clark gable anita colby

From 1948:

I am sure that no imperial gala ever ordered by the Emperor Franz Josef himself ever surpassed the splendor of the party in the Crystal Room of the Beverly Hills Hotel, following the premiere of “The Emperor Waltz.” The first showing of the film, which was a formal, international affair, drew a record throng of celebrities to the Hollywood Paramount Theatre where they ran the gauntlet of cheers and shouts from thousands of admiring fans…

The “cinema-soxers” roared their delight when Clark Gable and Bing Crosby swapped jokes right in the middle of Hollywood Boulevard where their cars were held up by the traffic jam. 

Incidentally Clark garnered the most applause when he appeared with Anita Colby, although pandemonium broke loose for Betty Hutton and yells went up for Alan Ladd, Paulette Goddard, Burgess Meredith, Betty Grable and Harry James, Van Johnson, Sonja Henie, Loretta Young, Esther Williams, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz and the two stars of the picture, Bing Crosby with Dixie and Joan Fontaine with husband Bill Dozier, all of whom were among the five score celebrities present. 

shirley temple christmas

In the January 1935 issue of Hollywood magazine, they printed “Santa’s book” of good and bad points for film stars. So who’s getting what they wanted for Christmas and who is getting coal?


Good Points: For giving is It Happened One Night. Being always thoughtful of others. When a friend had no place to keep her dog, he gave it a home on his ranch.

Bad Points: Balks at picture assignments with women stars. Drives studio frantic by disappearing between pictures, when he is wanted for story conferences.

Gifts: More dogs to take care of



Good Points: Proved she could act in Twentieth Century. Came back to start Repeal like a good trouper, though still suffering from the shock of Russ Colombo’s death.

Bad Points: Still cusses when excited. But improving. Gets mad at stupid producers who want her to make stupid pictures, and makes one now and then in spite of herself. Put your foot down, Carole!

Gifts: A real vacation


Good Points: Kept her head and won respect by not rushing into another marriage. Has stuck by her career. Left off that extra splash of lipstick this year. Always gives us good pictures.

Bad Points: Suspicion that she has gone a bit coo-coo on cars. That big white limousine, and now that all white, satin upholstered roadster. Joan! How could you? And that horn can be be heard fully three miles!

Gifts: A plain Ford


Good Points: Well, you finally finished that book, Jean! I like you to stick to things that way. Add good point; not letting personal problems sour her. Made her mother happy with beautiful room in new home. Lifted Bill Powell out of the dumps.

Bad Points: O, hum, with 115 pounds distributed like that, what are Jean’s bad points? Hasn’t sent the editor a copy of “Today is Tonight,” her first book. Maybe he’ll find one in his stocking!

Gifts: A letter from every fan


Good Points: Refuses to be spoiled by compliments. Is Mrs. Santa Claus’ favorite actress. Can now spell her name and count. Invited all Hollywood (almost) to her birthday party.

Bad Points: Shirley, you mustn’t ask for so much gum–I heard you! After all, Mama isn’t made of gum! But I guess you’ve been a very good girl.

Gifts: Carton of gum


Good Points: When her studio make-up woman gave a little house-warming, Marlene came to the party and brought a gift. Keeps democratic; always lunches at Paramount cafe with common horde.

Bad Points: Caused great anguish and disappointment on return from Europe with trunks and trunks of gorgeous clothes–and then refused to appear in them, though all Hollywood waited in expectation, The meanie!

Gifts: Another director


Good Points: Now there is a fine lad; hope he continues to be a good boy, and gives us more like She Loves Me Not. Add two more good points–the twins. (Give Mrs. Crosby some credit there).

Bad Points: Got put in the doghouse during the making of We’re Not Dressing for keeping Director Taurog out all night. He and Carole Lombard tied a rope to the still man’s camera and hoisted it to the roof. Makes Paramount worry by putting on weight.

Gifts: Triplets!


Good Points: The Thin Man–worth a dozen good marks. Got our favorite child, Jean Harlow, out of the dumps. Built a new home with a swimming pool for his nine-year-old boy.

Bad Points: Can’t find any black marks to chalk down against Bill. He has a good word for everybody, and everybody has a good word for him.

Gifts: Monogrammed hankies and scarf.


Good Points: For earning and keeping the admiration of all fans. Because her form has nothing but good points. For giving is her share of It Happened One Night.

Bad Points: Hates to take stills and is always trying to get out of it. Takes too many people’s advice and worries too much about meaningless criticisms if trivial matters.

Gifts: That long planned trip to Europe


Good Points: For never forgetting a friend.

Bad Points: That fist fight at the Brown Derby.

Gift: A night club


Good Points: Settling down to being a good husband. Never kicks about a picture role. Let Shirley steal one picture and gave her a present for it!

Bad Points: Has terrible memory or else a convienent forgetter. Spoiled one scene by putting on wrong tie and forgetting where the right one had been tossed.

Gift: A rifle


Good Points: For just being the most fascinating star in pictures. For doing The Painted Veil. For creeping out of her shell a bit.

Bad Points: That inhuman hermit complex. Refusing to sign a new contract and keeping Metro and all her fans in suspense.

