Clark Gable-the 7th greatest male movie star of Classic American Cinema known as ‘king of Hollywood’ (1901-1960)

Clark Gable Who was Clark Gable?

Clark Gable was an Academy award winning actor known for his performance as Rhett Butler in the 1939 film ‘Gone with the Wind’. An iconic male star , called as the King of Hollywood, of the Golden age of Hollywood. He had acted more than 60 films in his 37 year long acting career.He acted in a variety of genres. The American Film Institute named him as the 7th greatest male movie star of Classic American Cinema.

He is the most consistent box-office performer and 16 times top 10 Money making star. He received an Academy Award nomination for the Westeern film “Mutiny on the Bounty” which makes him the first actor to receive an Academy award nomination for the western film. 

Early Life of Clark Gable

Clark Gable was born as William Clark Gable on February 1, 1901 in Cadiz, Ohio to William Henry (Bill) Gable and Adeline Hershelman. His father was a Protestant and mother a Catholic. It is said he is mistakenly listed as a female in his birth certificate. He was named Bill after his father’s name. They are German descendants. His father is an Oil driller. His mother died when he was only 10 months old from an undisclosed illness. After his mother’s death his father married Jennie Dunlap in April 1903.

 Early loss of his mother would help him in shaping much of later life. He learns music (piano) and literature from his step-mother. But his father insisted to engage in masculine activities and hard physical work. His father did not fully encourage him in pursuing acting career even after he rose to stardom. In 1917 when Gable was in high school their families were shifted to Palmyra Township, near Akron, Ohio as his father had finacial diffulties and try a hand at farming.

Height Weight Nicknames Religion & Zodiac sign of Clark Gable

Height 6 ft 1/2 in.
Weight 80kg
Eye colour Brown
Hair Colour Black
Body Size 42 in.
Shoe Size 11US/44 EU
Zodiac sign  Aquarius
Religion Baptized Roman Catholic
Nickname  The king of Hollywood, Gabe, Pa, The King
Nationality American

Photos of Clark Gable

Acting Career of Cark Gable

When he was only 17 years old he was to be an actor after seeing the play ” The Bird of Paradise”. However his father did not support him in pursuing acting career. He started his career as a stage actor and appeared in several silent films. Starting from a humble family and modest upbringing Gable achieved his stardom in the early 1930’s.

With his rugged, tall, powerful voice, undeniable charisma and magnetic persona he was quickly caught the attention of Hollywood film industry. He began to received several offers. Gable’s first break as a man was his Broadway debut in a 1928 play “Machinal”.

  • Big Screen debut in Silent drama was 1924 “White Man
  • Breakthrough performance came in 1931 Sports drama film “Sporting Blood”
  • In 1931 he signed with the most famous and popular studios at that time, MGM

In the 1930s Gable refused to do a role offered by MGM. So MGM as a punishment  lent him to Columbia Pictures for the film “It Happened One Night” (1934) a Frank Capra comedy film. But the punishment turned out to be a boon for him as the film won five academy award- Best actor, Best actress, Best Picture, Best Director and Best screen play.  

He continued to deliver memorable performances in the next decades. Among his films his work in “It Happened One Night” and “Mutiny on the Bounty” remained to be amongst the best of career. His other notable works include “Hell Drivers” (1932), “Too Hot to Handle” (1938) ,  ” Gone in the Wind” (1939) “Boom Town”(1940), “The Huckster” (1947), “Homecoming” (1948), “Mogambo” (1953).

“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” his iconic delivery in “Gone With the Wind” is the most famous quotes in the history of Cinema. It was the number one movie line of all time according to American Film Institute.

He paired opposte with some of the most popular actress of his time- Joan Crawford for eight times, Jean Harlow for six times,Myrna Loy for seven times, Norma Shearer for three times ,Lana Turner four times and Ava Gardener  also three times. Joan Crawford whom he paired in 8 films was his most favourite actress.

What was the last film of Clark Gable?

Clark Gable  last film was the 1961 film “The Misfits” in which he played an aging cowboy. He paired opposite with Marilyn Monroe. The film did not receive any Oscar award nominations but many critics regarded it was the finest film of Gable. The film was released posthumously in 1961. 

Awards and honours received by Clark Gable

  • Won Academy award in the category of best actor for the 1934 film “It Happened One Night”
  • Twice nominated Academy Award in the category of best actor- one for the 1935 film ” Mutiny of the Bounty” and 1939 film “Gone with the Wind”
  • Inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in motion pictures on February 8, 1960.

