clark gable

From April 1941:

One of the reasons, admittedly a minor one, that Clark Gable and Carole Lombard get along so famously is that both see eye to eye on the matter of “dressing up” and putting on the ritz.

Framer Gable goes for those dusty old trousers and sweaters in his real farm life as well as in the still pictures, and Carole, he says, will have no part in that general feminine conspiracy which aims at getting the male into white-tie-and-tails at the slightest provocation.

Gable’s new picture, with Rosalind Russell, is “The Uniform,” but the title doesn’t mean he’ll be duded up any more than usual. Gable is not one of our clothes-conscious stars–“Don’t have to be,” he says, “with the kind of parts I play.”

This relegation of wardrobe to the minor matters file in Gable’s life impressed Walter Pidgeon on their first meeting some years ago. Gable had been instrumental in having Pidgeon cast in a leading role with him, and Pidgeon–who has worked with clothes-conscious stars–sought him out to confer on wardrobe.

“Tell me what you’re wearing,” said Walter, “and I’ll pick out suits that don’t conflict.”

“You name it,” said Gable, “and I’ll steer clear of what you choose.”


“The Uniform” was re-titled They Met in Bombay.

forestlawnglendale (9)w

From November 24, 1960:

Clark Gable’s body has been entombed beside the remains of actress Carole Lombard, the third of his five wives.

Meanwhile the film star’s will was filed for probate Wednesday in Los Angeles. It describes his estate only as “in excess of $10,000.”

All goes to his widow, the former Kay Williams Spreckels, except that Gable’s first wife, drama coach Josephine Dillon, now 75, receives title to the North Hollywood home where she lives. 

Only the widow and a few close friends and associates were present at a brief Episcopal committal service Wednesday in a mausoleum at Forest Lawn Memorial park. Air Force Chaplain Johnson E. West officiated.

The film star, 59, died a week ago of a heart attack. his funeral was last Saturday. Entombment was delayed because a doctor feared that the widow might be overtaxed if funeral and entombment followed each other. She expects Gable’s first child in March and has a heart condition herself.

Gable expressed a wish to be placed beside Miss Lombard, killed in a World War II plane crash in Nevada. An adjoining crypt is reserved for his widow.


Not really adjoining…Kay was placed down a row and over in the same wall.



From October 1960:

Travelers back from Nevada, where they watched “The Misfits” shooting, say the big news is the way Clark Gable looks–fit and handsome, and at his absolute peak as a performer. 


And, sadly, dead in less than a month. I don’t know about their assessment–I have always thought he looks sickly in The Misfits.

clark gable

Clark Gable died 57 years ago today, at the age of 59.  The King was gone and would never be replaced.

Read about Clark’s death and funeral here.

See Clark’s final resting place here.

Here is an article made up of little tidbits about Clark; it was syndicated in newspapers the following week:

Gable’s Label Truly Earned

by Leonard Lyons

Syndicated Press, November 23, 1960

Gable…No matter what the Box Office records showed each year, Clark Gable was Hollywood’s unchallenged King. Tyrone Power once told a group of us about a lesson from an advertising man concerning the significance of movie-billing: “The only names which matter on a movie marquee are of any two stars the public would like to see embrace. The Ideal Man is Gable.”

Director William Wyler once advised a screenwriter about selling a story for Gable: “Bear this one thing in mind; he’s at his best and most popular in a movie where everything can be solved by his punching someone in the nose.” And director Raoul Walsh, who directed Gable and Jane Russell in “The Tall Men,” said “Good dialogue is part of the action, but no substitute for it. It’s all right for Boy to tell Girl he loves her, with a Browning sonnet–but when you have Gable and Russell, poetry shouldn’t overlook their bodies.”

And Joe Mankiewicz described a film he wrote for Gable and Joan Crawford: “If Clark Gable started walking uptown from 34th St. to Times Square on New Year’s Eve, and Crawford walking downtown from 59th St.–with a million people between them–the audience will know from the start that they’d fall in love. The writer merely must show how and where they are to meet.”

His personal popularity in Hollywood was due not alone to the money he made for his employers but to those rare thoughtful gestures which stem from a certain kind of security. When he moved to Encino he visited each home in the neighborhood on horseback, introduced himself and said, “I hope we’ll all be happy here and that you’ll like us as good neighbors.” Carroll Baker, who co-starred with him, said he was the friendliest and most approachable of stars: “Gable not only knows everyone by their first name but also their first movie.”

On the day after Buddy Clark, the singer, died in a plane crash his widow received a visit from her Encino neighbor, Gable. He rang the doorbell, walked in and then talked to her for three hours. “I know how you must feel,” he began, for he too had suffered such a loss when his wife, Carole Lombard, was killed in a plane crash. He talked to her till dusk, then said goodbye and walked back to his home.

One night he and Miss Lombard dined at the Alfred Hitchcock’s. Gable mentioned a trip he’d once made to Quito, where he purchased a shrunken human head and brought it back to Hollywood. A series of mishaps befell him and, suspecting a jinx, he decided to dispose of the souvenir from Ecuador–by tossing it into a ravine. But then his conscience troubled him, for this after all had been the head of a human being.

“I retrieved it the very next day,” said Gable, “and then Carole and I buried it in the garden of our house.” And then the Gables gasped; for this was the very house, now the Hitchcocks’.

