller than I thought he’d be. He barks when he talks before the camera, but his voice is soft when he’s just talking to his co-workers. He has presence. Even if it wasn’t Clark Gable, I’d know he was somebody important. And mama was right, he’s sure handsome, there is no doubt about that. Tall, dark, and mmmm! He can come over and say hello just any time now.
Not that I thought he would. An actor who has been on top of the top for fifteen years, who has so much money he’s forgotten what a plain little old dollar bill looks like, a guy everyone has spoiled rotten probably would think he was pretty special. He wouldn’t be going around saying hello to the hoi polloi.
That’s where I was wrong. The scene finished, Clark came over to where I was sitting. Emily introduced us. He turned on the Gable smile, gave with the Rhett Butler look and said: “hello, honey, are you getting everything you want?” I was miffed, remember. So what did I do? I beamed like a Chessy cat confronted with a bowl of cream. Hard to get, that’s me.
The first thing I discovered about Clark Gable was his honesty. He’s been riding that golden chariot reserved for THE top star for a long time, so he isn’t afraid to speak the truth. At this stage of the game it’s a pretty good gamble that his house won’t come tumbling down if he’s honest rather that politic. For instance, I had heard that the fabulous Mr. Gable was a great farm hand; that—in addition to working all day at the studio—he got up at 4:30 every morning to milk the cows. Honestly! So I asked him.
“What’ve they been telling you, honey?” he said. “I never milked a cow in my life! I never get up until I have to. I’m a lazy man, and the only reason I’m painting the fence on my place now is because I can’t find anyone else to do it. On weekends I sleep half the day, sometimes until three o’clock. Acting, in case you didn’t know, is hard work.”
I do love her school girly, gushing description of admiring him from afar!
I find his comments here that he is lazy and he sleeps all day on his day off very odd. If he did indeed say that, that must have been a temporary situation as he was usually an easy riser and looked forward to spending days off toiling on his ranch.
At forty-four, he’s honest about his age. “I’ve been in pictures fifteen years,” he grinned. “Hell, I’m an old man, honey!”
“On you, it looks good,” I said.
And it does. He’s no frail wisp of a man. He isn’t carefully prettied up with makeup, adhesive tape and a toupee. He wears no makeup at all. He’s six feet, one inch tall, weighs 200 pounds, is slightly tanned. He’s just as terrific, masculine and heart-throbby as he was in “Gone with the Wind.” And that ain’t bad.
Again loving her descriptions of him!
Like other Americans who had lost loved ones in the war, he found he had to build a completely new life. For the first time since Carole’s death, his name was linked romantically with the loveliest girls in Hollywood: Kay Williams, Anita Colby; and in New York, socialite Dolly O’Brien. Today, you often see Gable with a beautiful girl on his arm. But it is strangely significant that his choice has not narrowed down to one. He’s having fun, that’s all. To Clark Gable, Carole never really left home.
Remembering this, Hollywood does not try to pry into the past. As a matter of fact, people don’t pry with Gable. He is friendly, warm, a great conversationalist, but questions like, “What does it feel like to go on a bombing mission?” get a definite brush-off. He speaks of his adventures over there with great reticence, and even then he generally twists it around so that he’s talking about “his boys” rather than about himself.
“I used to go on a mission about once a week,” he told me, “but it would take me a couple of days to get over it. I’m no kid. You leave at 4:30 in the morning and don’t get back until around 3:00 the next morning, and you are under tension all that time, and under fire part of the time. I’d come back mentally and physically exhausted. But those kids, those twenty-year-olds, they went out every day. The way those kids become men in a few brief weeks is something that kind of gets you.”
The afternoon shadows had lengthened. It was time to go. I gathered up my impressions and dusted them off neatly, trying to figure out just what makes Clark Gable different. First, it is his amazing lack of ego, despite his unchallenged success. This is discernible in little things: the fact that he is honestly interested in the other person, that he actually listens when you talk, and that he would rather listen to you than talk about himself. He has a manner that comes from rubbing shoulders with all types of people in all walks of life. And he has a terrific, sizzling sense of humor. Being with him is fun. He’s modest, too, in a screwy kind of way. For instance, he said: “Gary Cooper could have played a wonderful Rhett Butler. A half a dozen actors in Hollywood could have played Rhett Butler.”
Mr. Gable, are you kidding?
Evidently, he just doesn’t realize what it is he has. It’s sex appeal, mister, and if your mother didn’t tell you, you’re a big boy now and somebody oughta! The plain truth is that Clark Gable makes a woman conscious of being a woman, and this reaction is as definite when you meet him in person as it is when see him up there on the screen.
As a matter of fact, I got home in a pleasant little daze, smitten like all fury with one Mr. Gable, and doing the neatest swoon act around the house a bobbysoxer ever saw. The girl next door greeted me with the uncomfortable honesty of ten-year-olds: “Is it true he has big ears?”