Clark Gable in the US Army

Clark Gable as a gunner in the US Army After Japenese attack on Pearl Harbour on December 7, 1941 United States joined into the World War II. Gable requested the then president Roosevelt for a role in the war. “Stay Where You Are” the President replied. But he did not stay.Gable volunteered himself and enlisted in the US Army Air Force in 1942. He was accompanied with the 31st Heavy Bomb. As a captain he flew 5 combat missions. He was honoured with Air Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross for his efforts as an observer gunner.

Clark Gable Spouse

How many times Clark Gable married?

Clark Gable married five times in his life.  He romatically involved with many famous actress and celebrities of his time.

First wife of Clark Gable- Josephine Dillion (1924-1930)

Clark Gable first wife Josephine Dillion Before marrying with Josephine Dillion, Gable dated Franz Dorfler between 1920 and 1921. They even got engaged but they quit before marriage. It was his first engagement. 

Dorfler introduced Gable to Josephine Dillion. Josephine was 17 years older than Gable. She was his acting coach and manager. They married in 1924 which lasted for 6 years. They divorced in 1930. The couple did not have any children together.

Second wife of Clark Gable- Maria Franklin(1931-1939)Clark Gable with his second wife Maria Franklin

The couple met when Ria went to see Gables’ play  Machinal. She felt madly in love with Gable at the first sight. Maria Franklin nickname Ria married Clark Gable in 1931 at California. Ria was already a married woman. It was her third marriage of Ria. Rai said their marriage was one of mutual respect. The couple did not have children together and they divorced in 1939.

Third wife of Clark Gable- Carole Lombard(1939-1942)

Clark Gable with his third wife wife Carole LombardGable married Carole Lombard, an American actress, 13 days after his divorce from his second wife- Maria Franklin. At that time Gable was shooting his classic film ‘Gone with the Wind’. It was the happiest moment of his life. Carole was already married to actor William Powell in 1931 and divorced in 1933.

The couple met in 1932 while filming ‘No Man of Her Own’. They became close and inseperable. They love each other very much. They married on March 7, 1939 in Kingman Arizona and honeymooned in Arizona Biltmore Hotel. They loving called each other as “Ma and Pa”.

Carole died in a plane crash on January 16, 1942 outside Las Vegas, Nevada. She went to participate in World War II bond rally to her native Indiana. Her death left Gable left emotionally shattered.

Fourth wife of Clark Gable-Sylvia Ashley(1949-1952)Clark Gable with his fourth wife Sylvia

For the fouth time Gable married Sylvia, Lady Ashley an English model, actress, and socialite in 1949. It was also the fourth marriage of Ashley. The couple divorced in 1952.

Fifth wife of Clark Gable- Kathleen Gretchen Kay Williams (1955-1960)

Clark Gable with his five wife Kathleen Gretchen Kay WilliamsFor the third time Gable married Kathleen Gretchen Kay Williams in 1952. She was a famous American actress. She had already married three times and it was her fourth marriage with Gable. They were together until Gable’s death in 1960. She had already two children. By marrying Kay, Gable became a stepfather of two children. 

They together had one child,John Clark Gable, the only son of Gable on March 20, 1961 four months after Gable death. His son, John was born in the same hospital Gable had died.

Clark Gable and Loretta Young

Clark Gable with Loretta YoungClark had  a romantic relationship with Academy Award winning actress Loretta Young. They met on the filming of 1935 film “Call of Wild”. Unmarried Loretta was concieved of Gable’s child during the shooting of the film Call of Wild.  Young kept in secret and disappeared from Hollywood because she was fear that her daughter’s birth would end the career of her and Gable. 

Later she pretended to adopt her own daughter Judy Lewis. Judy, illegitimate daughter of Gable, was remained in dark about her true parentage until the age of 31.

The long uncorfimed Hollywood rumours are mentioned in Loretta’s biography, ” Forever Young: The Life, Lovers and Enduring Faith of A Hollywood Legend.  In her biography she admitted that shad an affair with her co-star Clark Gable and Judy Lewis, an adopted daughter, was actually her own daughter with Gable. Judy mey Gable only once when she was 15. Young’s family claimed that it was date rape with Gable. 

How many children have Clark Gable?

Clark Gable have two children- a son John Clarke from his fifth marriage and  a daughter Judy Lewis. Gable was the biological father of Judy. Her mother was Loretta Young, a famous American actress. Gable never married Loretta Young.

When did Clark Garble died?

Clark Gable died  on 16, 1960 in Los Angeles, California at the age of 59 years, 10 months and 15 days due to heart attack. He was a lifelong smoker. He was burried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California, USA.



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