Gable was brought to Hollywood by Carols Navarro, an MGM substitute talent scout who saw the actor in a West Coast production of the play “The Last Mile.” Navarro screen tested him, gave him $100 advance as an inducement to forego the play’s tour, and then signed him for $350 a week. MGM also signed the actor who played the role on Broadway, Spencer Tracy.

In wartime London he and another officer made a noon visit to Pamela Churchill’s home. She apologized for being unable to invite them to stay for lunch, because she didn’t have enough rations. Gable said he didn’t mind skipping lunch: “Just a cup of tea will do.” Mrs. Churchill told her cook, “Major Gable and his friend will just have tea.” But the cook, anxious to see and serve the screen star, said she’d find enough food. The cook did find enough food, and served and met Clark Gable: She’d opened the one can of tinned ham Pamela Churchill had been saving for V-Day.



clark gable army press conference

Since tomorrow is Veterans Day, here is an item that appeared in October 1943:

Clark Gable Throws Pentagon Into Uproar As He Talks War

It was colossal!

The army may have thought it could keep a press conference with Clark Gable confined to a decorous discussion of the man-sized job he’s doing, but it knows better today.

He’s a captain in the air forces, an aerial gunner and a cameraman in a Flying Fortress, shot at, and missed.

Back from a European assignment in the Air Force, Gable threw the Pentagon building into a furor as he walked to his first press conference.

The former movie actor told of his last six months in England, photographing everything a bomber squadron does–at rest, working its base, fighting its way to a target and back. he has 50,000 feet of color film, and in another 10 days will take it to Hollywood to boil it down into a training film.

He has flown on six bombing missions over Europe, and “of course I was scared!” He never was in a particularly tight spot, but he had taken pictures of bombers being shot in his formation.

There was as much interest in Gable the actor as in Gable the soldier. In addition to the women stenographers who work in the War Department, there was a goodly crowd of other women who never had set foot in the Pentagon before–with their new hats! And smart dresses! The furs, and orchids!

The army kept Gable under wraps for a long time. They wouldn’t even announce his return to this country until they called his press conference. And there, better than they realized, they took him out from under cover. And how!

clark gable carole lombarc circus

From July 1941:

Because Clark Gable and Carole Lombard interested themselves in his career, tall, handsome Reed Hadley, who hails from Texas via New York theatre and radio acting stopovers, appears to be safely launched in Hollywood.

Young Hadley first attracted Miss Lombard’s attention when he appeared with her on a national radio broadcast. Gable met him at that time also.Both were impressed with young Hadley’s appearance and talents.

Gable subseqyently suggested to Director Clarence Brown that Hadley be tested for the role of a young British officer in “They Met in Bombay” at MGM. Gable and Rosalind Russell are co-starring in the picture and a requirement of the officer part was that it be filled by a man whose uniform could be donned by Gable.

Hadley, who has that stature,w as signed for the part without formality of a test, after being interviewed by Director Brown.


Not sure how true this is. I don’t find Reed Hadley being credited for a role in They Met in Bombay, but he did have a long career in film and television.

clark gable carole lombard camping

From September 1940:

Before Clark Gable was married, he would go on a hunting trip by tossing a sleeping bag and guns into an auto and whizzing away. Since his wife, Carole Lombard, has became a hunting and camping enthusiast, she has bought great masses of gadgets and equipment. The other day when they started a trip, Gable drove up to the house in a huge truck, sporting a sign: “Lombard Camping Co., Ltd.”

clark gable carole lombard

From November 1940:

Most publicized star-ranchers are Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, who can’t pick an orange or feed a hen without having to pose for a picture. So many yarns were written about Squire Gable’s real ambition—to leave the screen and go back to the land–that every mail still brings him a sale-offer of some other estate. One owner was sure that his $250,000 place would be exactly what the stars wanted, because it had two swimming pools and accommodations for 25 guests.

That’s just what Mr. and Mrs. Gable don’t want–especially the 25 guests. And Hollywood calls them shrewd bargainers because they paid Director Raoul Walsh only $40,000 for his 15 acres, well-stocked with citrus and nut trees, and with a good house on it. Gable is expecting to gather 100 sacks of walnuts this year, make a profit on them at $3.75 a sack. That will even up a little for getting a check for only $2.70 for his entire citrus crop. In the same mail he got the water bill for the week: $30.

Rather than repeat that humiliation, the Gables now give their oranges and lemons to the Children’s Hospital. Eggs and chickens, too, are sent to poor families but one such donation was more expensive than they had planned. From the flock of 500 Rhode Island Reds, Gable had selected six to enter in the Pomona County Fair. But the day before it opened, Mrs. Gable told the hired man to kill half a dozen chickens to give away. Three guesses what happened. 



From August 1936:

Red Camellias for Carole Lombard. There’s a romance there, but Hollywood has been unable to learn the name of the man. Each morning during the past week the flowers have arrived on the set where she and Fred MacMurray are making “The Princess Comes Across.” Some accuse the shy MacMurray. Others speak the name of Clark Gable with whom rumors have linked the blonde Carole of late. But Carole herself, she just smiles, admitting cautiously that she has found new interest in life and that he is a well-known actor. Apparently she shares the secret with the red camellias only. If you remember right, this is Miss Lombard’s first popular romance since the death of Russ Colombo, the singer. Your correspondent would like to bet a new hat that these flowers are from Clark Gable.