…Clark and Carole were married.
Here is an interesting article I found from that year. It is a letter to Hollywood newlyweds, including Clark and Carole. It is interesting to note the fate of the marriages she mentions here. We all know, sadly, what became of Clark and Carole’s union.
Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Eppling Hartford were married for 49 years, until her death in 1988. They had three daughters: Daphne, Victoria, and Melissa. He remarried a few years later and remained so until he died at the ripe old age of 91.
Tyrone Power and Annabella lasted nearly nine years, divorcing in 1948. Annabella did not remarry. Tyrone married twice more, another ending in divorce (and producing two daughters) and the third ending in his death. Interestingly, Tyrone died two years before Clark and, just like Clark, his only son was born after his passing.
From Photoplay Magazine, July 1939. By Ruth Waterbury.
To the new Mr. and Mrs. Clark Gable, To the new Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., To the original Mr. and Mrs. Tyrone Power–
This is a letter to you from Photoplay to wish you from our very heart the greatest happiness…you are, all six of you, such handsome people, such romantic people. Photoplay, permitting me to speak for it, does hope that you are going to keep this happiness you are now experiencing until death do you part. We want it for you, very much and selfishly, we want it very much for ourselves, too.
For you, Carole and Clark, you, Doug Jr. and the former Mrs. Hartford, you particularly, Annabella and Tyrone, can now, if you only will, put the instituition of Hollywood marriage back on its feet a bit, restore to it the glory it should have. You charming people can prove, if you make these marriages of yours successful, that hearts can be true in Hollywood, that the best of human emotions aren’t always sacrificed to the great god, Career, that love isn’t a farce, or a mere infatuation, in Hollywood, but that it can have beauty and tenderness and the faith that is everlasting.
Yet, what terrible risks of romance you are running, even now, when your love is so very strong. Here you are, six people all wed within a month, six people who between you represent thirteen marriages! Three for Clark, Three for Annabella, Two for Carole, Two for Doug Jr., two for the new Mrs. Doug Jr., for Tyrone, alone, it is a first wedding. And precisely because it is Tyrone’s first marriage do I think that the responsibility of happiness for him and for us rests most heavily on the handsome Power shoulders.
Let’s review the bidding on all this.
You, Clark and Carole, were married very quietly, very much in your characteristic way of doing things, at Kingman, Arizona, on March 29th. I’m sure that the whole world, having watched your romance, having seen how very well you conducted yourselves during two difficult years, felt very pleased that you were, at last, able to belong to each other. For, if ever two people seemed to be made for each other, you are the ones. You simply share each other’s every interest; you both love laughter and good food, sports and horses, people and your work. You are, both of you, of course, absolutely beautiful to look at together.
If you two can’t make a go of your marriage, then there is no meaning in the word compatability. If in a year or two one of you gets a divorce saying those silly things like “He called me harsh names and was rude to my friends and therefore I don’t want to live with him any longer”…in other words, the usual flimsy excuses for Hollywood divorces, well, it is going to very disillusioning to us, it’s not going to leave us with much respect for Hollywood emotions.
Personally, I don’t expect that of you two, though. I’ll put my money on this Gable marriage lasting. I’ll certainly put it much more on this marriage lasting than almost any Hollywood marriage I’ve ever seen happen. And yet, this is Clark’s third marriage, this is Carole’s second. All statistics on love, not alone in Hollywood but throughout the world, reveal that often-wed people aren’t good matrimonial risks.
As far as you are concerned, Doug Jr., I had got all over the habit of paying any attention to your romances, you’ve had so many of them. So when I first heard your name linked with that of the very social Mrs. mary Lee Epling hartford I never gave it a second listen. After all, since you and Joan Crawford separated there’s been you and Gertrude Lawson, you and Marlene Dietrich, you and Zorina, you and Virgina Fields. Yet less than a month after the Gables wed, you and the former Mrs. Hartford, who had just been divorced from the millionaire ownder of a great grocery chain, were united on the Saturday afternoon of April 22nd that you managed to get off from the studio. You were wed at the Westwood Methodist Episcopal Church with the bride’s mother and your father as the witnesses. And I did wonder, Doug, how your father, who also represents three marriages, felt as he stood there and saw a second Mary and Doug come into being.
Since none of us in Hollywood know this new Mary Fairbanks well, it is only possible to guess at what lies ahead of you two. But I would guess that it may be an ideal marriage for you, Douglas. For you, much more than the average Hollywood man, I’d say that a social marriage is perfect. For like, your father, you are a very social human being. Like the ads, you like nice things, you are international-minded, you prefer New York to Hollywood and London to New York, you are a great actor and you respect acting and pictures.
Nevertheless, you are much more aware than most actors that there are other and more important things in the world. As a matter of fact, you are a very intellectual, very cultured young gentleman, Mr. Fairbanks. And because of all these good, worldly qualities in you, a wife who will have only you for her career, a wife who understands how to run a perfect home, a wife who knows all the rules at Palm Beach and Monte Carlo and Sun valley and the Italian Alps.
Well, your marriage looks perfect, that’s what it does, so here’s hoping it is a perfect marriage, forever and always. But if it proves not to be, well that won’t hurt us as much as Carole and Clark breaking up, and not nearly what Tyrone and Annabella’s breaking up would mean to us.
Because you, Tyrone, you are still the idealist in this whole group. You are the one to whom heartbreak has not yet happened, you are the one who has to the oppurtunity to affirm fir the world the truth that marriage is the greatest of all human relationships.
You must have read that anecdote in the Hollywood Reporter, Tyrone, that illustrates the general feeling about your marriage. The Reporter story ran thus: “A high school girl called Patia Power long distance from Long Beach. The youngster said, ‘I am speaking for a group of girls here at school. We just have to tell you that the announcement of Tyrone’s engagement positively floored us. It’s the biggest catastrophe since the burning of Rome!'”
If the millions of girls felt that way about your engagement (and I’m sure they did) millions more felt saddened at your marriage, It isn’t that we begrudge you, who have brought us so much pleasure, your own joy, but you were, more than any other man on the screen, the true Prince Charming and so, when you married the day after young Doug married and yours, too, was a very quiet wedding with only your very closest friends in attendance and Don Ameche and Pat Paterson Boyer as best man and matron of honor, a dream died in countless feminine hearts.
But you, Tyrone, can replace that dream of ours, which admittedly was apretty silly and adolescent dream, by giving us a vision of married love that is so much finer, so much deeper, than any courtship. It may take us a while to become accustomed to thinking of you in the role of a husband and young stepfather, but you are the most popular man in movies still. And why? Because you, Tyrone, are sensitive and handome and couteous and intelligent and unspoiled. That’s why.
So suppose, as a husband, possessing those qualities, you make this marriage one with tenderness and strength and dignity, not merely for this year and next, but over many years. Suppose you show us that two people can get along together cleaving only unto each other, but growing constantly into that inner companionship, that oneness that is the very heart of marriage.
Well, Tyrone, if you can do that, you will have done something much greater for the world than any amount of acting you may ever do.