William Clark Gable was born on 1 st February 1901 in Ohio, USA. His life was torn apart at an early age when, at the age of just seven months, his mother died. Gable attended High School until the age of sixteen, and then dropped out for the somewhat unglamorous career of a tire factory worker. However, after seeing the play ‘The Bird of Paradise’ Gable decided to take up acting.
After a series of menial jobs to raise cash, Gable enlisted the help of Portland Theatre manager, Josephine Dillon. Twelve years his senior, Dillon coached Gable – and married him. Following some small parts in Hollywood, Gable decided to opt for theatre. He attended a number of screen test auditions, which he failed. However, the determined Gable managed to get himself an audition and a subsequent contract with MGM in 1930.
After this, Gable went on to star in a string of movies that made him a household name, such as ‘Dance, Fools, Dance’, ‘A Free Soul’ and ‘Red Dust’. He then turned down an assignment and was duly sent packing by MGM to Columbia Pictures. However, Gable was not to be beaten, and went on to win an Oscar for his role in ‘It Happened One Night’. He was then able to return to MGM where he made some of his biggest movies, including ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ and ‘Gone with the Wind’.
Gable’s career took a downward turn after his third wife, Carole Lombard, was killed in a plane crash over Nevada, USA in 1942. Gable promptly withdrew from the movies and went off to join the Army Air Corps. This move effectively signaled the end of Gable’s movie career.Returning to Hollywood several years later, Gable was unable to get another contract and instead began to freelance, somewhat unsuccessfully. In 1961, during the filming of the movie ‘The Misfits’ Gable announced that he was to become a father for the first time at the ripe old age of sixty. Sadly, two months later Gable suffered a heart attack and died.
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