clark gable birthday

Clark Gable would be 114 if he was alive today. Last year, to celebrate his birthday, I complied 113 quotes that others said about Clark. So this year I gathered together 114 quotes from the man himself. So here’s what Clark had to say on a number of topics:

1. “What I want from life is what everyone wants—peace of mind, good health, a share of this world’s goods, friends—companionship. I’m not different from anyone else, for that’s what everyone wants.” (1948)

2. “Just don’t ask me for advice on staying married. I wouldn’t know the secret. I must have learned something about marriage since I went into it the first time—that was in 1924—but I couldn’t tell you just what.” (1953)

3. “Love is something that stays with a person all through his life. A man just gets rid of it periodically. To live is to love. Life without loving people is pretty worthless.”

4. “There’s going to be six million eyes on me all daring me to fail [in GWTW].” (1939)

5. “I honestly never expected to win one of these. There are too many actors in this business. But I feel as happy as a kid and a little foolish they picked me.” (upon winning his Oscar, 1935)

6. “One of the things that I am particular about is telling the truth. I was taught it from my youth. My father always said anyone who would lie would steal. ” (1935)

7. “Sure I’ve got a few gray hairs. A lot of hard work helped make me gray. I just hope that I’ve got a little gray matter in this old head of mine. I’ve been lucky, I’ve got a good job, a good wife and a good home. What else does a man want?” (1940)

8. “The best thing for me at such times is just to get in my car, all by myself, and take a long ride. Then it’s only the tires and the brakes which take a beating—but they at least can be replaced. It’s not so easy to replace friends, or take back words.” (1938)

9. “What’s more important in life than its chuckles? Having fun is good sense. If a guy can’t laugh now and then, he’s not much good.” (1953)

10. “Rhett [Butler] was too popular, had fired the imaginations of too many people. Literally millions of people knew Rhett better than they knew George Washington. Everyone couldn’t be pleased, not even the majority. I knew that.” (1940)

11.”Actors who squawk about the hardships and the unfairness of screen work make me laugh. They don’t mean it, of course—not really. It’s a pose. Down inside they know just how lucky they are and how little they would have by comparison, if they were not in Hollywood. Movie-acting is the softest job in the world; it’s the best-paid job in the world—and if that isn’t an unbeatable combination, I want to know what is. The compensation received for the amount of labor involved cannot be exceeded anywhere, in any time.” (1934)clark gable

12. ““On the level, I don’t like to have people asking me about the women I’ve fooled around with, trying to dig into my past. I’m willing to talk to people, and the press has given me some great breaks—but whose business is it what I did before I got up out of the ruck? Why can’t they leave my past alone? And so far as that is concerned, whose business is it what I do now, after I take my greasepaint off?” (1932)

13. “[The divorce from Sylvia Ashley] was unfortunate. The faults weren’t all on one side, you know. It might have lasted, I suppose. I don’t ever go into marriage thinking ahead to divorce.” (1953)

14. “I don’t think that I’ll live on impulse when, if ever, I marry again. Right now I’d say that I never will because I might meet some girl and marry her within a month, but I don’t think so. If ever I marry again, I want to be sure that I know all about the girl—I want to know her for a couple of years—find out how she thinks and what she wants out of life, everything about her.  It’s all right for a very young chap to fall head over heels. But an older man, a man who has been married, is a fool if he hasn’t learned to walk more carefully, to take more time, to test his own emotions.” (1936)

15. “I was lucky to get anywhere. 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.” (1937)

16. “For the first time in my life I am absolutely content. I can’t explain the reason for it, nor give you the underlying cause. I only know that every one of my days is full and everything I do brings me happiness.” (1936)

17. “I don’t want the part [of Rhett Butler] for money, chalk  or marbles.” (1938)

18. “You know I have everything anyone could want, except one thing. And all I really need and want is [Carole].” (1944)

19. “I never believed in that bunk about a man’s ideal girl. I’ve probably had a dozen ideals in my life, each one being the person I happened to be in love with at the time.”

