William Clark Gable was born in Ohio on February 1st, 1901. His tumultuous life began when he lost his mother before the age of 1. He lived with his father’s family until his father remarried and he returned home. His step mother loved him dearly, a relationship that was reciprocated. At the age of 16 he quit school to work in a factory and decided to become an actor after seeing “The Bird of Paradise”. He traveled across country working in oil fields and selling wares but joined local theater production companies along the way.
During the course of his life women helped and groomed him to be the star he was known to have become. He was married a total of 5 times, twice to women at least 15 years older than himself. Clark had affairs with his co-stars and one such incident produced a daughter. But the love of his life was Carole Lombarde. They were only married a few short years when the plane in which she and her mother were traveling crashed near Las Vegas.
Devastated, Gable joined the Air Force where he enlisted as a private. He made films and became a gunner, flying missions over Europe. He was discharged a major and his papers were signed by Captain Ronald Reagan. He continued his affairs but married for the last time to Kay Williams. He became step father to her 2 children and in 1960 she became pregnant. Clark was thrilled with the news but suffered a series of heart attacks in 1961 that would take his life before he could see his son, John Clark Gable.
The tall, darkly handsome actor with the pencil thin moustache and distinctive voice made some memorable movies during his career. He started getting attention when he manhandled Norma Shearer in A Free Soul (1931). Gable won an oscar for his performance in It Happened one Night (1934). But his most famous character was that of Rhett Butler opposite Vivienne Leigh’s Scarlett in Gone With the Wind (1939).