This is a cute little article about a girl from Detroit who won a magazine contest and got to have lunch with Clark.

For one thing, Clark is a lot better looking off the screen than on the screen, particularly on account of his eyes. He has fine eyes and they’re a lovely color…sort of gray-green. And his teeth are very white and his skin burned bronze, which gives him a particularly effective smile. Oh, he’ll look grand in color pictures, all right!

Sigh….What was it I was typing about…oh yeah…

At this point Clark hadn’t appeared in a color picture yet, as GWTW was still three years off.  I like how she describes his eyes as gray-green. Sometimes, in the hand painted pictures of the day, they are depicted as more of a bright sky blue, which they were not. And sometimes I have heard people say they were brown–most definitely not. To anyone who questions his eye color, I point them to the scene in GWTW when Scarlett falls down the stairs and his eyes are big as saucers before he runs after her. Gray-green, indeed.

Clark had a table all reserved for us and the minute he sat down half a dozen visitors who were lunching came over and asked him for his autograph.

Well, he was nice about that, too. He was about everything that day.

“Pardon me, Mary,” he said. And took out his pencil and wrote his name. One lady gave him a blank check to write on. He looked up at her, quizzically, then tore the check in two and wrote his name on one of the pieces.

“Of course,” he said to the woman, “I know you aren’t trying to get my name on a blank check for ulterior purposes—but it’s been done. So you don’t mind?” He grinned at her so engagingly, that of course she wasn’t a bit put out.

That’s rather funny. Can’t you just see that quizzical look–with his eyebrow raised?

I found myself telling him lots of things you wouldn’t expect to be telling Clark Gable the first time you met him—how my kid sister cried with excitement when the telegram came announcing I’d won Screen Play’s contest and would have a date with him; how my mother was so flustered that she couldn’t sleep that night; how proud my dad was that his daughter had been selected for such an honor…At that Clark grinned, again.

“Honor, my eye,” he said. “Honestly, Mary, we actors are just guys…And most of us hams, at that…”

Modest, as always.

I’m sure Mary told this story to her children and grandchildren, the lucky lady.

Read the article in its entirety in The Article Archive