Clark Gable

Clark Gable

It Happened One Night was the first to win all five major Academy Awards (Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, and Screenplay), a feat that would not be matched until One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) and later by The Silence of the Lambs (1991).

It was at Gable's 36th birthday that Judy Garland sang "Dear Mr. Gable: You Made Me Love You."

Joined the Army Air Corps during the Second World War, and was commissioned an officer with service number 565390. Rose to the rank of captain and served primarily in Public Affairs, making training films and performing public relations visits to soldiers and airmen in Europe.

June 2004: As a native of Cadiz, OH, he was inducted into the Lou Holtz Museum/Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame (www.LouHoltzHallOfFame.com).

Met his second wife Ria when he was in a play. Her brother, actor Booth Franklin, brought her backstage and introduced them.

Military records on celebrities released by the Pentagon in 2005 reveal that Gable, upon enlistment, was described as a "motion picture specialist" and his weekly wage was listed as $7,500. A movie cameraman, Andrew J. McIntyre, enlisted along with Gable and trained with him, the documents showed. "In order to have something definite to describe and some tangible evidence of his experiences, it is proposed that there be enlisted his cameraman to be trained as an aerial gunner also who may make pictures of Gable in various theaters of operations," one Army memo said.

Named the #7 greatest actor on The 50 Greatest Screen Legends List by the American Film Institute

On Easter weekend, 1935, Gable flew to Houston to give away step-daughter Jana in her marriage to Dr. Thomas Burke.

Once named Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) as his favorite of his movies, despite the fact that he did not like his co-star Charles Laughton. He was also initially disappointed by the casting of Franchot Tone as Midshipman Byam since the two actors had been bitter rivals for the affections of Joan Crawford. However, during filming they became close friends.

Originally the image of Gable as an outdoors man was an invention of the studios, designed to bolster his masculine screen image during the early 1930s. However, he soon discovered that he enjoyed hunting, shooting and fishing, so the image swiftly became the reality.

Pictured on one of four 25¢ US commemorative postage stamps issued on 23 March 1990 honoring classic films released in 1939. The stamp features Gable and Vivien Leigh as Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara from Gone with the Wind (1939). The other films honored were Beau Geste (1939), Stagecoach (1939) and The Wizard of Oz (1939).

Playing a cowboy in his last film, The Misfits (1961), which was also the final film for co-star Marilyn Monroe, the aging Gable diligently performed his own stunts, taking its toll on his already guarded health. He died from a heart attack before the film was released.

Prior to making The Misfits (1961), he crash-dieted from a bloated 230 lbs. to 195 lbs. Twice in the previous decade he had suffered seizures that might have been heart attacks; once, ten years earlier, while driving along a freeway he had chest pains so severe that he had to pull off the road and lie down on the ground until he felt well enough to continue on.

Proposed his headstone should read: "Back to silents." It was not used by his widow though.

Served as a Captain in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II making training films. Also trained as an aerial gunner, he flew 5 combat missions with the 8th Air Force's 351st Bombardment Group (Heavy) while making his films and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal.

So durable, he could play the same role in both an original (Red Dust (1932)) with Jean Harlow and Mary Astor, and its remake (Mogambo (1953)) with Ava Gardner and Grace Kelly.

Some sources say he turned down the role of Colonel William Travis in The Alamo (1960) because he didn't want to be directed by John Wayne. However this seems unlikely, since Travis was 26 at the time of the battle, and Gable would have been 58 when the movie was filmed.

Turned down Robert Mitchum's role in Home from the Hill (1960).

Turned down Cary Grant's role in The Philadelphia Story (1940) because he thought the film was too wordy.

Warner Bros. cartoons sometimes caricatured Clark Gable. Examples include Have You Got Any Castles? (in which his face appears seven times from inside the novel The House of the Seven Gables), The Coo-Coo Nut Grove (in which his ears flap on their own), Hollywood Steps Out (in which he follows an enigmatic woman), and Cats Don't Dance in which he appears on a billboard promotion for Gone With The Wind.