Clark Gable – A Reluctant King

Day 270 of Colourisation Project – February 1

Challenge: to publish daily a colourised photo that has some significance around the day of publication.

You may not immediately recognise today’s colourisation subject without his trademark pencil-thin moustache.

In a photo essay of Hollywood film stars, Life magazine called him, “All man… and then some.”

Doris Day described him this way: “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.”

Joan Crawford told David Frost in an interview in 1970 that “he was a king wherever he went. He walked like one, he behaved like one, and he was the most masculine man that I have ever met in my life.”

Clark Gable

Publicity still by Clarence Sinclair Bull ~ Clark Gable 1931~ Coloured by Loredana Crupi

Born on this day, February 1, 1901, Clark Gable was often referred to as ‘The King of Hollywood’ or just simply as ‘The King’. He epitomized Hollywood’s Golden Age. In a career spanning three decades, he appeared in over 70 movies including, Red Dust (1932), Manhattan Melodrama (1934), It Happened One Night (1934), for which he won the Best Actor Award, Mutiny on the Bounty (1935), San Francisco (1936), Saratoga (1937) Boom Town (1940), The Hucksters (1947) Homecoming (1948) and The Misfits (1961).

But it is his role as Rhett Butler in the epic Gone with the Wind (1939) that he is best remembered for and for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Ironically, he disliked the film as he thought it was “a woman’s picture.”

A legend for his on and off-screen romances, Gable was married 5 times. He was devastated by the death of his third wife Hollywood star, Carole Lombard who was killed in a 1942 plane crash after nearly three years of marriage.

Gable had a love child, a “secret” daughter, Judy Lewis in 1935, from an affair with actress Loretta Young. Young, a devout Catholic (except on this intimate occasion) kept her pregnancy a secret to protect both their careers and also to prevent a scandal as Gable was a married man at the time of the affair. You can read more about that affair in an earlier blog I wrote on Loretta Young. Gable also had a son, John Clark Gable, who he never got to meet, as he was born just a few months after his death in 1960.

Gable, a heavy drinker and three-packets of cigarettes a day smoker, died on November 16, 1960, from a coronary thrombosis, ten days after suffering a severe heart attack at age 59.

Most of the nation’s newspapers announced the death of Clark Gable with a four-word headline: “The King is Dead.”


“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

This entry was posted in Colorization, Colourisation, Film, Hollywood, Photography, USA and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Clark Gable – A Reluctant King

  1. Pingback: Thelma Ritter – Everywoman’s Actor | Random Phoughts

  2. Pingback: Virginia Grey ~ Always the Bridesmaid | Random Phoughts

  3. Pingback: Simply Movita | Random Phoughts

  4. Pingback: Gary Cooper ~ Style Icon | Random Phoughts

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s