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Clark Gable

Updated on December 1, 2016

Clark Gable (1901-1960) was an American film actor, often called "The King" because of his enduring popularity. "I'm no actor and never have been," Gable once said. "What people see on the screen is me." What audiences saw was an extremely handsome man, with a warm smile and a robust physique and manner, a personality that showed through every role he played.

William Clark Gable was born in Cadiz, Ohio, on February 1, 1901. At the age of 15 he gave up plans for a medical career, became a callboy in an Akron theater, and thereafter gradually worked his way up. On first seeing Gable, a Hollywood producer told him, "Buddy, your ears are too big. You'll never make it." Even so, Gable was given a chance. His first sound film was The Painted Desert (1931), and his most famous role was Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind (1939). He won only one Academy Award, for It Happened One Night (1934), but his success was reflected in the fact that 41 of his films grossed a total of $63 million. Gable died in Hollywood, California, on Nov. 16, 1960.

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