As I was helping my brother with his film history paper last night, I realized something very important: we haven’t featured Clark Gable yet.
Which is why today I’m rectifying the situation by making Mr. Gable (“You mean Clark?”) our classic Hollywood Throwback Thursday.
Clark got his start in the theatre, before heading west to be the hottest of silent film extras. Lucky for all of us, Clark made it big when movies went the way of sound in the early 1930s. While he had many great parts in those years, I’m quite partial to his role as Peter Warne in 1934′s It Happened One Night.
The part of Rhett Butler in the Civil War epic quickly became Clark’s defining role. I mean, aside from his amazing acting in the movie, HELLO Clark Gable in period attire. (True story: my mother had a giant poster of the above photo hanging in our house for most of my childhood.)
As for his personal life, Clark was married 5 times, although the true love of his life was third wife, Carole Lombard. Unfortunately, she was killed three years into their marriage in a plane crash. The loss devastated Clark, who never truly seemed to bounce back.
The actor continued working until 1960, when he passed away from a blood clot in his heart at the age of 59. His death is often blamed on the making of his last movie, The Misfits, which was interestingly enough also Marilyn Monroe‘s last film.
While he clearly passed away too soon, Clark left an amazing legacy–big, floppy ears and all. For a good Clark Gable movie marathon, I would definitely recommend It Happened One Night, Mutiny on the Bounty and Gone With the Wind. You will instantly fall in love with the man they called The King of Hollywood.