Today is Clark Gable’s 117th birthday!
To celebrate, I thought I’d comb through my massive collection and pick out my favorite 117 pictures of him. Not an easy feat, as I lost count at 20,000 photos a long time ago and there are so many I haven’t scanned or categorized yet. But here they are.
These are in no particular order; they are not a countdown of my favorite pictures and they are not in chronological order either (thought that would be boring). They are just 117 of my favorites and the reason I love them could be because they are beautiful, they are weird, they are funny…whatever reason.
Here we go:
Let’s start with some birthday pictures:
Clark and Myrna Loy celebrate his birthday on the set of Parnell (1937).
Here’s Myrna again, with Deborah Kerr, helping Clark celebrate on the set of The Hucksters (1947).
Clark locking Judy Garland in a big bear hug at his birthday party on the set of Test Pilot (1938).
Clark looking a bit like a goober while addressing the crowd in front of the Georgian Terrace Hotel in Atlanta, during the premiere festivities for Gone with the Wind, 1939.
On the set of Possessed, 1931. Always have loved this behind the scenes shot, even if he is lighting a cancer stick.
The publicity shots taken for Saratoga (1937) are particularly heartbreaking, when you realize Jean Harlow would be dead just a few days later. She was so weak that she couldn’t stand up and had to be laying down or leaning against Clark in all of the pictures. They’re all beautiful; I especially like this one.
A gorgeous behind the scenes shot from Susan Lenox: Her Fall and Rise (1931), with Greta Garbo. This scene was actually cut from the final film.
A quick snap behind the scenes of San Francisco (1936), and Clark is all smiles–blood makeup and all.
Proof that he can’t look like a hunk in all pictures, here is Clark in 1931, complete with pants up past his ribcage!
A disheveled Clark, Jack Oakie and Loretta Young take a break from the freezing weather while filming Call of the Wild (1935).
Clark plays the drums (with cigarette in mouth, naturally) accompanied by Carole Lombard’s brother Fred Peters, at a house party in 1939.
Why hello, ladies. Clark makes some new friends while in New York, 1934.
Pleased to meet you. Clark makes a lucky lady’s acquaintance while in Italy filming It Started in Naples, 1959.
Clark shares a laugh with Gone with the Wind author Margaret Mitchell in Atlanta for the film premiere, 1939.
Speaking of Gone with the Wind, Carole Lombard looks adoringly at her date at the Los Angeles premiere of the film, 1939.
Clark shares a hug with his little co-star on the set of The Hucksters (1947).
Clark and Lana Turner can’t get serious while filming a love scene in Honky Tonk (1941).
Candid pic from the Catalina set of Mutiny on the Bounty (1935). That hair! The rolled socks! The peacoat!
Another candid from the set of Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) that was too adorable not to include.
The publicity shots from Clark and Carole’s No Man of Her Own (1932) are all gorgeous, but this one is a favorite.
There isn’t a scene like this in No Man of Her Own (1932), so I’m guessing Clark and Carole are just goofing around for the still photographer. I was delighted when I found this little gem in a magazine!
Just a beautiful publicity picture with Joan Crawford for Possessed (1931).
If any picture will make you want to be a fly on the wall, it’s this one. Who wouldn’t want to share a laugh with Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Bob Hope and David Niven? Pictured at rehearsal for the 1958 Academy Awards.
This picture was taken shortly before Clark’s death in 1960. He’s sitting in his favorite chair on their porch, reading a script, looking relaxed.
I could make an entire list of nothing but Clark with animals–there are so many precious ones. This one of him and his beloved Bobby is a definite favorite.
Here’s Bobby again and Clark’s showing him their trappings for the day. “Look Bobby!” That smile he gives the dog…
This is just a cool shot of Clark and Constance Bennett filming After Office Hours (1935).
In 1937, when Clark caught Carole a wildcat and lived to tell the tale…
Newly enlisted Clark still flashing that movie star smile, 1942.
About 16 years old and prepped to conquer the world, ears and all!
Looks like a natural doesn’t he? Feeding his little co-star on the set of Boom Town, 1940. I’m a sucker for Clark with dogs and babies, ok?
