Today is Clark’s 111th birthday. I suppose it is slightly feasible that he could still be alive today…but not very likely! Knowing him and his modest ways, I am sure he would be shocked that anyone in the year 2012 remembers him and his movies. But we all do!
Here’s what Clark was doing every 11 years on his birthday:
1912: Living in a house his father built on Mill Street in Hopedale, Ohio, young Clark was in the fifth grade, playing the horn in the school band and thriving under the attention of his beloved stepmother, Jennie Dunlap.
1923: Clark (or as he was called then, “Billy”) was working at a lumber mill in Oregon at the time of his 22nd birthday. Engaged to Franz Doerfler and staying with her in her parents’ home, movie stardom was nowhere on his radar and Hollywood seemed millions of miles away.
1934: Having just finished filming Men in White, on his thirty-third birthday Clark was on a cross-country promotional tour with Ria in tow. He was rather grumpy on this trip, as he had to share a hotel suite with Ria and pretend to be a happily married couple to the throngs of adoring fans, meanwhile he had just started an affair with his Men in White costar Elizabeth Allan. It Happened One Night was to be released later in the month.
1945: Clark had recently returned from overseas and was busy editing his war film. He had just signed a new contract with MGM and a few days earlier had helped launch the USS Lombard in memory of his dear departed Carole. No word on how he spent his birthday that year; hopefully not alone!
1956: Married to Kay the previous summer, Clark probably spent the occaison at home with Kay and his stepchildren, Bunker and Joan. He started his production company, Russ Gabco Productions, around this time and was starting pre-production on The King and Four Queens.
Clark’s birthday is a big deal on this site and we celebrate all month! There will be something new to the site every day this month, following this schedule:
Mondays: New Article
Tuesdays: New Photo Blog Entry
Wednesdays: New Photos in the Gallery
Thursdays: New Article
Fridays: New Gossip Friday
Saturdays: New Blog Post–Dissecting Gable Rumors
So stay tuned all month long! And don’t forget to check in this Sunday, when the February Movie of the Month will be revealed–that you voted for! The winner of the contest will be announced as well!
Now go watch a Gable film and give a toast to the King!