I have a vintage magazine addiction. The first step towards getting help is admitting you have a problem, right? Well, I admit it. I now have so many magazines stacked on my desk and nightstand and scanner that I had to promise my husband I would not buy another one until I have gone through every one of them.
And so I am. In the coming weeks you will find lots of new pictures in the gallery as a result, as well as many new articles. The majority of these articles are quite intriguing and so I am devoting a blog post here and there to them.
Also, I would like the Clark Gable fandom’s opinion on a certain subject. I have received a little bit of angry feedback from apparently diehard Carole Lombard fans who are displeased that I post articles about her on this site. They said I am “further broadcasting the disillusion that all she should be remembered for is being Mrs. Clark Gable.” Being quite the Lombard fan myself (who isn’t?) I never thought of it that way. I figured that usually Gable fans are interested in the love of his life as well, so why not post her interviews and stories? Comment below and let me know if you agree or disagree. I certainly don’t want to offend anyone and I do have Lombard articles in the stack waiting to be typed.
Moving on, to our newest article….
This piece, “The New Romance in Clark Gable’s Life” appeared in Liberty magazine in March 1936. Of course, considering the date, you would jump to the conclusion that the “new love” is Carole Lombard. But the famous “Nervous Breakdown Party” that ignited their romance was only the month before, way after this magazine went to press.
No, this article is speculating on who Clark’s next romance will be. And it is certainly interesting to read this speculation as we all know who it was to be.
He wanted to be a great actor, and he married the woman who could help him become
one. He wanted to be a man of the world, and he married the ideal woman to make
him that. Now he wants to be himself, and he’ll marry the woman who will help him to
realize that ambition.
In short, what he is trying to do is to tune in on happiness.
What he needs is the kind of wife Barbara Stanwyck was to Frank Fay, the kind of wife
Ann Dvorak is to Leslie Fenton; a girl who will say, as Ann said the other day, “I am
not ashamed of having a love that fills my life to the exclusion of everything else. I’m
happy it is that way.”
That kind of girl is rare. But she must exist somewhere for Clark Gable.
You would probably recognize her on the street.
Who knows? If you are a woman, you might recognize her in your looking glass!
They are pretty much spot on, aren’t they? Carole was the first wife who he actually loved, who he actually could be himself and she loved him for it.
Most surprising to me about this article is that it is the first one I have ever read that hints at the affair between Clark and Joan Crawford.
There had been a bargain-day rush among Metro’s women stars to land this amazing
newcomer for their leading man. Garbo, Shearer, Crawford. They all wanted him, and
they all got him. But Joan got him oftenest and hardest. Not since Garbo and Gilbert
made “Flesh and the Devil” had there been love scenes in Hollywood so—what shall we
say?—sincerely played as the Crawford-Gable scenes in that torrid titbit, “Possessed.”
How far the thing went off the set nobody knew except Clark and Joan. Probably not
very far. But people talked, and people will; and the talk must have reached the ears of
Ria Gable, for on March 8, 1932, she packed her bags and, with her daughter and son
by a previous marriage, hopped the Santa Fe for New York. It reached, also, the highly
sensitized ears of the guardians of Hollywood morals—and, incidentally, of Hollywood
investments in socially strayward stars.
It is also the first I have seen to even skirt the possibility of the romance between Clark and Elizabeth Allan:
Elizabeth Allan, the pretty little English girl who played with him in “Men in White”,
was the first. He sat next to her at a party in a nightclub, and the early editions had
them married—anyway on the altar steps. Of course the Gables weren’t even divorced
and it takes a year in California before a divorce becomes effective; but to stop the
rumors, poor “Liz” Allan had to hop a boat for England, rout out her perfectly good
husband, Bill O’Bryen, and go on a much advertised second honeymoon.
And, probably not realizing how very close they were to unwinding a very tightly woven secret, they mention Loretta Young:
The next day Clark heard that Loretta Young, who had played with him in “Call of the
Wild”, was seriously ill in a Hollywood hospital. Naturally he telegraphed her flowers.
Roses they were—but the tabloids turned them into orange blossoms. Loretta had a
Read the article in its entirety in The Article Archive.