When you’re out filming in the middle of nowhere, sometimes there’s nothing else to do but burst out into song! Filming Call of the Wild, 1935.
On CBS radio in 1937.
Getting a manicure on the set of They Met in Bombay, 1941.
Looking like a long-lost member of The Beatles while on location for Strange Cargo, 1940.
Playing polo in 1932. And looking quite dashing doing so.
A great mussed-up shot from 1937.
Having some tea in his dirty tuxedo on the set of San Francisco, 1936.
I always love finding a picture of Clark with random celebrities. Here he is with fellow heart throb Errol Flynn.
On that same note, here’s one with Katharine Hepburn in Paris. Wonder what these two talked about?
Doing some research!
Leaving his hand prints in the cement outside Grauman’s Chinese Theater, 1937.
This photo is weird. From the looks of Charles Farrell’s face, it appears Clark is winning at giant lawn chess!
A truly hunky studio portrait from 1932.
I could do a post of my 117 favorite Clark Gable and Carole Lombard photos and I’d surely struggle to only choose 117. This one is an obvious favorite and I was overjoyed to find a color version. At their ranch, 1939.
Rumors from the set of Gone with the Wind range from Clark and Vivien Leigh hating each other, him raping her, them barely speaking, them being in love….hogwash. At least this picture shows there were smiles on the set!
A great shot of Clark reading a newspaper on the set of Parnell (1937).
Did the man ever meet an animal who didn’t love him? (Well, maybe all those ducks he shot…) Here he is with a monkey on the set of The White Sister, 1933.
I just love this photo. Clark taking a smoke break during rehearsals for the 30th Academy Awards (he was a presenter), 1958.
There are about 500 pictures of Clark Gable and Carole Lombard at their post-wedding press conference the morning after they wed. This one is my favorite. Find someone who looks at you the way Clark is looking at Carole. Or vice versa.
Okay, this one too. They’re just so happy.
Doing the dishes in a river? Whatever he is doing he looks gorgeous doing it, 1932.
Yes, this is photographic proof that The Three Stooges sat in Clark Gable’s lap. They had a small part in Dancing Lady (1933).
What, you don’t slice up an onion and eat it raw? Well it was one of Clark’s favorite snacks. Pictured here in 1955.
My scan of this picture isn’t great. But Clark beaming at Shirley Temple while helping her get some water is downright adorable. (1941)
Two studs on the prowl. Or, actually, heading to work. Clark Gable in costume for Parnell and Robert Taylor dressed up for Personal Property, 1937.
Chatting with the Queen of Gossip herself, Louella Parsons, 1959.
Hanging out with Doris Day (one of the very few Gable leading ladies still alive) between takes of Teacher’s Pet, 1958.
Shaving off his iconic mustache after enlisting in the Army, 1942.
Clark seems to be the only one happy to be filming the final scene of Gone with the Wind, with Vivien Leigh, director Victor Fleming and producer David Selznick, 1939.
This horse really loves Clark. But who can blame him?
Clark and Myrna Loy accepting their crowns as “King and Queen of Hollywood” from Ed Sullivan, 1938.
This one was captioned “Oh no, you don’t!” Carole wags a finger at a photographer who tried to snap Clark kissing her goodbye as she boards a train to Napa Valley to film They Knew What They Wanted, 1941.
Clark and his buddy Toughie, who didn’t live up to his tough name!
Clark leads a sing-along (of what tune, you wonder) with the extras on the set of Dancing Lady (1933).
There are a bunch of these publicity stills from Love on the Run (1936) with Clark and Joan Crawford with their friend the wind machine. This one is so pretty.
Clark and his fifth wife Kay Spreckels lounging by their pool. She looks every bit the perfect 1950’s wife, with her pearls and shift dress. And he is for some reason looking at her with what appears to be disdain?
Myrna Loy is one lucky lady, sandwiched between Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy in a publicity shot for Test Pilot (1938).
Color shot of Clark with fourth wife Sylvia Ashley, looking quite dashing at a premiere. Wonder who’s diverting their attention?
My favorite publicity shot with Claudette Colbert for It Happened One Night (1934). You can certainly feel that chemistry!
Clark and Carole all snuggly (look at their intertwined hands!) on the set of her film They Knew What They Wanted (1941), with (blurry) director Garson Kanin.
