William Clark Gable was born in Cadiz, Ohio on February 1, 1901. Working as a youth in a rubber factory, as a telephone lineman and an oil driller, the very idea that he would become an international superstar would have made him chuckle. But by 1931, Clark Gable was a hot commodity in Hollywood. Starring opposite such top-tiered female performers as Joan Crawford, Barbara Stanwyck, Greer Garson, Myrna Loy, Doris Day, Vivien Leigh, Ava Gardner, Grace Kelly, Jeanette MacDonald and Jean Harlow, Clark’s career was one in a million. Elected by the American public as “The King of Hollywood” in 1938, the name stuck to him throughout his life, despite new “kings” being elected year after year. His filmography spans an impressive 66 feature films from 1931-1961, with many box office successes, but is best known for his iconic turn as Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind. He was nominated for an Academy Award three times and won in 1934 for It Happened One Night. He was the number one male box office star for most of the 1930′s and was only beaten by Shirley Temple in box office revenue overall.
Despite his personal successes, Clark Gable’s personal life was often tragic. Married five times, twice to women he had no romantic feelings for–dramatic coach Josephine Dillon and Houston socialite Ria Franklin, he often seemed a drifter looking for peace. Peace is what he found in his three year courtship and subsequent marriage to actress Carole Lombard, but their happiness was cut short when she was killed in a plane crash in 1942. Broken by the loss, Clark, at age 41, enlisted in the Army Air Corps. The years following his discharge in 1945 were restless; Clark seemed to be looking for a sense of purpose. He married Douglas Fairbanks’ widow, Sylvia Ashley, in 1949–a union that seemed doomed from the start. In 1955, he married Kay Williams and seemed to finally have found some sense of home. He became stepfather to her two children and was delighted to learn that Kay was expecting his first child. Clark did not live to see his son. He died of a heart attack on November 16, 1960. His son was born the following March.
Welcome to DearMrGable.com, an online archive dedicated to Clark Gable. Here you will find vintage articles, photos, radio shows, audio, information and a frequently updated blog. This site is dedicated to his memory and to ensure that he is remembered for being more than Rhett Butler and more than the King of Hollywood…
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