clark gable

Today is Clark Gable’s 113th birthday!

Instead of me describing the man and shouting his praises, let’s leave it to the people who actually knew him, shall we? Here are 113 quotes about Clark from his wives, his friends, his costars and his coworkers:


1. “The tough thing about describing Clark Gable is that there’s nothing bad to say.” ~director Mervyn Leroy

2. “I can’t imagine anyone I’d rather have for a friend than Clark Gable. He embodies all the qualities which are necessary for true friendship.” ~Jean Harlow

3. “He’s a man with millions of friends. And I’m proud to be one of them.” ~Spencer Tracy

4. “Clark Gable. His beauty is thrilling. I suppose it sounds silly to call anyone as rugged as Clark ‘beautiful’…I hope he will forgive me. But he is beautiful, from his head to his feet. He is rhythmic, unconsciously alive with a powerful, effortless grace. He was the first leading man on the screen who could be cruel, even slap a woman in the face and make other women love him for it.” ~Norma Shearer

5. “To me, Clark Gable is what a movie star should be—and so often isn’t. I think any woman who meets him even once could never forget the meeting.” ~Barbara Nichols

6. “He made you feel like twice the woman you thought you were.” ~actress Ursula Theiss

7. “I think every woman he ever met was in love with him.” ~Loretta Young

8. “I adored him. Just adored him. I don’t believe any woman is telling the truth if she ever worked with Gable and did not feel twinges of a sexual urge beyond belief. I would call her a liar.” ~Joan Crawford

9. “Originally, I thought he was a simple, forthright man who sailed through things triumphantly.I discovered he was a very complicated person who took everything with much seriousness. The Misfits is not superficial, but a profound statement of human values. Gable respected this, and his handling of the role shows his innate profundity as a man. I could never get to the set ahead of him. He was always there ready to work when I arrived. Sometimes, we had to wait several hours for Marilyn Monroe to show up, but there was never a single complaint from Gable. It took me a while to find out that these delays outraged him. He had an exaggerated sense of responsibility, but curbed it by his calm self-control.” ~director John Huston

10. “He’s a great actor as I knew he would be from the very first day he came to me for acting lessons. And, he’s a first-class gentleman, always was and always will be.” ~first wife Josephine Dillon

11. “When I was growing up, Clark Gable represented everything I idealized—and to find that that ideal was all I ever dreamed of, plus so much more—more human, warmer! I am sorry he didn’t always receive the recognition for his acting that he deserved—because he cared so very much…” ~Marilyn Monroeclark gable the misfits

12. “We can say the King is dead but we can’t cry ‘Long Live The King’ because there is no one to take his place. And the belief is that no one ever will.” ~Charlton Heston

13. “You’d think all the adulation and flattery and all the long years of it might in just some little way affect Clark. It hasn’t. I’m closer to him I guess than any fellow in town and I’ve never known a plainer, more honest, down-to-earth guy. Sometimes when we stop in some little eating joint along the way a crowd of people will gather to see Clark and it never bothers or fazes him. He has a ‘How are you’ and ‘Hello’ for everyone, and that’s the end of it. It just doesn’t penetrate to his vanity. Sometimes passing motorists recognize him and darned near wreck their cars looking back, so Phil and Tuffy and I take the bows for him, standing up and bowing all over the place.” ~friend Andy Devine

14. “He was my idol. I worshipped him and was always asking him questions about the picture business. He talked to me, advised me, and helped me.” ~Robert Wagner

15. “He had this macho image strapped on him, and he couldn’t get out of it. The studio kept reminding him that this was what he had to do. He happened to be an actor, a damned good one, and nobody knew it, least of all Clark. He always deprecated his ability, pretending that it didn’t matter. He was really a shy man with a terrible inferiority in him somewhere. Something was missing that kept him from doing the things he could have done.” ~Myrna Loy

16. “It was a realtiosnhip that is difficult to explain. I adored him, just adored him. He was sweet and wonderful to me always.” ~agent Minna Wallis

