Clark Gable

Clark Gable

He was voted the 8th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.

He worked as a lumberman in the Willamette Valley of Oregon in the early 1920s. After a couple of months of doing that, he quit, saying that "the work was too hard" and he would rather act instead. He then left to go to Hollywood, where he began his acting career.

His father always opposed his decision to become an actor, and even after Gable became a major star he still denounced acting as a "sissy" occupation. Gable became a Freemason in 1933 just to please his father. However, he showed no grief when his father died aged 78 from a heart attack on 4 August 1948, having outlived his three wives.

His favorite drink was whiskey.

His private funeral service at the Church of the Recessional in Forest Lawn Park was attended by 200 mourners including Spencer Tracy, Robert Taylor, James Stewart, Norma Shearer, Ann Sothern, Marion Davies, Frank Capra, Robert Stack, Jack Oakie, Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Van Johnson and Howard Strickling, Gable's longtime publicity man at MGM. There was no eulogy. The closed casket was adorned with yellow roses shaped like a crown, befitting the one-time King of Hollywood.

His two step-children from wife Ria were George Anna "Jana" (b. circa 1913) and Alfred Lucas (b. circa 1919).

His widow, Kay Williams, was born August 7, 1917, and died in May of 1983.

His wife Sylvia Ashley was born Edith Louise Sylvia Hawkes in 1904. She was the widow of Douglas Fairbanks. Her first husband was Lord Anthony Ashley (they divorced November 28, 1934), her third was Lord Stanley of Alderney, and her fifth was Prince Dimitri Djordjadze (whom she married in 1954 and stayed married to until her death). She died June 29, 1977. Her grave stone refers to her as "Princess Sylvia Djordjadze."

In 1949 he served as a pallbearer at the funeral of director Victor Fleming, whom he considered something of a father figure.

In 1955, he formed a production company with Jane Russell and her husband Bob Waterfield, and they produced The King and Four Queens (1956), the star's one and only production. The stress of making the film took such a toll on his health that Gable decided not to produce again.

In order to expedite divorce from his second wife Ria in order to marry Carole Lombard, Gable paid his ex-wife a $500,000 settlement in 1939, nearly everything he had at the time.

In order to hide that she and Gable had an illegitimate child, fearing that it would ruin both of their careers, Loretta Young secretly gave birth to her daughter Judy Lewis pretending she was vacationing in Europe. When she returned to Hollywood, she claimed that Judy was adopted. Gable met Judy only once when she was a teenager.

In some radio interviews at the end of his life, his voice has a haunting similarity to Walt Disney's.

In the 1950s Gable joined Walt Disney, John Wayne, James Stewart and other politically conservative entertainers to "assist" the House Un-American Activities Committee in its efforts to find alleged Communist infiltration in the film industry.

In the 2001 film Bandits, Joe Blake (Bruce Willis) erects a blanket partition between motel room beds out of respect for Kate Wheeler's (Cate Blanchett's) privacy. He remarks that he saw them do the same thing in an old movie (Clark Gable's character, Peter Warne, did this in It Happened One Night).

In the film Broadway Melody of 1938 (1937) 15-year-old Judy Garland sings "You Made Me Love You" while looking at a composite picture of Clark Gable. The opening lines are: "Dear Mr. Gable, I am writing this to you, and I hope that you will read it so you'll know, my heart beats like a hammer, and I stutter and I stammer, every time I see you at the picture show, I guess I'm just another fan of yours, and I thought I'd write and tell you so. You made me love you, I didn't want to do it, I didn't want to do it..."

In the mid-1950s he started to receive television offers but rejected them outright, even though some of his peers, like his old flame Loretta Young, were flourishing in the new medium.

Interred at Forest Lawn, Glendale, California, USA, in the Great Mausoleum, Sanctuary of Trust, on the left hand side, next to Carole Lombard.

Is portrayed by James Brolin in Gable and Lombard (1976), Bruce Hughes and Shayne Greenman in "Blonde" (2001), Charles Unwin in Lucy (2003) (TV), Larry Pennell in Marilyn: The Untold Story (1980) (TV), Edward Winter in The Scarlett O'Hara War (1980) (TV), Boyd Holister in Grace Kelly (1983) (TV) and Gary Wayne in Malice in Wonderland (1985) (TV).

Is the subject of the song "Clark Gable" by The Postal Service.