20. “Boredom is the greatest sin in the world. And the only cure for boredom is hard work and an understanding marriage.”(1940)

21. “That’s what’s so strange about life. The brave ones don’t make it.” (1944)

22. “Show me a couple who do dishes together and I’ll show you a happy couple.” (1951)

23. “When I was here before, I could have walked down Hollywood Boulevard on my hands and nobody would have paid any attention. I wouldn’t dare walk down the same boulevard now with my aunt. They would say I had fallen in love with another older woman.” (1932)clark gable

24. “I honestly believe that I have lived a lifetime since I landed in Hollywood. I know that I have crammed an average lifetime of experiences, emotions and education into these last five years. I may look like the same man, outwardly. But inwardly, I’m changed. I think differently, react differently to the people around me, have a completely different viewpoint on life.” (1936)

25. “I had no difficulty visualizing Miss Leigh as Scarlett. My thanks here are publicly expressed to Miss Leigh for making it a pleasure to believe the part of Rhett.” (1940)

26. ““I don’t know and I’ve never heard of anyone who does know just how much of love is mental rather than physical, but speaking entirely for myself I know it is never love for me unless there is mental attraction in it.” (1939)

27.  “Today, when I’m working in Hollywood, I’m still the homebody. Unless there is a special occasion involved I drive straight home from work, have my dinner, read and go to bed. If I go out at all it is on a weekend. Any time you read an item about my being seen in a night club you can pretty well bet it was on a Saturday night.” (1949)

28. “I think we actors with a touch of gray at our temples ought to have leading ladies who balance us age wise. It should be possible to find a leading lady who’s not too young or too old.” (1957)

29. “I like roughing it. Sometimes wonder why everyone makes such a project of making money, when it’s the things that money can’t buy that most of us want. Guess it’s the challenge to our ego and sense of achievement.” (1948)

30. ““I can see [Shirley Temple’s career] going on and on forever, till she’s playing grandmother parts, with her white hair still curly and the dimples still chasing each other ‘round her mouth. And the fans still loving her.” (1937)

31. “To tell you the truth, women scare me.”

32. “I’m happy if I have a jacket and a clean pair of trousers; some people worry about clothes or money or how the next race is going to finish. If I do bet on a race I consider the money’s spent before the race is run.” (1953)

33. “It’s silly to be too persistent about everything. It’s silly to be pigeon-holed when you know you damn well you don’t belong. It’s foolish to woo success too hard—if you do, it slips out on you.” (1936)

34. “I’m getting literary.You know, the missus is just about the best literary critic in town. She reads every play and book she can get her hands on. I’m learning to be a kind of assistant critic.” (1941)

35. “I never look on anyone playing with me, or for the same producing company, as a rival. No good actor is a rival, he’s an asset. Everyone has his own individual way of doing things, and I never felt I had something that no one else had.” (1937)

36. “There is nothing holding me and Carole together but love.” (1939)

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37. “I let the television people know where I stood right away. I said it emphatically. I said it was a medium I didn’t intend to try. That word got around very quickly.” (1957)

38. “By the time I’m ready to settle down a bit—at fifty or so—I want to have seen every country on the globe and to know the people.” (1936)

39. “Sometimes I wonder how [Carole would] take things the way they are today, and I always come up with the same answer–with a laugh. She’d get through it better than me.” (1954)

40. “I’ve given no thought to whether I make friends slowly or fast. I don’t have a lot of friends; I do have a lot of acquaintances. Friends are something else.” (1957)

41. “Luxury has never been a part of my life. I’m a simple Joe. I like to hang around a garage, tinker with motors and engines in automobiles. Get my hands and face spattered with grease and go without a shave for a day. Now, that’s not romantic…[but] that’s me.” (1948)

42. “Some people may say I’m crusty, but I take life easily. I like to get way and relax with a few of the boys and fish and ride.” (1953)

43. “I’ve never understood why men want sons. If I ever had a child then maybe I could be convinced.”

44. “I’m not a King in a true sense, maybe in a Hollywood sense, which doesn’t amount to much outside of here!” (1938)

45. “When I was a kid in Cadiz it was my greatest ambition to get on the neighborhood sandlot baseball team. I was a big, ugly rawboned kid and didn’t look like material for the Cleveland Indians.” (1941)

46. “This is a swell way for a grown man to earn a living, isn’t it? Just standing around for hours with a smirk on my map and getting paid for it. [But] I realize what a lucky guy I am to fall into a job like this. Where else could I earn as good a living? What could I be, if I weren’t an actor? A truck driver, maybe, or an oil field worker. Boy, the cards sure were stacked in my favor.” (1936)

47.“There’s something in a man’s eye which gives a woman reason to know she is safe or reason to suspect almost anything.”