17. “It was hard for me to work with him at first. I had been in love with Clark Gable since I was a little girl. And every once in a while I’d think, ‘It’s CLARK GABLE!’ and I’d go to pieces.”~Ava Gardner

18. “They’ll never come any greater than Clark, because he has the same joy of living and the ability to bring joy to others today that he had when he arrived here. No matter what his age, he’ll never be old.” ~Barbara Stanwyck

19. “No actor I ever performed with had such public appeal. He was as masculine as any man I’ve ever known and as much a little boy as a grown man could be–it was this combination that had such a devastating effect on women. But there was nothing of ‘the King’ about his personality. Just the opposite. Utter simplicity. Uncomplicated. A man who lived on a simple, down-to-earth scale.” ~Doris Day

20. “He gets a great hoot out of everything he plays. The idea that he walks casually through his scenes is a canard. He’s an easy-going man, but that’s truer of his private life than of his work. He’s always at ease in front of a camera, but he’s a terrifically hard worker. Very conscientious. His wardrobe man, for instance, is probably the most highly-trained in Hollywood—Clark is that particular about having detail of every costume accurate. Or maybe ‘believable’ is the word.” ~Roslind Russell

21. “He’s a nice guy, that Gable. A mugg–sure–but a nice mugg. I’ve known that Gable for several years. Met him at parties–on sets–at lunch–dinner–the track–riding–all sorts of places and under all sorts of conditions. I’ve never seen him paw the ground over a little thing.” ~James Gleason

22. “Who could quarrel with Clark Gable? We got on well. Whenever anyone on the set was tired or depressed, it was Gable who cheered that person up. Then the newspapers began printing the story that Gable and I were not getting on. This was so ridiculous it served only as a joke. From the time on the standard greeting between Clark and myself became, ‘How are you not getting on today?'” ~Vivien Leigh

23. “He didn’t act like a movie star. And his room wasn’t fancier than any other officer’s. The kids used to sit around and gum with him.” ~Joe Fedelem, gunner in the Army Air Corps

24. “Most actors can’t help talking shop. But when Gable doesn’t have to act, he relaxes. He talks about sports, the way, the latest gags, hunting, farming—anything but acting. Or himself. Unless something happens to him that will hand the boys a laugh. Like the time he and somebody else went some place where he was expected, and the gateman stopped them, and wanted to know, in all seriousness, which one was “Mr. Gable.” He got a kick out of telling that one—especially in front of the publicity boys.” ~Spencer Tracy

25.  “He is essentially a man’s man. His attutude toward me is that of a pal or a brother. With some men, you are made awfully conscious of being a woman. You think, ‘Maybe my nose is shiny,’ or ‘Does my hair look right?’ or ‘What if my lips aren’t on straight?’  With Clark you don’t care if your nose is powdered or not, or whether you have on an old pair of slippers. You feel that he likes you because you’re a human being.” ~Jean Harlow

26. “Clark is one of the most effective actors in the business—and for a very good reason. No matter how disappointed he is in a scene, he plays it with enthusiasm and vitality. I’ve worked with actors who don’t do this, and it makes all the difference in the world. What you feel when the camera records a scene is what is recorded. I’ll argue that point till Doomsday. To carry off a scene, you have to attack it with authority, and that’s what Clark does every time. It has nothing to do with his being six-feet-one and built in proportion.” ~Rosalind Russell

27. “The lovely ladies who act opposite him like him. All the rest of the people on the set, from prop boys up or from the director down, like him. The nicest people in Hollywood like him. I know, because they’re always coming up and telling me so! Now I agree perfectly with the unanimous appraisal of Clark Gable as the most likable sort of fellow.” ~Robert Montgomeryclark gable kay williams

28. “Looking back over that period, I wonder if there are many people who, even in 25 or 50 years of marriage, find the happiness that Clark and I had. He loved me, and I loved him. Once that was established, we made no bones about it. We didn’t play silly games, like trying to make each other jealous. We were too busy trying to make each other happy. One way we did this was to listen to each other. We enjoyed talking together. There was a general communication between us. I think there are too many couples who talk AT each other.” ~fifth wife Kay Williams

