gone with the wind cast

Gone with the Wind had an absolutely stellar cast, and as I have discussed with many a fellow film fan, it is a great launching pad for anyone to delve into classic films. You can start with any of the four leads–Leigh, Gable, de Havilland, Howard–and start diving into their films and you are awash with classic film fabulousness.

And for many of these players, it wasn’t their first time sharing the screen. Let’s see who Clark Gable met up with elsewhere:

Clark and Laura Hope Crews (Aunt Pittypat) also co-starred in Idiot’s Delight (1939), which they made just prior to GWTW.

clark gable laura hope crews idiots delight

Clark also previously shared the screen with Hattie McDaniel (Mammy), who played Jean Harlow’s sassy maid in both China Seas (1935) and  Saratoga (1937).

hattie mcdaniel china seas

clark gable jean harlow hattie mcdaniel

 

In A Free Soul (1931), (SPOILER ALERT) Leslie Howard (Ashley) ends up killing Clark, all for the love of Norma Shearer.

clark gable leslie howard a free soul

Ward Bond (Yankee Captain) was uncredited as a bus driver in It Happened One Night (1934).

clark gable ward bond it happened one night

Thomas Mitchell (Gerald O’Hara) and Clark were pals in real life, and he was Clark’s sidekick in Adventure (1945).

thomas mitchell clark gable adventure

Harry Davenport (Dr. Meade) also played a doctor in Adventure (1945).  (Random fact: he was yet again a doctor in the Carole Lombard film Made For Each Other (1939)!)clark gable harry davenport adventure

 

…and director Victor Fleming, one of Clark’s closest friends, also directed him in Red Dust (1932), The White Sister (1933), Test Pilot (1938) and Adventure (1945).

clark gable victor fleming jean harlow red dust

Since there is no real “starting point” so to speak for my trip, and we visited five cemeteries, I figured best to start with one of them….

Hollywood Forever

I like graveyards. My husband says that’s weird. I don’t think it is–and thankfully I brought a friend along to Los Angeles who feels the same way.There is something peaceful about visiting them, something about seeing that even though they are gone, people still have a small space on this planet. And, besides, this is the closest I will ever get to all the classic film stars!

Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Hollywood Forever, originally titled Hollywood Memorial, was founded in 1899. It is typically the cemetery that people think of when they think of Hollywood cemeteries. Many movies and TV shows have been shot on its grounds, and the cemetery itself shows movies often, and fans bring picnic baskets and sit among the graves.

Hollywood Forever

The cemetery seemed to have two different sides. One side, known as “Section 8” is around a beautiful pond filled with geese and surrounded by palm trees. While beautiful, I can’t say this section was altogether peaceful, as they were building a new mausoleum and the construction noise was loud enough to wake the dead!

Hollywood Forever

There are so many celebrities surrounding the pond that I literally would turn around and find another one…and another one. Unfortuantely, even though I found several celebrities just by happening upon them, there were a few we couldn’t find no matter how many times we circled the pond: Fay Wray, Adolphe Menjou and Nelson Eddy. We tried.  But onto who we could find, including Clark’s friends, co-stars, one of his wives and his father.

Marion Davies, buried in her own private little (locked–yes, we tried) building, under her family name of Douras. Marion, a friend (and maybe at one time fling) of Clark’s, co-starred with him in Polly of the Circus and Cain and Mabel.

Marion and Clark in Polly of the Circus

 

Marion Davies

Of Clark’s five wives, four are buried in Los Angeles. And yes, I visited all four. Here’s his fourth wife, Sylvia Ashley, although she is buried under her fifth husband’s name, Djordjadze:

Sylvia and Clark

Sylvia Ashley

Sylvia’s plot, second from right:

Sylvia Ashley

The impressive memorial for the legendary Douglas Fairbanks Sr. (who was married to Sylvia Ashley before Clark was) and his son, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. (who was married to Joan Crawford while Clark was, ahem, seeing her):

Douglas Fairbanks Sr. and Jr.

Douglas Fairbanks Sr. and Jr.

Harry Cohn, who was the president of Columbia Pictures (as you can see, he is definitely not “resting in peace” at the moment).