48. “I always have lived on impulse, more or less. But I’ve always felt guilty about it, too.” (1936)

49. “I’m a very happy man. What can I say about Kay. She’s a wonderful woman and a perfect companion.” (1956)

50. “I have never recovered from my astonishment at the interest people from all over the world have in professional people. This is not just true of America. It is true in almost every country of the globe. ” (1935)

51. “Bob [Taylor]’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.” (1937)

52. “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.” (1937)

53. “I respected my father and wanted his blessing. It was [my stepmother] who convinced him to let me go in peace. If it hadn’t been for her, I’d probably still be pitching hay in Ohio.”

54. “Death is not something to think about on a daily basis. It happens, you know? What can you do.” (1957)

55. “I’m more at home with men than I’ll ever be with women and of late that’s truer even than it was before. I’m almost afraid to speak to a girl off the screen for fear somebody will say it’s a ‘budding romance’ and spread it all over the newspapers. For myself, it doesn’t matter. But it’s embarrassing for the girl.” (1936)

56.”Rhett always will remain among the most memorable roles I have played on the screen, although I sincerely believe that Fletcher Christian in Mutiny on the Bounty was a part of equal caliber.” (1940)clark gable

57. “It’s a dumb guy who is flattered by the girl he goes with being a half-wit. I’m dumb in plenty of ways, but all baby talk from a girl does to me is get in my hair. I want none of it–and I’ll certainly never get any from Carole. That one’s right in there with the brain every minute.” (1939)

58. “A friend is someone is someone in whom you can confide. You can say to him, ‘I’m going to tell you something just between us,’ and you know that it’ll be just between you. Then, when you get down to the short rows and the going gets rough, a friend is someone who will help you. And he also knows you’re available if things get rough with him. I don’t mean in a monetary way, but in a companionship way or any other way you need.” (1957)

59. “In my vacation I may fish, I’ll play golf, but I won’t hunt. I won’t hunt because somehow I have lost my taste for it, especially deer hunting.” (1949)

60. “I don’t like jewelry, either on the screen or in real life.” (1933)

61. ““I’m not a business man and I have no profession or training except for the stage and screen. So, I don’t know what kind of work I can do when I’m washed up in the only line I know.” (1937)

62. “It seemed to me that the public’s casting [of me as Rhett Butler] was being guided by an elaborate publicity campaign.” (1957)

63. “Peace of mind is a great thing. Once you gain the knowledge of understanding what you really want, then you go after it and there is no problem.” (1948)

64. “The big idea is that Carole and I are two individuals. There’s no phony baloney between us, none of that mystery routine, none of that so-called allure. Don’t forget that with us make-believe is something we do all day at the studio, a way of making our livings. We need none of that at home. We’ve got every worthwhile interest in common, our home, the country, our work.” (1939)

65. “…in Hollywood, I began to realize the shortness of the years of success and of youth. Today, you’re on top. Tomorrow, you’re forgotten. So now I am planning for that tomorrow as well as anyone can plan anything in this topsy-turvy world. I know that some day I’ll be washed up in pictures. Then what am I going to do? That’s what I’m trying to figure out.” (1936)

66. “My thinking about it was this: [Gone with the Wind] was one of the all-time best sellers. People didn’t just read it, they lived it. They visualized its characters, and they formed passionate convictions about them. You say a lot of people thought I ought to play Rhett Butler, but I didn’t know how many had formed that opinion.” (1957)

clark gable

67. “Now, how is it possible to turn down a lady’s proposal and still be a gentleman? I’ve wondered about that.” (1948)

68.“Plans? I have ideas but no definite plans to carry them out. I never make any—because things shape themselves better when I let them alone! Believe me, what success I’ve had has been a surprise package out of the bag. I did have a neat little plan once. It was when I was working in a hit-or-miss stock company in the middle west and I had it all mapped out how to save my money for seven weeks so that I could startle Broadway. But the manager lit out with the company funds in the third week. Since then, I haven’t tried to plan.” (1936)

69. “[Gone with the Wind] was a challenge. I enjoyed it from that point of view. But my chin was out to there. I knew what people expected of me and suppose I didn’t produce?” (1957)

