William Clark Gable was born on
February 1, 1901, in Ohio. At the tender ago of 15, young Gable quit school,
moved to Akron, Ohio, and took many odd jobs to support himself. One of
his many odd jobs landed him in Portland, Oregon.
Soon after his arrival in Portland, the now early 20's Gable, joined an acting group which was headed by Josephine Dillon, a former Broad way actress. The two fell in love, and moved to L.A. to get married. Dillon was 15 years older than Gable.
In 1925, Gable landed his first role, as an extra in the silent film classic, " The Plastic Age." He was unnoticed. In 1931, Gable was taken in by the prominent agent, Mina Wallace, who succeeded in landing Gable his first leading role in "The Painted Desert". In his first year, Gable made 12 films, all flops. Later, L.B. Mayer took over as his manager. Mayer made him work very hard, like extra hours after his 14 hour studio days. Gable, frustrated by his overbearing workload of 20 films made with seemingly no break, went to Mayer and demanded better roles and a bigger salary.
Mayer, rather that give in to Gable's demands, loan the star to Columbia. While on loan to Columbia, Gable got his first major break. That was in 1935. The film, "It Happened One Night", garnered 5 Oscars.
In the film "The Call of the Wild", Gable was paired with young starlette named Loretta Young. The two had a love affair and secretly married. Young became pregnant and gave birth to a girl, Jean. Gable never acknowledged nor saw Jean. In 1938, speaking on behalf of 20 million fans, Ed Sullivan, on his radio show, crowned Gable and Myrna Loy the "King and Queen of the Silver Screen." A title which Gable still holds today.
In 1938, Gable was asked to play Rhett Butler, in the screen adaptation of "Gone With The Wind". Gable was not interested in the role at first, but was later moved by the money offered - a cool $100 000. Gable made trouble in the set of "Gone with the Wind". He chided director George Cukor, accusing him of being a homosexual. He also could not get along well with the female lead Vivien Leigh. In the end, Cukor quit as director soon after, and Victor Fleming took his seat.
"Gone with the wind" was a hit, and went on to become a classic that lived till today.
In 1961 Gable died of an heart attack while filming the ominously titled film 'The Misfits' with Marilyn Monroe.