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“Who did not want to be Scarlett O'Hara?”
#7 of 10 from My Top Ten Silver Screen Leading Men by
Clark Gable
About this actor


(born February 1, 1901, Cadiz, Ohio, U.S.—died November 16, 1960, Hollywood, California) American film actor who epitomized the American ideal of masculinity and virility for three decades. An enormously popular star during his lifetime, Gable was dubbed the "King of Hollywood."

The only son of an itinerant oil-field worker, Gable embarked on an acting career while in his early 20s and soon found himself the protégé of veteran actress Josephine Dillon, who coached Gable in poise and elocution and paid for his orthodontic work. Although several years her junior, Gable married Dillon in 1924, about the same time he began to land small roles in silent films. His first big break came when he was cast in the lead of the Broadway play Machinal (1928).In 1930 Gable's performance in a Los Angeles stage production of The Last Mile brought him to the attention of Hollywood producers. Although he failed his first screen test at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer—in part because producers thought Gable's ears too big for a leading man—his supporting performance in the low-budget western The Painted Desert (1931) convinced MGM executives of Gable's talent and screen presence. The actor garnered public attention with his aggressive, masculine performances in such films as A Free Soul (1931) and Night Nurse (1931); this forceful persona—equal parts "man's man" and "ladies' man"—helped make him one of Hollywood's top stars within a year.Among Gable's most successful films for MGM during this period were ...

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