70. “I knew I was ‘typed’ as the heavy lover but everybody seemed to think I was so lucky being cast opposite stars like Garbo and Shearer and Davies and Crawford, I didn’t have the nerve to complain. I would have been crazy to expect the studio to write down the parts of such stars in order to give me a chance to do something—so I just went along.” (1934)

71. “If you map out a goal for yourself and say, ‘That’s where I’m going’ and keep plodding on, you’ll get there. Things happen that may make your progress more difficult or easier, but you can arrive if you keep on trying.” (1935)

72. “Love-making is a normal part of an active he-man’s life, isn’t it?” (1933)

73. “I don’t have to say anything about [Kay]. I’m a very happy man. I reflect that, don’t I?” (1957)

74. “When the picture I am working on is over and done with, I can’t stay put any longer and I’m off. Why? Why not stick home? I don’t know. Iron bars do not a prison make, as the old saying goes, and my trouble may be that neither does brick or wood make a home. It just makes a house. There’s a difference.” (1949)

75. “Acting has always been and still is with me a profession, not an easy one to learn. I learn something new in every picture. I do not know what they mean by a finished actor. As far as I know, finished is when you can’t get a job.” (1960)

76. “Frankly I was one of the last few millions to read Gone with the Wind. When people first started talking about the book and Rhett, I wasn’t impressed. Everybody in Hollywood has the greatest story ever written. I am constantly asked to read novels, plays and originals that will make screen epics.” (1940)clark gable

77. “I intend to live with a free rein now and always. I’m planning the future with an open mind and I’m going to live every minute of it!” (1936)

78. “Getting a kick out of life, and especially out of what you do nine hours out of ten, is as good a religion as any I know. It’s stupid to be unhappy.”

79. “I won’t build a wall of rules and regulations around me. They’re stifling and ridiculous. I won’t assume any more obligations than I have to.” (1936)

80. “I’d come and [first wife Josephine Dillon] would start teaching. I wasn’t walking right, I wasn’t breathing deeply, or I entered the kitchen all wrong, my voice was too high. She never did anything but teach, teach, teach!”

81. “[Jean Harlow] never wanted to be famous. She wanted to be happy.” (1937)

82. “If it hadn’t been for that damn picture [GWTW] nobody would want me anymore. In fact they wouldn’t even remember who I was.”

83. “I do resent having every writer I meet question me about how many women I have loved. A bank president is not any better banker, nor any worse, for having been engaged three times or for never having been engaged. Why should it mean more in an actor’s life? Any man who reaches maturity and has never imagined himself in love is a funny sort of man. On the other hand, a man of any age who boasts of his conquests is about as despicable a human being as can be found.” (1935)

84. “Well, we’ve won the war and there’s peace now everywhere. Everywhere except here in Hollywood, where the fighting for good scripts, good billing and good dressing rooms never ends!” (1945)

85. “I believe that our destiny is more or less chartered out for all of us. We are born in a certain environment and turned in a certain direction. Things happen to us frequently over which we have no control. Sometimes we want t turn in a certain way and we are forced by circumstances to take another path.But, whenever we are forced to change our way, we don’t need to quit or turn back. We can always manage somehow to keep going on, if we try hard enough.” (1935)

86. “Some of the happiest moments of my life have been spent renewing old friendships.” (1933)

87. ““I don’t want, and I can’t afford, to be just an idler.” (1937)

88. “I’m chore boy. Like to get up early and get things going, make fires on camping trips and get things started. But noooo, I don’t say I cook well!”(1948)

89. “I’m going to enlist in the Air Corps but not until I get my head together and sort things out. I don’t expect to come back and I don’t want to come back.” (1942)

90. “Sure, I’ve been unhappy, too, at times. After marriage has failed, for example. But you can’t go on being miserable.” (1953)

91. “The tremendous popularity of [Gone with the Wind] inspired many myths. One of these, frequently repeated, contends that Miss Mitchell had me in mind to play Rhett on the screen when she wrote her book. This is not true. She got her idea for the book and was writing it while I was a four-dollar-a-day laborer in the Oklahoma oil fields. I could have been an inspiration to no one, except possibly a soap salesman.” (1940)

clark gable

92. “I see all my pictures, and I never miss an outstanding movie. I enjoy pictures and I can always learn by watching my own mistakes and other actors’ work.” (1933)

