Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Eye Candy Wednesday


Clark Gable
February 1, 1901 – November 16, 1960

William Clark Gable was born on February 1, 1901 in Cadiz, Ohio.  Sadly when Clark was 10 months old, his mother died, and his father sent him to live with his maternal aunt and uncle in Pennsylvania, where he stayed until he was two. His father then returned to take him back to Cadiz. When Clark was 16 he dropped out of school and worked at many odd jobs before joining a traveling theater company.

At seventeen, Gable was inspired to be an actor after seeing the play The Bird of Paradise, but he was not able to make a real start until he turned 21 and inherited money.

In 1930 Gable's performance in a Los Angeles stage production of The Last Mile brought him to the attention of Hollywood producers. Although he failed his first screen test at MGM in part because producers thought Gable's ears too big for a leading man his supporting performance in the low-budget western The Painted Desert (1931) convinced MGM executives of Gable's talent and screen presence.


Gable's screen presence was largely nonthreatening: his magnetic smile and playful winks rendered him a charming rogue who did not take himself too seriously. Although Gable himself maintained a self-deprecating attitude toward his own talent throughout the years, he often proved himself most competent in demanding roles and was equally deft at romantic comedy and epic drama.


After two failed marriages, Gable found his perfect mate in actress Carole Lombard. The two were married in 1939, but Gable's happiness was short-lived when in 1942 the gifted comedienne was killed in a plane crash while returning home from a war-bond rally.  The business of making movies suddenly seemed frivolous to the devastated Gable, who walked away from his Hollywood commitments to join the Army Air Corps, even though he was well past draft age. He served as a tail gunner during the war, making him a greater hero than ever in the eyes of his fans, and attained the rank of major.

Gable made several good films during the 1940s and '50s, but none rank as classics.  His final film, The Misfits (1961), was his best in many years and features one of Gable's finest performances, but it is a film clouded by tragedy. It was the final film for both Gable and Marilyn Monroe, two of Hollywood's most enduring icons, and it was one of the last films for the gifted Montgomery Clift. Gable, who insisted on doing his own stunt work for grueling scenes involving the roping of wild horses, died of a heart attack within days of the film's completion





In his long film career, Gable appeared opposite some of the most popular actresses of the time. Joan Crawford, who was his favorite actress to work with, was partnered with Gable in eight films, Myrna Loy was with him seven times, and he was paired with Jean Harlow in six productions. He also starred with Lana Turner in four features, and with Norma Shearer in three. Gable was often named the top male star in the mid-30s, and was second only to the top box-office draw of all, Shirley Temple.


3 comments:

Dad.. said...

I own the misfits on DVD. Such talent!!

Gingeyginge said...

Thank you for your comment...lovely post.

Frankly Miss Go Lightly said...

Gingeyginge, thank you doll :)