29. “I never considered Clark a typical movie actor. That’s a bad profession for men. They become picky and fussy and spend a lot of time talking to mirrors. Clark wasn’t like that, ever.” ~co-star Joan Blondell

30. “I would have liked to work with him, yes, that would have been something….he was one of the few men at MGM, hell, in Hollywood period, that had the reputation of being an all around nice guy…rare thing, that.”~Katharine Hepburn

31. “He was a great ribber,but he only ribbed people he liked, and in a non-sarcastic way. He never hurt anybody. His philosophy was live and let live. His favorite expression, when he heard an exaggeration voiced by someone near him was, ‘Yeah, that’s what the girl said to the sailor!’ He knew it was corny, but he got a kick out of it.”~longtime stand-in Lew Smith

32. “I have been in this business a long while. I have directed most of them, oldtimers and newcomers, big stars and bit players. And you can quote me as saying that Gable is the man for my money. Not only because he is a very fine actor, but also because he is the most down-to-earth, easy-to-get-along-with actor I have ever known.” ~ director King Vidor

33. “He’s got balance. He’s never late on the set. He’s usually from five to ten minutes early. He can take a gag as easily as he can hand one. He’ll squawk his head off before a picture starts if there’s something he doesn’t like. But you’ll never hear a peep out of him after it’s under way.” ~director Woody Van Dyke

34. “He was the biggest man I ever saw. His hands, feet, head, and, of course, his ears, were tremendous. He was the biggest guy I ever knew, and I would say one of the most powerful. One of his great fears, I learned as I got to know him, was that he might hurt somebody. Physically. He never did. He always knew he had this tremendous strength, but he never used it.” ~MGM publicist Howard Strickling

35. “Nobody pushed Clark Gable around. Just nobody pushed him around. I don’t think anyone would have looked at his looming presence and crossed swords with him.” ~Ann Rutherford

36. “The only think Clark was ever anxious about were his ears. During one sitting after the studio had made a big thing about his ears, he asked, ‘What am I going to do with these flops?’ I told him to forget them. ‘In their prominence, they’re a bit like Valentino’s nostrils. If nostrils can become sex symbols, so can ears.'” ~photographer Clarence Bull

37. “He was all man. He was always polite and proper. He looked, talked, walked exactly the same as on the screen. He was always impeccably dressed. His mood was not always consistent. If he was troubled or something was depressing him, he showed it; he would drink a lot. Other times, he seemed loose, an ‘I don’t give a damn’ attitude. He never talked about his problems or anything personal in his life.” ~friend Leo Martin

38. “He was a wonderful man. Very simple, pretty much the way he’s been painted…forever the virile, ballsy hero.”~Joan Crawford

39. “Of all the actors I’ve known, he was the only real man I ever met—the finest and truest gentleman.” ~writer Arthur Miller

clark gable audrey totter any number can play

40. “He was a sensitive and considerate man, not at all like the rough-and-tumble roles he sometimes played.” ~Audrey Totter

41. “During that long period of utter despair [after my wife’s death], Clark was endlessly thoughtful and helpful, and he checked up constantly to see if I was all right. Without my realizing it, Clark was drawing on his own awful experience to steer me through mine, and for the next eightteen months I saw a great deal of him, being one of the small handful that his houseman, Martin, automatically buzzed throuh the electrically controlled gate at the ranch.” ~David Niven

42. “Clark was a real pro. It’s a pity that he never returned to the theater. He would have been wonderful, but Hollywood spoiled him. It was an easier way to earn a living. Once a performance is down on film, you don’t have to repeat it night after night, month after month, sometimes year after year.” ~Helen Hayes

43. “Clark would tire of people and things. This was always very embarrassing to Mother. He would rush a couple and see a lot of them–be with them all th etime, take them hunting and all—then suddenly he wouldn’t want to see them anymore. If he would run into them he would be perfectly charming. But he didn’t want to see them. This was his disposition, always.”~stepdaughter Jana Burke