93. “I’ve spent a lot of time learning to be an actor. I’m still learning. I don’t know how you go about learning to be a personality but I do know how you learn to go about being an actor and I work at that. Everyone has a right to his opinion, even me. Not matter what I was, I’d work at being as close to the best as I could get, and I choose to think of myself as an actor. It’s a profession I’m proud of. It’s my job, not that I’m the best, but I try.” (1957)

94. “My dad once said something to me I’ve never forgotten.’Son,’ he said, ‘I’m too old for the girls. I’ll leave them to you. But remember one thing. You can’t tell a package by its wrapper. The truly attractive girl is the one whose good looks start [at her heart].” (1951)

95. “People often have asked me what I get out of it all—you know, being a movie star, making money, all the prerequisites.  I don’t get out of it what a lot of people would, that’s a fact. I’m not luxury-minded. I don’t give a hoot for swell houses, swimming pools and entertaining. I don’t like big parties. I have no use for a yacht.” (1936)

96. “I like the idea of acting my age. I have no idea if I can attain the success as a character actor as I did playing the dashing young lover–it’s a chance I have to take. Not everyone is able to do it.” (1959)

97. “I think Miss Garbo is one of the great actresses and a very magnetic personality. Personally, she is charming.” (1933)

98. “People say that ‘life begins at forty’. They tell us that the years before that age are merely a preparation, that our forties are the golden years when we will have adjusted all our values of living and can honestly enjoy life. That’s probably true in the life of the average business man. During his forties he eats the financial fruits of the work he has done during his twenties and thirties, while he goes on building toward more mature successes.But it won’t be that way with me. My career will be ended. There will be no place to go in pictures, except down the ladder.” (1937)

99. “One reason Carole and I can be happy is that she has the greatest sense of humor of any girl I ever met and she is one of the kindest people I know.” (1939)

100. “Sometimes people should just mind their own damn business.” (1939)

101. “Death is something none of us can avoid. I suppose it’s pointless to worry about it, just live your life how you want and hope somebody remembers you fondly.” (1958)

102. “You shouldn’t be afraid to make a fool of yourself. No actor is.” (1936)

103. “I’m just lucky.” (1936)

104. “My stepmother was a wonderful and kind woman. She proved all through her life that I meant as much to her as if I had been her very own. She was good and true.”

105. “I don’t want a lot of strangers looking down at my wrinkles and my big fat belly when I’m dead.”

106. “We are all about the same in the beginning. We have about the same amount of instincts, desires, and capabilities. It is up to us whether we keep them alive or not. I don’t believe anybody was ever born mean or pessimistic or under-privileged. We all have the seed of greatness within us. I know I’m no better than anybody else. I’ve had pretty good luck and good health and I’ve learned to keep plugging away.”

107. “We all just want to be happy, don’t we?” (1954)

108. “This ‘King’ stuff is pure bullshit. I eat and sleep and go to the bathroom just like everyone else. There’s no special light that shines inside me and makes me a star. I’m just a lucky slob from Ohio.”

109. “I’ve got a stubborn Dutch streak. It’s been the cause of most of my mistakes.”

110. “I think the only religion is a good man in love with a good woman.”

111. “When [GWTW] was being written I was a four-dollar-a-day laborer in Oklahoma and not in anybody’s mind for anything.” (1938)

112. “I’d like enough money for security and not a penny more. Five hundred a month will do. I wouldn’t cross the street to make more, if I had that much. Then I want to travel while I’m still young enough to enjoy it. I want to see all there is in this world to see. I want to go on that big game hunt in Alaska and to Africa on another, where I’ll only have No. 1 lions to wrestle with instead of No. 1 movie stars. I don’t want to wait till I’ve reached the age when I can’t lie down on the ground without getting lumbago. I don’t want to wait till doctors start telling me: ‘Better not fly, old man. Your heart won’t stand it.’ I’m going while I can do all the things I want to do as I want to do ‘em.” (1937)

113. “A man my age has no conception of what is happening now. We are left out of society. These atom bombs–that’s another world–one we don’t understand. I grew up with the automobile. Now it’s as antique as the horse. ” (1960)

114. “I don’t want to stay around long enough to bore people, and I won’t. They have their own way of expressing themselves, and unless an actor deliberately looks the other way, he can see the warning. But, after all, it’s their own money people are spending to go to my pictures, and as long as they still do it, I’ll do my best to entertain them.” (1957)