William Clark Gable

Clark Gable, the “King of Hollywood”, was born in Cadiz, Ohio in 1901.

His father was an oil rigger and later a farmer. His mother died when he was an infant and his father remarried. However Clark’s stepmother encouraged him in his creative pursuits. He quit school at 16 and went to work at a tire factory. He also began working in the theatre, without pay at first. He was encouraged and mentored by other actors until he began to achieve success in his profession. He married and appeared as an extra in his first film in 1924. He worked in theatre mostly playing villians until 1930. He was originally rejected by MGM and Warner Brothers then signed to a contract by MGM. He made 12 movies his first year. He starred in a Frank Capra film in 1934 which made Oscar history by winning all five major awards including a best actor for him. By 1938 he was the acknowledged King of Hollywood and in fact women rioted when he made a personal appearance tour promoting a film.

He divorced his second wife and marrried his third, Carol Lombard the same year he starred as Rhett Butler in Gone With the Wind. This film set another Oscar record and earned him a third nomination, and incidentally was the first major picture to include a swear word, in his famous closing line. He served three years in the army during WWII, making films and doubling as a tail gunner.

He made more than 70 films and died in 1960.