Photo of Clark Gable taken sometime during the filming of Gone with the Wind. Courtesy of Howard Frank Archives
Clark Gable was a prominent actor from the United States.
Gable was born on February 1, 1901, in Cadiz, Ohio. His mother died before Gable was one year old. He spent the next five years with his grandparents. When his father remarried in 1907, Gable moved back to his father's home. Gable graduated from high school and briefly attended Akron University in Akron, Ohio, where he studied medicine. He spent his breaks working in the rubber industry.
Gable became disenchanted with college and moved to New York City to pursue an acting career. Gable had no real success in New York and moved to Oklahoma to work with his father in the oilfields of that state. After saving some money, the aspiring actor joined a national tour group, but the company failed financially in 1922. Gable moved to Portland, Oregon, where he worked several jobs to support himself. In 1924, after marrying his first wife, Josephine Dillon, the couple moved to Los Angeles, California, where they had some minor successes.
In 1931, Gable had his big break. He received a screen test, and he was cast in The Painted Desert. After Gable's solid performance in this feature, MGM signed him to a contract. Gable remained with MGM for the next fourteen years. During the 1930s, Gable became one of Hollywood's brightest stars. He won an Academy Award for his performance in It Happened One Night (1934). Gable's best-known role was Rhett Butler in Gone With The Wind (1939). In 1942, Gable retired from acting. He joined the United States Army during World War II and won the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal. At the end of the war, Gable returned to acting.
Clark Gable died of a heart attack on November 16, 1960. During his career, Gable had starred in sixty-five films.