44. “He was very shy but fun with people he knew. He was very sensitive about those goddamned ears, but he’d make jokes about them. After a shot, he’d ask, ‘What’d they get, an ear?’ He didn’t look like anyone else. It was not only physical. He had mannerisms all his own: ways of standing, smoking, and a great flair for clothes. Whatever came natural to him, I let him do it.” ~director Frank Capra

45. “I once remarked to a group of dinner guests that Gable’s mannerisms and magnetism were so extraordinary that one could actually feel the power of his presence—even before he walked onto a set or into a room. He had that magic—or golden gift—bestowed on the very few. Gable became the romantic—and perhaps real—paragon of masculinity that women seek in men—but seldom find. Yet men identified with Gable because he never flaunted his masculinity and because he was flesh and blood and not a synthetic symbol.” ~Joan Crawford

46.” No man who has ever attained stardom in Hollywood, and I think I have known them all, was ever so little touched by the applause, the idolatry, the fame and fortune, the intrigues and fashions of Hollywood. It isn’t quite accurate to say he remained unchanged. But it is the absolute truth to say that he grew up as normally, as straight, as unaffected by it all as though he had gone on growing up anywhere else. Unless you know Hollywood and have seen what it sometimes does to people you can’t realize how miraculous that is.” ~writer Adela Rogers St. Johns

47.“The first day I started to work, I was more afraid than usual. I suddenly realized I was playing opposite the Great Gable, and it froze me. In Boom Town I did not have a big part and was not often on the sets; I did not have much responsibility. But this Comrade X was different. It this, it was Clark and myself! He laughed at me for worrying and accused me of thinking motion pictures the most important thing in the world. He kidded me, saying, ‘They are not as important as all that, sister. Relax. Motion pictures will be here long after you and I are both gone.’ He said, ‘Look, baby, his is a picnic, a clambake.’ I did not know what he meant by a ‘clambake’ but I did know I was having fun for the first time since I had been in pictures. I did know that for the first time I relaxed when I worked. We would have ‘tea’ every afternoon on the set. The first time Clark invited me to tea, I did not know what to expect. It turned out to be tea made in a old coffee pot and he served it with dozens of five-and-ten cookies!” ~Hedy Lamarrclark gable

48. “Stack all the he-men in Hollywood end to end, and in my opinion it still takes five to match Clark Gable.” ~photographer Jack Albin

49. “He has that God-given thing: a theatrical personality, the ability to communicate with an audience, which all the training in the world can’t give you. Experience helps, but without that other quality there is no such things as the star personality. The public caught it in Gable the first time he walked on the screen.” ~producer David O. Selznick

50. “It was the joy of your life to know Clark Gable. He was everything good you could think of. He had delicious humor, he had great compassion, he was always a fine old teddy bear. In no way was he conscious of his good looks, as were most other men in pictures at that time. Clark was very unactorly.” ~Joan Blondell

51. “When he’s with a group of other men among women, he doesn’t act like king of the group, as if he knows he’s more in demand than any other man. He acts like any other guy.” ~director Ed Dmytryk

52. “When I think of [my relationship with Gable], considering the way it started, it was curious. We became devoted to each other. We weren’t lovers–he was in love with Carole Lombard…we eventually became more like siblings. Nobody believes that and you can understand why…but our relationship was unique. Oh he sometimes gave me the macho routine when people were watching but he changed when we were alone.”~Myrna Loy

53. “He was totally unaware of the impact he had on people. He steered clear of the Hollywood whirl. At the end of a day’s filming, Clark would go to his dressing room and have a drink of Scotch with his make-up man and his stand-in. They would shoot the breeze for a while, then Clark would head home to Encino. That was the only staff he had–those two men. Quite a contrast to Frank Sinatra, who also had a kind of royal status in the entertainment world but only moved behind a phalanx of bodyguards.” ~Doris Day

54. “I found Gable to be the only exception, at least in my mind, to the theory of the actor as an amorphous  entity waiting to be shaped by a director. He had so much personality that he had no need to do characters in the way that we normally say an actor does a character.” ~Marcello Mastroianni