It’s a funny thing, but, you know, I never noticed!
It is usually stated that reporters never asked Clark about Carole in the years following her death. I wonder if that is actually true, or if they did ask and were brutally rebuffed?
The theme of him being humble and not boastful is not new, but I like how he is consistent through the years.
You can read the article in its entirety in The Article Archive.
Next up–Clark Gable declares he is no ladies man! (Yeah right)
“Most boys learn about women from their mothers,” he says. “They unconsciously form their image of the girl they hope to marry someday by patterning their ideal after the one woman they know best. However, my mother died when I was only seven months old.”
Isn’t that rather sad! Actually he was ten months old when his mother died, but whatever…
“Naturally, after such a life as mine, I’m more at home with men than I am with women. But I think most men are. They talk the same language. When a man says anything, no matter whether he’s a millionaire or a truck-driver, he means just one thing. But I’ve learned that when a woman makes a remark, she may mean a dozen things! I can pretty nearly figure out how any man I’ve ever met will act under certain circumstances, but I can never tell what a woman will do!
“I’ve met more women in the five years since I’ve been in Hollywood, than I ever knew in the other twenty-nine, and I’ve learned something of course. I’ve learned that all women have a quality of the mother in them. This makes them heavenly kind in trying to help a fellow along. I’d never be where I am today, if it hadn’t been for six women who were willing to take time from successful lives to encourage and comfort and teach a struggling young actor. I’ve learned how to talk to women, too, and say—more or less—what I’m expected to say. I believe they call it ‘making conversation.’ Men alone don’t feel the necessity of talking unless they have something real to say. I’ve worked for days in a factory, shoulder to shoulder with other fellows, without exchanging a word. Evenings in the mountains—where I go between pictures for shooting and camping—I can spend around a fire with a guide and a couple of other natives—whittling, cleaning guns, and speaking only now and then with long silences between.
“Women don’t give me stage fright as much as they did once. Women in general, I mean, but I still feel self-conscious and sort of wary with ‘em. I guess I’m just not a ladies man!”
Clark Gable is the one screen star who can talk to a woman as though she were a man, an intimate friend at the studio once told me. After that, I watched him—and eavesdropped—while he conversed with a lady-interviewer, a script girl, a beautiful screen star, a publicity woman. He told the interviewer—who was trying to get him to talk about “Marriage”—the correct way to play a trout. He and the script girl got into a discussion about skeet shooting at which they both practiced every lunch hour. The star, noted for her silken boudoir appeal, was regaled with a dissertation on the cleaning of a carburetor—with pencil illustrations on the back of one of her new photographs! To the publicity woman, who had been sent to get his vote on the Ten Most Attractive Women Stars of the Screen fir a newspaper syndicate, he told a long anecdote about a duck-shooting trip from which he had just returned.
“I tell you frankly,” Clark grinned, “I haven’t the hang of this interview business yet. I still feel sort of silly talking about my feelings, and giving my ideas on every subject, but I know it’s part of the business—the strangest business in the world for a man to be in. Nothing will make me a social light, I guess. I’d rather sit around a garage discussing motors with the mechanics than get into a white tie and tails and spend an evening making conversation as the dinner partner of some beautiful woman star!
“I go to a few parties, to the polo games, the fights and to the races at Santa Anita. But my idea of a grand time is—now and always—to pile camping equipment and guns into my car and start out.”
I love this little interview, he’s so humble and sweet.
“I haven’t been in the big salary class very long, and so I won’t miss it so much when it stops coming. A man who’s chivvied huge logs down flumes for his living has a different notion of money from that of most actors. To me the money you earn by the sweat of your brow is more real somehow than Hollywood salaries. I’ve had to gauge my spending by that sort of earning so long that I haven’t acquired expensive tastes. And, I guess, now it’s too late to begin. I don’t suppose that I’d want to live again the way I’ve been forced to live at times, but my ideas of a good income are ridiculously far below Hollywood’s.
“And, among the things I won’t miss when I leave Hollywood (as all screen stars do sooner or later) is the necessity of living up to the public’s idea of how a movie actor should look and act—and talk!”
That’s the way Clark put it. And that was just what he meant!
He said this so many times–how one day he would leave Hollywood behind. Never happened–died just days after completing his final film.
You can read the article in its entirety in The Article Archive.
From March 1936:
The one woman in Hollywood who really is in Clark Gable’s confidence is—guess—May Robson. They have been like mother and son off the screen for several years. Now they are to be a screen family in “Wife vs. Secretary,” and it seems perfectly natural to them.
Welcome to Dear Mr. Gable, the site that celebrates The King of Hollywood, Clark Gable.
Subscribe for e-mail updates
The Gable Gallery
What I’m Reading and Watching
Disclaimer© 2009-2015 Dear Mr. Gable | dearmrgable.com, all rights reserved. This site was created for educational purposes and is in no way affiliated with the family or estate of Clark Gable. No copyright infringement is intended.