Something’s funny on the walkie-talkie on the set of Across the Wide Missouri (1951).
Goofing with Walter Pidgeon and Myrna Loy in a publicity still for Too Hot to Handle (1938).
Captain Clark Gable poses with fellow servicemen Robert Taylor and Robert Montgomery, 1943.
Clark Gable goes over to personally congratulate Judy Garland at the premiere of A Star is Born, 1954.
Clark and Carole greet Clark’s Uncle Charley during the Atlanta Gone with the Wind premiere festivities, 1939.
Reading a script and relaxing with a friend on his porch at home, 1957.
Clark threatens to pummel Victor Fleming with an ice cream scoop as Victor makes a move on Myrna Loy, during filming of Test Pilot, 1938.
Beautiful production still from It Happened One Night (1934).
I have no insight on this photo other than Clark seems to be having an enjoyable phone conversation and there is a creeper lady watching him intently on the other side of the window!
Candid of Captain Gable, 1944.
Another dog photo because it is too adorable not to include.
Having lunch and catching up on the news during the infamous Violet Norton mail fraud trial in 1937. (Read about that here)
Fishing in 1955.
Goofing off during a radio appearance in 1939. What a face!
Gary Cooper visits Clark on the set of Soldier of Fortune (1955).
A star gets ready to perform. In his dressing room in 1932.
Candid from a baseball game in 1938. Looking very Rhett Butler-esque.
Poignant photo of him enlisting in the Army, 1942.
A great headshot. Truly wonderful. From 1946.
Have to include this iconic shot of Clark Gable and Carole Lombard playing tennis in their evening clothes in 1936. And from there the spark was ignited…
A gorgeous headshot from The White Sister (1933).
Myrna Loy and Jean Harlow got paid to gaze adoringly at Clark Gable. Hard work but someone’s got to do it. Wife vs. Secretary (1936).
A great shot of Clark on the set of Red Dust (1932). I have a large version of this in my home office!
Clark and second wife Ria all smiles in an elevator, 1934.
At home in 1950. In a very Grandpa-esque shirt and high pants!
Two happy people, wouldn’t you agree! Was his smile ever bigger?
Clark and co-star Gene Tierney on the set of Never Let Me Go (1953).
Clark and Vivien Leigh in a gorgeous Gone with the Wind portrait.
A girl can’t help herself while filming Betrayed (1954) in the Netherlands.
To be a fly on the wall! Clark with Van Heflin, Gary Cooper and Jimmy Stewart on New Years Eve, 1958.
Pals Ava Gardner and Clark Gable on the African set of Mogambo (1953).
Lew Smith, Barbara Stanwyck, Clark Gable and Bill Hickman show the camera how they feel on the set of To Please a Lady (1950).This is one you wouldn’t believe it unless you saw it for yourself. And it was supposed to be an inside joke, so I am sure none involved would be too happy that we would all be gazing up on it 68 years later…
Clark and Marilyn Monroe take a break to hug it out on the set of The Misfits (1961).
This is our serious face. Wardrobe still from Manhattan Melodrama (1934).
Stopping for a milk break. There are actually a lot of pictures of him drinking milk on sets. Was he paid by the dairy industry? One wonders.
As a teenager–with that haircut, ill-fitting suit and little guitar, surely destined for greatness!
A hokey publicity shot for Hold Your Man (1933).
Clark and Carole at their last public appearance together, December 1941.
Showing his horse some affection (lucky horse!) in 1932.
I adore this picture simply because Clark looks so mind-numbingly bored talking to Samuel Goldwyn. Carole does not appear interested either. Taken at the Greek Relief Benefit in 1941.
Clark chats with Bette Davis while preparing to appear on the radio program “Command Performance” in 1944.
My favorite shot from the set of The Misfits. He looks old and tired, but there is this kindness in his face. He would die less than a month later.
Great color shot of Clark Gable, Doris Day and his fifth wife Kay Spreckels on the set of Teachter’s Pet (1958).
Had to include this great color picture of Clark and Carole Lombard, didn’t I?
So young and a cool photo altogether, 1932.
I had to end with baby Clark! Awww…
Happy Birthday, Clark!