Actor. Born under the name William Clark Gable, his early life was ordinary, unhappy and confusing. Two towns claim him as a native son, Cadiz, Ohio and Meadville, Pennsylvania. His mother died when he was but a few months of age. He attended the Hopedale Schoolhouse in Hopedale, Ohio, which then was both a grammar and high school housed in the same building located on a hilltop directly behind the family residence. With his family, William attended Hopedale Methodist Church where his father was a Sunday School teacher. A poor student, he became a school dropout leaving home to take a job with Firestone Tire in Akron, Ohio. The biggest attractions in the city for William Gable were movies and especially the Akron Music Hall where a stock company was doing a live performance. He hung around the hall until landing an unsalaried position. He found out what he wanted to be and no amount of adversity, hardship or negative opinion would ever change his mind. A long indirect journey to Hollywood began with many odd jobs along the way leading him to Portland, Oregon. He landed a job with a stock company gaining valuable training from the woman who would become his wife and lead him to Hollywood and a career which spanned three decades with appearances in 92 movies including "Gone With the Wind," one of the most popular film of all times. Gable won an Academy Award in 1934 for his role in "It Happened One Night." His third marriage to actress Carole Lombard ended with her tragic death at 33 in a plane crash in 1942 while participating in a bond drive. Distraught, he withdrew from his career and though well over the draft age, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps becoming an aerial gunner during World War II flying in five bombing missions over Germany and received the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal. Discharged with the rank of Major, he returned to Hollywood and resumed film making. Two weeks after completing his last movie, "The Misfits," He suffered chest pains and was transported to Presbyterian Hospital in Los Angeles where he was diagnosed as having suffered a coronary thrombosis. On the ninth day of his confinement he was gone. Clark Gable was buried in a closed casket. An Episcopal service was led by an Air Force chaplain accompanied by an honor guard at the Church of the Recessional at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale. His fifth wife Kay had arranged for him to be interred next to his third wife, Carole Lombard. A few weeks later she delivered a boy at the same hospital where his father died.
Bio by: Donald Greyfield