Now that Carole had been properly laid to rest, the focused shifted to the grieving widower.
Gable To Seek Solace in Work
Clark Gable, turned from a swashbuckling, carefree prankster into a depressed, grief-stricken recluse by the tragic death of Carole Lombard, will seek solace in work.
The fun-loving screen star was so anguished by loss of his wife that he wanted only to be alone. Shielded by studio executives, Gable has been so alone that friends became alarmed at his depressed brooding.
Gable hasn’t yet gone to his Encino ranch where he and Carole lived so fully and joyously. He’s in seclusion at a friend’s home. He has left it only twice since he brought Miss Lombard’s body home Wednesday morning–to attend funeral services for her and her mother, Mrs. Elizabeth K. Peters, that afternoon, and services for his friend and publicity man, Otto Winkler, yesterday.
He was waiting at the nearby Burbank airport to greet Carole Friday night when he received word of the crash which killed her, Mrs. Peters, Winkler and 19 other persons near Las Vegas, Nev. He flew to Las Vegas, was dissuaded from joining in the search for the bodies–then went into seclusion.
Friends argued that he should plunge into work.
“You’ve got to find something to occupy your time; something to do with your mind besides brood,” they told him.
Gable agreed to go ahead with the picture on which he had done one day’s work–“Somewhere I’ll Find You.” He didn’t set the date and the studio didn’t ask him to.
“We will wait until Gable feels he is mentally and physically able,” a spokesman said. “He has gone through a horrible ordeal.”
There’s not a parallel case of any star losing an equally famous wife or husband so tragically and soon going back to the lots.
Norma Shearer went into seclusion for a year after her producer husband, Irving Thalberg, died. She had threatened to retire.
Mary Astor was out of pictures several months after her husband, Director Kenneth Hawks, was killed in an airplane crash over the Pacific while filming a picture.
William Powell interrupted a picture to seek solace on a yacht cruise after his fiance, Jean Harlow, died in 1937. Five weeks later, he collapsed on the set. A physician said he was exhausted and overwrought with grief. Powell and the platinum blonde had been inseparable.
So had Gable and Miss Lombard.
Since the bodies had been removed, an investigation into the crash began.
Lombard Air Crash Probe Is Launched
Investigation into the crash of a TWA airliner in Nevada which brought fiery death to 22 persons, including Actress Carole Lombard and 15 army airmen, centered in Los Angeles today as the Civil Aeronautics Authority opened a hearing expected to last two weeks.
Witnesses to be called before the investigating committee include TWA officials, Nevada residents who witnessed the crash, representatives of the Las Vegas coroner’s office and army officers.
I’m going to end the series here, as after the 23rd the focus turns to investigating the plane crash and figuring out what’s next for a suddenly alone Clark Gable.
Hard to believe the world lost Carole 75 years ago, isn’t it? Rest in peace, angel.