55. “Clark turned out to be the most wonderful egg. He just had a ball. What I believe is that he was playing himself, and maybe for the only time in his career. That clowning, boyish, roguish he-man was Gable.” ~It Happened One Night director Frank Capra

clark gable myrna loy

56. “He was very gentle with me. I was like a little sister. He could also get very annoyed with me. I was very unrealistic, he thought–always falling in love.” ~Myrna Loy

57. “He knew where he was the minute he looked at a woman. He knew what he would get back from that woman if he gave her the right look; he’d seen that reaction on the screen too often not to know. And he loved it if there was a new woman around and he could walk into a room and hear her sigh. He didn’t even have to hear–he could see.” ~Joan Crawford

58. “He was boyish, mannish, a brute–all kinds of goodies. When he grinned you’d have to melt. If you didn’t want him as a lover, you’d want to give him a bear hug. He affected all feamles unless they were dead.” ~Joan Blondell

59. “He was a great swimmer and loved to swim.” ~Hollywood lawyer Greg Bautzer

60. “There was a kind of shy, wistful–I don’t know how in the hell to express this quality about him, but I saw it time and again. Up on the screen he was a buffalo type who would bust through doors, but innately he was a gentleman–kind, thoughtful, and tender. Curious quality about Clark. Inside he was a gentle man in every sense of the word. He was courteous. Very courteous. He was a smiling man. All I think of about Clark was the twinkle in his eye. We would laugh every day about something.” ~Never Let Me Go director Delmer Daves

61. “He loved poetry, and read beautifully, with great sensitivity, but he wouldn’t dare let anybody else know it. He was afraid people would think him weak or effeminate and not the tough guy who liked to fish and hunt. I was the only one he trusted. He never wanted me to tell this.” ~Myrna Loy

62. “Money was his weakness. It’s all he wanted. He finally did The Misfits because he wanted to be the guy that got more money than anybody else every got.” ~MGM publicist Howard Strickling

63. “Clark never had a star complex, never pulled rank. He knew his lines, never kept others waiting and was very businesslike.” ~longtime make-up man Stan Campbell

64. “Clark had a most extensive wardrobe; he was meticulous in his dress and in the care of his things. His shoes were all handmade in England…[and] shined to perfection.Whether he was in dinner jacket or blue jeans, Clark wore his clothes magnificently and was certainly one of the best-dressed men in films.” ~personal secretary Jean Garceau

65. “Clark never did anything to embarrass me. Our marriage was one of mutual respect.” ~second wife Ria Franklin

66. “Clark was a damn sight better comedian that he ever got credit for being.” ~No Man of Her Own and Somewhere I’ll Find You director Wesley Ruggles

67. “I don’t mind admitting I’m in love with him—in a nice, polite, respectful way, of course.” ~Barbara Nichols

68. “Clark is the Great lover without any of the morbid, tragic aspects of emotionalism. He is the type with whom a woman could roam the hills and highways of the world, loving and laughing lustily. He doesn’t take himself seriously in any way, which is his greatest charm. He would never die for love. He would be far more likely to laugh and ride away, like a strong wind, leaving you breathless…” ~Norma Shearer

69. “Clark is definitely a man’s man—in his manner of thinking and behaving, and in his way of living. Although he has been flattered to the extreme, he hasn’t let himself go soft.” ~Robert Montgomery

70.“Normal people have a routine life, and they get excited about vacations. But Clark pours his enthusiasm and imagination into his work. That’s what excites him. And I think it’s one of the important reasons why he has lasted—why any picture with Gable in it is bound to have its moments. The fundamental thing you have to have in this business is vitality. It’s the one indispensible thing—for which there’s no substitute. You can’t make a character compelling if you, yourself, are going around with acute inertia. There are times when you have to do a scene twenty times before you get it right, and you have to have reservoirs of vitality so that you can look as fresh on the twentieth take as on the first. And Gable is the lad who has figured that out.” ~Rosalind Russell

