Clark Gable is one of my favorites. He was a talent that can’t be matched today. He was known as the King of Hollywood. Women went crazy over him and men wanted to be just like him. On the screen he was a rogue, a lover, an adventurer, and a romantic lead. He had a commanding presence and was a real class act. Gable was MGM’s biggest star.
He shared the screen with some of the top actresses of his day. He was in 7 movies with Myrna Loy, 8 with Joan Crawford and 6 with Jean Harlow. His on screen chemistry with Harlow was red hot! In addition he was in 3 movies with Spencer Tracy.
In 1932 Gable lit up the screen with Jean Harlow in Red Dust. In 1934 he was loaned out to Columbia Pictures to star with Claudette Colbert in It Happened One Night. Their chemistry was magic and his performance as fast talking journalist Peter Warne won him the Oscar for Best Actor.
In 1935 Gable was nominated for his second Oscar for Mutiny on the Bounty. 1936 saw Gable paired up with Spencer Tracy and Jeanette McDonald in San Francisco. This would be his first pairing with Tracy. In 1937 Gable was in his final film with Harlow, Saratoga. During the filming of the movie Harlow died of kidney failure.
He was best known for his role as Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind (1939), a role he was reluctant to play. This role earned him another Oscar Nomination for Best Actor. His closing line “Frankly my dear I don’t give a damn” is one of the most famous lines in movie history. I can’t imagine anyone else playing this role.
Although Gable had been married several times, Carole Lombard was the love of his life. In 1932 they were in No Man of Her Own. At the time they were married to other people. In 1936 they reconnected at a party and married in 1939. On January 16, 1942 Lombard was on her way home from a War Bond tour when the plane she was traveling in crashed in the mountains. There were no survivors. Gable was devastated.
The Misfits (1961) would be Gable’s final film. Two weeks after filming he died of a heart attack at the age of 59. It would also be the final film for Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift. He is buried next to Carole Lombard.