clark gable carole lombard

From February 24, 1942:

Clark Gable today was expected to report back to work at his studio within a few days to begin work on “Somewhere I’ll Find You.” The production was postphoned indefinitely when the actor’s wife, Carole Lombard, perished in a plane crash in Nevada.

From February 27, 1942:

Clark Gable did not actually work before the cameras the first two days after returning to MGM for “Somewhere I’ll Find You.” He sat quietly on the set talking to his director, Wesley Ruggles, and watching various scenes.

From March 2, 1942:

What can Hollywood offer Clark Gable–without Carole Lombard? It certainly can’t tempt him with more money, more fame, more popularity, more honors. He has enough money to last him the rest of his life. He has already had more fame than any other actor, and more popularity. He has been one of the Top Ten longer than any other star. He has won the Academy Award. He has starred in the greatest picture Hollywood ever made.

To lose himself in work, and to keep the studio from losing the fortune already invested in the picture, Clark is finishing “Somewhere I’ll Find You” with Lana Turner. (The fateful title will probably be changed.) But after that–what will he do?

His closest friends think that all the zest has gone out of acting for Clark. They predict that he will turn to directing.

Clark and Carole were very happy in that house in Encino. There, in spite of the fact that they were movie stars, they could be alone together. It was that small and intimate and secluded. Clark will never be able to go back to that house and live by himself.

Carole’s final answer to any rumors that she and Clark weren’t completely happy was her will. She left everything to him.

_______

But he did go back and live in that Encino house…he never moved again. I have always thought that the house was a piece of the happiness he had with Carole that he just wasn’t willing to let go. The memories that haunted the home made it feel like home to him.

You can read Carole Lombard’s will here.

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5 Responses to Gossip Friday: The Grieving Husband

  1. Vanessa says:

    I wonder if that house is still standing. And, if it is, who lives there?

  2. admin says:

    It is! Clark’s widow sold his house and land to developers in the late 1970’s. Michael Milliken owns the house; he bought it from Kay. He was kind of like a Bernie Madoff of the 1980’s I guess. He has lived there ever since. Now the house is six bedrooms or more, when Clark lived there it was only two bedrooms. But it is still there at least! I saw it on my trip to LA in 2011.

  3. Ginger says:

    Thanks for posting a copy of Carole’s Last Will and Testament. The fan magazines of that period loved to pump sunshine! This statement above is misleading: “Carole’s final answer to any rumors that she and Clark weren’t completely happy was her will. She left everything to him.” Wills are not documents designed to profess or disclaim happiness. They exist to give the testator an opportunity to say how she or he wants property distributed at death and to avoid potential tax problems. Many wills are written because of tax advice. Carole signed the will on August 8, 1939 when she was still a newlywed. Her feelings of “happiness” could have changed between that time and January 16, 1942. I am not expressing an opinion on the Gables’ happiness at all by writing this. I think it’s interesting that the fan magazines put that spin on the story for a document signed 2.5 years before Carole’s death. The most interesting thing I saw on the copy of Carole’s Last Will and Testament was that her brother, Stuart Peters, witnessed the signing of the will. So, he knew in 1939 that Carole was going to leave everything to Clark upon her death. My guess is that she received estate tax planning advice which led to the execution of this will. So much for the theory that Carole’s brothers were blindsided by her leaving everything to Clark.

  4. Debbie says:

    Keep in mind that when someone witnesses the signing of a will or any legal document, for that matter, they do not typically read the contents of the document. They witness only the signing. Carole was close to her mother and brothers, so she may have shared the contents of her will with them, but it is also quite possible that she felt it was private and did not.

  5. coco b says:

    We will never know what really happened between those two on that fatal day in 1942. Carole’s brothers and Clark were never close. I am sure the rumors affected the brothers jugement regarding Carole’s estate. And maybe rightly so. But no one can say that Caroles death did not affect Clark for the rest of his life, whatever he held deep in his heart.

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