71. “He came to the set each day knowing every word of his dialogue–every word! I set about picking his brain, trying to ferret out exactly how he did it. That he studied his scripts aggressively and that he sometimes recorded his lines on tape to be played back while he slept was about all he would allow me to unearth.”~Sidney Poitier

72. “And here’s where he’s got it over any actor or yes, any man I ever knew: We all unconsciously put on a little dog or a bit of extra niceness when we meet people the first time. Actors do it instinctively. All but Gable. The Gable you meet the first time is the Gable you meet the second, the tenth, or the hundredth time. Not a bit of extra swank does he ever assume.”~director Jack Conway

73. “Perhaps that was where Noel Coward got the idea for his line: ‘Every woman should be hit regularly—like a gong.’ And for that sort of thing it was Gable who made villains popular. Instead of the audience’s wanting the good man to get the girl, they wanted the bad man to get the girl.” ~Norma Shearer

74. “Clark was the healthiest person I have ever known. He never even caught colds. During the thirty years I knew him, I never knew of his entering a hospital–even for a check-up–except once when he had his appendix removed. Then, he recovered so fast the nurses almost had to chain him down to keep him in bed. For all his fifty-nine years, Clark carried his vitality, strength, he-manliness, and radiant health right up to the last eleven days of his life. And his personality abounded with good humor, jokes, laughter. You don’t think of a man like this as dead–perhaps I never shall. ” ~gossip columnist Louella Parsons

75. “What a hell of a man. There was nothing effeminate about him. Nothing actorish. He came in, satd down in a chair, and right away you could see he knew how to handle people. When Gable gave an interview, he would know more about you than you would know about him.” ~MGM publicist Howard Stricklingclark gable

76. “Clark is a very nice fellow, but a very suspicious one, and very quickly and not infrequently gets the notion in his head that people are taking advsntage of him.” ~producer David O. Selznick

77. “I used to have to pinch myself, to say, my gosh, I am working for Clark Gable. Look at him, he’s right here. It doesn’t seem possible.” ~personal secretary Jean Garceau

78. “He adored women–not in a lechy way, he loved beauty; soft hair, beautiful deep eyes. His eyes would sparkle when he saw a beautiful woman. And if he liked you, he let you know it.” ~Joan Blondell

79. “I loved walking into a room with him. He was a dream and a darling, and the loneliest, most insecure man in the world. If we’d go to a party, he’d shake like a leaf. ” ~girlfriend, model Anita Colby

80. “Gable had a virility complex. No man, no understudy, no stand-in could do anything he couldn’t do.” ~The Misfits publicist Harry Mines

81. “[When I first met Clark Gable] I was terribly nervous. I’d been told Clark was a real ladykiller and I was on my guard. ‘He’s not going to get anywhere with me,’ I said to myself. To my astonishment, he was very businesslike and such a gentleman. He was so kind and helped me so much that I felt like I had a real friend.” ~co-star (and eventual girlfriend) Virginia Grey

82. “Clark isn’t the happy-go-lucky, carefree man the public sees. He’s not had a very happy life and is inclined to be depressed and worred. I want to make it up to him if I can.” ~third wife Carole Lombard

83. “Clark hated detail of any kind, never even wanted to write a letter…Inevitably, I’d have to pin Clark down to the important dictation; and then there was always much reading back on my part with Clark making change after change before we arrived at a satisfactor result.” ~personal secretary Jean Garceau

clark gable doris day teacher's pet

84. “When Clark came on the set in the mornings, I could actually feel the magnetic force of his personality. He dressed in marvelous tweeds, which obviously had belonged to him for a long time, or in leather, and he wore heavy, thick-soled ox-blood brogues that were always shined. He had very big hands and a thick, large-boned physique that gave him great dimension. There was something very affirmative about him, and a directness that suggested great inner strength.” ~Doris Day

85. “His manliness came out in so many ways—in the sudden eruption of boisterous laughter, in the capacity for competition, in the need for physical daring, in the total acceptance of life as tragedy and comedy, and in the exceptional ability to establish friendship beyond a thin smile and weak handshake.He had a zest for adventure that makes today’s obsession for easy-does-it security shameful. He was not afraid of life because he was too busy living.” ~Joan Crawford

