Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Little Bit about Clark Gable

By Danny Hoover

The man known as Clark Gable was born as William Clark Gable back on February 1st of 1901. Since a boy, he was known as Gabe by his friends while growing up in Cadiz, Ohio. Throughout his lifetime, he was married 5 times with his first two ending in divorce, the next two his wife died shortly afterwards and the fifth survived him.

When Clark was only 7 years old, his mother passed away which led him to a rough childhood. By the ripe age of 16, he left school to look for employment and found a job at a tire factory. He had many different jobs before becoming an actor that included working in the oil fields as well as selling stocks and even men's ties.

It was when he was only 24 years old when Josephine Dillon would meet Clark and help him get to Hollywood. Josephine was the manager of a Portland, Oregon theater and also would later become Clark Gable's first wife. It was the play, "The Bird of Paradise" that had inspired him and soon would lead him on the path to stardom.

Lionel Barrymore who at the time was a famous actor actually made the recommendation to MGM Studio's Irving Thalberg to get Clark a screen test. This test did not go so well mostly because Irving did not like his looks. However, latter on in 1931 he would land the co-acting role in the movie Dance, Fools, Dance with Joan Crawford.

The following year he would land the role in Red Dust where the public fell in love with him. Everyone felt the chemistry he created on-screen. Clark began to grow in popularity and when MGM asked him to play a role he did not want to, as a punishment then sent him to Columbia Pictures to work for a while. This of course was MGM's mistake as the Columbia film It Happened One Night got Clark Gable an Oscar.

MGM did not like this one bit and called Clark Gable back to work where he played in the films, Mutiny on the Bounty as well as Gone with the Wind. He would leave Hollywood for three years after shooting Gone with the Wind because his third wife along with her mother had died in a plane accident and he would even join up with the Army Corps to play his part in the Second World War.

Upon returning, he attempted a comeback appearance in the film Adventure but this did not turn out so well. MGM felt he was being paid too much and cancelled his contract.

He would make other films, however most of these would go unnoticed until the 1961 movie Misfits. Before the film's release and the birth of his first son, Clark Gable would die of a heart attack. - 16651

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