“I like companionable women with a sense of humor, women who can laugh with a fellow. I don’t know what to do with the strange ones who look at me goggle-eyed. They make me feel uncomfortable. They always have.” – Clark Gable
Source: Gladys Hall (1936)
Photographer: C.S. Bull
“These kids searching for a career in the movies are all the same. They arrive in Hollywood with very little money, expecting to click immediately. They have a hard crust formed around them consisting of a mixture of town and family tradition, fear, unlimited conceit, and the staunch moral backing of relatives and home town admirers.
“If they are girls, the fluffy headed type, they all think that they are Janet Gaynors or Mary Pickfords. If they are the sleek type they think that they are Joan Crawfords or Norma Shearers.
“If they are boys they are either Clark Gables or Gary Coopers or Fredric Marches or Leslie Howards. They forget that they have personalities of their own.
“They have tried to copy the facial images of their idols, and argue that they should be even bigger hits because of their extreme youth. They forget, of course, that the stars are years ahead in valuable experience which means more than youth.” — Josephine Dillon, Gable‘s first wife, acting coach, and the one who paid for his new teeth and hairstyle.
Following their divorce, she worked as a star maker.
“Gable was THE best student I have ever known. He is Dutch and tireless….He spent seven diligent years in study. That is, we did. I have seen him make an entrance into a room more than a hundred times to perfect it. He had a great inferiority complex that I had to take out of him, among other things.” – Josephine Dillon in 1934.
“I have been in show business for 12 years. They have known me in Hollywood but two. Yet as picture-making goes, two years is a long time. Nevertheless, my advice has never been asked about a part in a picture. I found out I was going into ‘Susan Lenox’ in Del Monte. Read it in a paper. When I walked on the set one day, they told me I was going to play ‘Red Dust’ in place of John Gilbert. I have never been consulted as to what part I would like to play. I am paid not to think.” — Clark Gable in 1932.
Gable with his second wife Maria Franklin Prentiss Lucas Langham and Leslie Howard.
Red Dust (1932). With Jean Harlow.
Night Flight (1933). With John Barrymore, Robert Montgomery, Lionel Barrymore, Helen Hayes, and Myrna Loy.
“This power that I’m supposed to have over women was never noticed when I was a stage actor on Broadway. I don’t know when I got it. And by God, I can’t explain it.” – Clark Gable
“He was very shy but fun with people he knew. He was very sensitive about those goddamned ears, but he’d make jokes about them. After a shot, he’d ask, ‘What’d they get, an ear?’ He didn’t look like anyone else. It was not only physical. He had mannerisms all his own: ways of standing, smoking, and a great flair for clothes. Whatever came natural to him, I let him do it.” — director Frank Capra.
Photo: Doctor Macro
“Well, I pushed him off the porch. Imagine, a grown man acting like that! He was drunk with power, that’s what he was. He thought everyone should fall down when he was around. He believed his own publicity, that he was irresistable. My friend, Lou MacFarlane, was waiting inside the house on her hands and knees, waiting to catch a glimpse of her idol. Afterwards, she said, ‘How could you do that to Clark Gable?’ I said he was a stupid, ignorant man. But she didn’t care. Lou said, ‘I wouldn’t care if he couldn’t read.'” — Myrna Loy describing an unwanted pass Gable made to her while his second wife, Rhea Langham, was in the car.
“‘The King of Hollywood?’ If his pee-pee was one inch shorter, they’d be calling him the ‘Queen of Hollywood.’” — Carole Lombard
“This ‘King’ stuff is pure bullshit. I eat and sleep and go to the bathroom just like everybody else. There’s no special light that shines inside me and makes me a star. I’m just a lucky slob from Ohio. I happened to be in the right place at the right time, and I had a lot of smart guys helping me – that’s all.” — Clark Gable
One of the more bizarre images ever to come out of the MGM photo department. Left to right: John Barrymore, Lewis Stone, Jean Hersholt, Wallace Beery, Pete, Robert Montgomery, Lee Tracy and Clark Gable. The bodies, of course, are the Our Gang kids.
“Even the big stars had to chase around and audition; it seemed like a rat race to me, with no security.” — Billy Thomas, who played Buckwheat.
From “Mickey’s Polo Team” (Walt Disney Studios, 1936).
A woman wearing a Clark Gable mask to Venice Beach in 1937. (LAPL)
With Jean Harlow in 1937.
“I discovered that Rhett was even harder to play than I had anticipated. With so much of Scarlett preceding his entrance, Rhett’s scenes were all climaxes. There was a chance to build up to Scarlett, but Rhett represented drama and action every time he appeared. He didn’t figure in any of the battle scenes, being a guy who hated war, amid he wasn’t in the toughest of the siege of Atlanta shots. What I was fighting for was to hold my own in the first half of the picture–which is all Vivien‘s — because I felt that after the scene with the baby, Bonnie, Rhett could control the end of the film.” — Clark Gable
Photo: Gone with the Wind (1939). With Vivien Leigh.
Riding a Palomino in 1939.
Groucho Marx and Clark Gable from the Warner Bros. cartoon, “Hollywood Steps Out” (1941). The classic cartoon was directed by Tex Avery.
Chatting with Mickey Rooney.
A life mask.
Raoul Walsh and Gable in Las Vegas in 1957. Gable carries a copy of the book “The Man Who Was Not With It” by Herbert Gold.
“This talk about my being a legend is funny. I wasn’t a legend in those days. All I can remember is hard work.” — Clark Gable
“No actor I ever performed with had such public appeal. He was as masculine as any man I’ve ever known and as much a little boy as a grown man could be–it was this combination that had such a devastating effect on women. But there was nothing of ‘the King’ about his personality. Just the opposite. Utter simplicity. Uncomplicated. A man who lived on a simple, down-to-earth scale.” — Doris Day
Photo: Teacher’s Pet (1958)
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Soap opera player Susan Seaforth flirts with the Hollywood Wax Museum’s most popular attraction in 1970, Clark Gable. (LAPL 00105928)