86. “I guess there isn’t anybody else like him. I don’t mean I want to be like him on the screen, because we’re so different. But I wish I knew how he manages to make every single soul he ever meets think he’s the absolute tops.  I wish I knew how he makes newspapermen, every single one of them, think everything he does is just right. Why, that guy can say no, and make people like it better than anyone else can when they say yes.” ~Tyrone Power

87. “Clark is like me in that he appears to be light and airy, yet is pretty serious underneath it all. He plans ahead—not calculatingly, but sensibly. He has a great sense of humor—but he doesn’t go in for kidding himself. And he never will.” ~Robert Montgomery

88. “He is, of course, an excellent actor. (And I believe it is an important indication of character when a man excells at his trade, whatever it is.) As a working partner, I couldn’t ask for more. He gives so much to each part that I have to keep up with him. He constantly keys me up.” ~Jean Harlow

89. “He’s good at everything he tries–skeet–he’s a swell shot; riding–in all its forms and that includes polo.” ~James Gleason

90. “He’s the kind of man it relaxes you to be around. He’s himself, so he expects you to be yourself. If you aren’t, you can go fly a kite. He’s so natural, most people can’t tell the difference between the on-screen Gable and the off-screen Gable. They think he’s playing himself. He is, up to a certain point. There’s a difference between being natural off the screen and being natural on it. It takes a little art to be natural with a camera in front of you and a microphone over you. Gable has made a fine art of it. If you don’t think he’s a past master of acting, let me point out that nobody ever takes a scene away from Clark Gable.” ~Spencer Tracy

91. “He is amusing, humorous…he is interested in all sorts of things, and all sorts of people…He loves talking to all kinds of men, learning their hopes and ambitions, the way they live. Often he goes over to the extras and chats with them.” ~Jean Harlow

92. “He isn’t the kind of actor, you know, who burst up to you, turning on great flood-lights of personality to dazzle you. He takes people as they come, and he expects to them to take him the same way. That makes it easy to feel acquainted with him at first meeting. And it also makes it easy to forget when, or where, that meeting took place. The first encounter with Mr. G. is no different from any subsequent encounters. The man doesn’t change.” ~Rosalind Russellclark gable rosalind russell they met in bombay

93. “He has had to withstand more public pressure than any man in Hollywood. Every move he has ever made has been spotlighted. He has had countless opportunities to go haywire. And yet he hasn’t. Furthermore he isn’t namby-pamby. He doesn’t deny anything he has ever done. Whenever he has made mistakes—and who of us hasn’t made plenty?—he has admitted them…to the press. Believe me, that takes courage!” ~Robert Montgomery

94. “Know what he’s got? He’s got two of the greatest things in the business. He can look so
mean he could tear your head off, and when he smiles, you say, ‘What a great guy.’ He’s got the two extremes, hot and cold.” ~longtime stand-in Lew Smith

95. “He never complains about anything. We always had a lot of laughs. He’s not a fair-weather guy. He has no conceit whatsoever. What’s more, he has an enormous and lusty relish for kidding himself. Quite a different matter, you know, from a relish for kidding the other fellow. Practically every time he finishes a big scene, and a damn fine one at that, he says what you just heard him say, ‘Well, I certainly hammed that one up.’ And he believes it. How he has managed to stay as he is through the blitzkrieg of fame and favor is, to me, the major mystery of the picture business.” ~director King Vidorclark gable carole lombard

96. “Clark’s got so much imagination and so much more vitality and love of life than anybody else. He wants to live more, faster, harder, crowd in more experiences. He doesn’t want to settle for one life, one job. So he gets to be boss of a rubber plantation full of man-eating tigers. He can be a con-man, a pilot, a gambler saving lives in the San Francisco earthquake, a doctor, a hard-boiled reporter. He can go to Alaska in the Gold Rush, lead a mutiny, be a minister, killer, prizefighter, politican. He can sail the China Seas and fight the Civil War–all that’s just Gable having his idea of life, of fun.” ~third wife Carole Lombard