Tyrone Power, a friend of Clark’s and a hearthrob in his own right:

Fashion designer Adrian and his actress wife, Janet Gaynor:

Legendary director Cecil B. DeMille:

Cecil B. DeMille

A cenotaph placed near the water for Hattie McDaniel (“Mammy” from Gone with the Wind). Hattie had wanted to be buried at Hollywood Forever but at the time she died it was a “whites only” cemetery so she was interred at Rosedale Cemetery instead. In 1999, her family and the owner of Hollywood Forever righted this wrong by erecting this cenotaph.

Hattie McDaniel

Hattie McDaniel

After strolling the grounds, we headed to the other side of the cemetery, which seemed more unkempt and cluttered. Into the mausoleum we went, which was both inside and outside, to track some people down. It was quite a challenge but we were eventually successful…

Clark’s very close friend and director of Red Dust, Test Pilot and Gone with the Wind, among other masterpieces, Victor Fleming:

Victor Fleming

Victor’s hallway:

Down some winding hallways that made us glad that at least it wasn’t night…

hallway to the room where William Henry Gable rests

…we found a small room that contained urns in gold cases all around the room. It is there we found William Henry Gable, Clark’s father. I have always thought it was strange that he was buried at Hollywood Forever. By the time he died in 1948, Carole was dead and buried at Forest Lawn Glendale, and Clark had bought the space next to her. So why did he bury his father at Hollywood Forever? But here he is:

Clark and his father

William Henry Gable

William Henry Gable

That was our visit to Hollywood Forever. We remembered it fondly, especially since it was the first–and one of the only–times we saw the Hollywood sign.

Hollywood sign from the grounds of Hollywood Forever

The Academy Awards are tonight, so I thought I would post something about the night “Gone with the Wind”won it big–February 29, 1940 at the now-destroyed Cocoanut Grove in Los Angeles. Clark didn’t win that night; the only black spot on an otherwise glorious night for the film.

The one thing about that evening that has always puzzled me is the lack of pictures of Clark and Carole at the Academy Awards. There are none. Zilch. Zero. I understand Clark didn’t win, but how can there be no photos? I am a Clark photo fanatic, as is evident by the thousands of pictures in the gallery, and I have never come across one. I have bought up just about every fan magazine from 1940 in hopes of finding one and I never have. I even asked Herb Bridges, the author of several GWTW books and pretty much the world’s #1 Windie. He thought about it  aminute and said, “You know, you’re right. I have never seen one either. Wonder why that is?”

 I will not give up the hope however! One day I will find it!

In the meantime, here’s a piece on the 1940 Academy Awards that ran in Modern Screen Magazine in May 1940:

The Night of the Oscars

Each year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences distributes about 12,000 ballots to people connected with the motion picture industry. Members of the Screen Actors’ guild are invited to vote on the outstanding acting performances of the year, members of the Writers’ Guild on the outstanding writing jobs, and so on. Then, to avoid cries of “Fake”, the Academy requests that all voters return their ballots not to them, but to the accounting firm of Price, Waterhouse & Co. There, they are properly audited and a member of the firm reveals the results three hours before the awards are made. Not even the President of the Academy knows who the winners are going to be. Despite these precautions. the awarding of this year’s “Oscars” stll looked like a planned affair, with the King of England and David O. Selznick the principal conspirators–for Vivien Leigh and Robert Donat, two of His Highness’ loyal subjects, took the highest acting awards, while Mr. Selznick’s “Gone with the Wind’ strutted off with almost everything else.

Fay Bainter turns over one of the coveted “Oscars” to Hattie McDaniel, who received the supporting actress award for her performance as “Mammy” in GWTW. This marks the first time a member of her race has been honored by the Academy.

hattiemcdanielfaybainter 

Producer Selznick and his prize-winning Vivien Leigh meet at the Cocoanut Grove to accept the year’s highest awards. Though Robert Donat took top male honors for “Goodbye, Mr. Chips”, GWTW received 9 of the 21 awards.

 vivienleighdavidselznick

Veteran Award-Winner Spencer Tracy, who left a sick bed to make some of the presentations, congratulates Thomas Mitchell. 44-year-old Mr. M received the supporting actor award for his outstanding work as the doctor in ‘Stagecoach.”

spencertracythomasmitchell

Mickey Rooney puts his own stamp of approval on Judy Garland, who was given a special statuette for “Outstanding Performance of a Juvenile”.

judygarlandmickeyrooney

Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. accepts the statuette awarded his father for “Outstanding Contribution to International Development of Motion Pictures”.

douglasfairbanksjr