Gifts: A husband


clark gable

From July 1941:

Clark Gable and Bing Crosby pass out identical
advice. If you want to be popular, successful and happy, say they, develop a
sense of humor.

“Because a sense of humor will let a girl be
natural,” specifies Clark Gable. “It will act as a shock absorber for the rough
spots a girl’s going to find wherever she goes. And because it’s a pleasure to
work with jolly people, she will find herself in demand everywhere.”

“A sense of humor makes affection impossible,”
explains Bing. “A sense of humor and a sincerity set off a girl’s
wholesomeness. That’s the best bit of happiness and success insurance any girl
can have.”bing crosby

Holy Cross Cemetery

Holy Cross is a scenic Roman Catholic cemetery in Culver City that opened in 1939. It is said that if a star is Catholic, they’re buried here.

Holy Cross Cemetery

Here in this scenic area called the Grotto are several celebrities grouped close together.

Holy Cross Cemetery

Holy Cross Cemetery

The main reason for our visit was the grave of this eccentric fellow, Bela Lugosi (Dracula). To my classic-horror-fiend friend who traveled with me, Bela Lugosi is her Clark Gable. So he was a must visit!

Holy Cross Cemetery Bela Lugosi

I stumbled upon the grave of “Der Bingle”, Bing Crosby, not too far from Bela.

Holy Cross Cemetery Bing Crosby

Nearby too is the grave of  French actor Charles Boyer, known for his role in Gaslight (1944).

Holy Cross Cemetery Charles Boyer

Also here is “Gilda” herself,  Rita Hayworth.

Holy Cross Cemetery Rita Hayworth

And we happened upon the grave of actress Sharon Tate, who, along with her unborn baby, was murdered by the Manson gang.

Holy Cross Cemetery Sharon Tate

Around the corner from the Grotto is the grave of Gladys Belzer. Who? Gladys was the mother of Loretta Young. Loretta had requested that her ashes be spread over her mother’s grave, but cemetery rules prohibited this, so Loretta’s ashes were placed in with her mother’s instead. So here is the final resting place of Loretta, Clark’s co-star in Call of the Wild and mother of his only daughter, Judy.

Clark Gable and Loretta Young

Holy Cross Cemetery Loretta Young

Holy Cross Cemetery Loretta Young

The one grave you can’t miss no matter where you are in this cemetery is Rosalind Russell‘s. You can see this giant cross from the street before you even enter the gates. Quite the monument!

Holy Cross Cemetery Rosalind Russell

Rosalind co-starred with Clark in China Seas and They Met in Bombay. She also had a small part in Forsaking All Others.

Clark Gable and Rosalind Russell

Holy Cross Cemetery Rosalind Russell

Holy Cross Cemetery Rosalind Russell

I had read on the internet that Cammie King (Bonnie from Gone with the Wind) was interred here after her death last year. But nobody at the office knew where exactly she was and apparently have no record of her. So I am not sure what’s going on with that.

I will say one more thing about Holy Cross. If you are in LA and decide to stop in here, LOCK YOUR CAR. Or, better yet, take your purse and anything you care about with you as you wander.  Trust me.

Clark singing with Bing Crosby. That is one of those things that seems unlikely to have ever happened. And I wouldn’t believe it either, if I hadn’t heard it with my own ears! And “Ragtime Cowboy Joe”, of all things!

We have a new clip that is from a private recording, circa 1938. A special thank you to Kurt for the clip and to David of The Bing Crosby Media Archive for determining where it came from! If you are a Bing Crosby fan, you should definitely follow his blog.

You can hear it on the Audio page.  Clark doesn’t exactly keep up with Bing tone-wise, but at least he’s having a good time. You can tell by that telltale laugh you hear in the background! And as Bing says in the song, “It’s Mr. Clark Gable from old Parnell, if you heard him singing, oh what the hell!”

If you haven’t stopped by the Audio page before, you can also hear Clark singing happy birthday to Carole, addressing the crowd in Atlanta for the premiere of Gone with the Wind and also Judy Garland singing “Dear Mr. Gable”, the namesake of the site.

Happy listening!


Since this week (9/13) is Claudette Colbert’s 107th birthday, here’s some gossip about her from Septmeber 1937:

Claudette Colbert was playing some of her favorite Bing Crosby records in her dressing room the other day, when her telephone rang. The star herself answered.

An irate voise yelled, “Listen! If you must make all that noise, which disturbs me in my dressing room, for heaven’s sake play something better than those Crosby records. That’s guy’s crooning gives me a pain!”

“I don’t know who you are,” cried Claudette angrily, “but you can’t make cracks to me about my friend Bing Crosby and his singing! If you had any musical sense you’d know that he has a fine voice and doesn’t croon!”

Then there came to Claudette’s ears sounds of smothered laughter over the phone. Bing’s own voice was saying, “Atta girl, Claudette! ‘Scuse me for riling you. But when I heard you playing my records, the temptation to pull a gag was  too good to pass up!”


Claudette hawking Doublemint gum in 1938


New this week:

Article from 1940 about Clark changing his mind about retiring

The Too Hot to Handle page has new production notes

New photos in the new and (I think) improved gallery