97. “I always felt like he needed protection, somehow. He called me ‘Father John’–that was his nickname for me. Why John should protect Clark Gable–it’s just silly. He could make mince meat of me physically, and he had all the armor of assurance and everything.” ~screenwriter John Mahin

98. “I loved him, but I wasn’t in love with him. I would no more have thought of going to bed with him than with the man in the moon.” ~girlfriend, model Anita Colby

99. “I liked him a lot. He was not about to try to prove anything to anybody concerning himself, his fame, his character. If you wanted something of him, you could come and ask; if not, that was all right, too. He had tamed his uncertainty to behave in public, yet he wasn’t hard, unfeeling. He wanted to live in balance, not in conflict with others. He’d got to solid ground, he thought–or I thought he thought.” ~The Misfits writer Arthur Miller

100. “Clark never scorned his fans, was always smiling and cooperative, happy to give autographs, and was pleased over their attention; but he’d had some unfortuante and embarrassing experiences with hysterical women.” ~personal secretary Jean Garceau

101. “It’s engrained in Clark’s nature–a sort of guilt about spending money, a fear that he’s going to be without. To justify buying a new car, he had to convince himself that he needed it.” ~third wife Carole Lombard

102. “[I] always told Clark he could have a divorce any day he asked me for it. And he can. Today or tomorrow. But he’s a businessman as well as a movie star. He knows one must be businesslike about these things. It’s only fair. I gave him a good many years of my life and taught him a great deal.”~second wife Ria Franklin

103. “We’ve both been married before, and we know it takes two to make a quarrel, and we are not going to make the mistakes either of us made in any previous marriage. Besides, we have so many things in common. I love to fish, and I love my home. There is only one thing we won’t share together, and that’s hunting. I’ll go with him while he hunts, but I couldn’t shoot a gun, nor could I kill anything.” ~fourth wife Sylvia Ashley

104. “He was a simple man, really, and it was rare that he would show any trace of ego.” ~friend Al Menasco

105. “What was private with him was private. And to the devil with you if you pressed him on it!” ~writer Adela Rogers St. Johns

106. “Clark Gable had the furrowed forehead of a man who was overworked and under nourished. He had the straight lipped, set mouth of the do it or die character. He had the narrow, slit-eyed expression of the man who has had to fight things through alone, and who tells nothing.”~first wife Josephine Dillon

107. “I never saw a dog that didn’t like him, and that’s saying something.” ~Spencer Tracy

108. “Sometimes I would try to tease Clark into telling me some tasty morsels about his former leading ladies, but I might as well have banged my head against a stone wall. He simply refused to gossip. He’d break into that schoolboy grin that I found so irresistible and say, ‘She’s a fine girl. A fine girl.’ That’s the only thing I didn’t like about my remarkable husband, for I’m a gal who likes a bit of gossip, now and then.” ~fifth wife Kay Williams

109. “He loved to laugh, had a great sense of humor. It wasn’t hard to break the ice with him as long as you had a good joke.” ~director Jack Conway

110. “The thought comes to me that Clark died much as he had lived–no fuss, no big production, no dramatics. The King is dead–and there is no hailing another, because there will never be another career like his. Or a star like Clark Gable.” ~gossip columnist Louella Parsons

111. “I’ve met, in my business, a lot of the great men of our time. I’ve met several presidents of the United States, and Colonel Lindbergh, and Jack London, and Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, and I knew Valentino—and well, anyway, most of the famous ones. But I think Clark Gable is the only completely natural human being I have ever met in my life. And that’s something to say about an actor. That’s why he’s always on balance, that’s why he always does the right thing at the right time for the right people, because he’s natural.” I was thinking over the years that I’ve known Clark and, as I thought, it became truer and truer.”~ writer Adela Rogers St. Johns

112.  “I think Clark Gable is the grandest guy in the world.” ~Jean Harlow

113. “Pappy’s such a swell guy!”~third wife Carole Lombard


Stay tuned for lots of new stuff this month to celebrate Clark’s birthday!