Halitosis and Hitler, to name the few ?
There?s only one Clark Gable. The King of Hollywood will always be as big as it comes, and here at Warner Archive we?re honored to be the home of two films that are emblematic of his rough-and-tumble, All-American persona: Boom Town and Lone Star. Both are available for streaming now on Warner Archive: join now and receive a *free* Roku stick with your annual subscription!
Now, as with every Hollywood legend, there are a wealth of urban legends and hidden stories within his legend and we?ve got six of the juiciest for you right now.
Think you know Gable? Then test your King of Hollywood knowledge:
Gable with Ava Gardner in LONE STAR
It is no secret that Adolf Hitler, who had been an aspiring artist in his youth, had a love of the movies. Some say he was downright obsessive about them. Out of all the Hollywood stars popular during the time of his regime, Clark Gable was one of his very favorite. Following the death of his wife Carole Lombard (who was killed in a plane crash during a War Bonds tour), Gable had enlisted in the War and was a gunner in the United States Army Air Corp, flying combat missions over Germany. Hitler offered a sizable reward to anyone who could capture and return Gable ? alive and unharmed. Like ? we don?t even want to know that that was about.
Gable is sworn in to active duty during World War II.
#5: He Once Gave Away His Oscar to a Fan
Although Gable fought hard for his stardom and was very good to his fans, he remained very down to earth. When he won his first and only Best Actor Oscar for It Happened One Night (1934), Gable gave the statuette to a kid who had commented on it being pretty. Gable reportedly told the child that it was the winning of the statue that had mattered, not owning it. (Following Gable?s death in 1960, the Oscar was returned to Gable?s widow.)
#4: He Didn?t Want to Make GONE WITH THE WIND. Like, at All.
Although it?s the film for which he?s most remembered, Clark Gable was not a fan of the movie, dismissing it as a ?woman?s picture.? In fact, he was resistant to play the role of Rhett Butler at all: it was the overwhelming wish of the public that made him cave. Even so, Gable still refused to play the role too romantically and refused to do a Southern accent, wanting to preserve his popular macho on-screen image.
#3: The Whole Bad Breath Thing is ? Probably True.
But it really wasn?t his fault! In 1933, Clark Gable suffered a severe gum infection resulting in having to have most of his teeth removed. After they were replaced by dentures, (a pretty price, paid by his then wife and wealthy benefactress), and bearing in mind that dental surgery in the early 1930s was hardly what it is today, it is highly likely that Gable did in fact suffer from halitosis.
Clark Gable and wife Carole Lombard arrive in Atlanta, GA.
#2: He Actively De-Segregated a Segregated Hollywood
While shooting Gone with the Wind, it came to Gable?s attention that ?Whites Only? and ?Colored Only? lavatories had sprung up on David O. Selznick?s set. Gable was outraged, and marched to director (and friend) Victor Fleming, demanding that if the signs didn?t come down, then he ?didn?t have a Rhett Butler.? Needless to say the signs came down. After shooting was over, he learned that his friend, African American actress Hattie McDaniel ? a major supporting character who would soon be the first African American to win an Oscar ? would not be allowed to attend the premiere of Gone with the Wind in deeply segregated Atlanta, GA. Gable hit the roof. Having been friends prior to production of Gone with the Wind (accounting for their sparkling chemistry in the movie), he threatened to boycott the premiere if Hattie wasn?t allowed. McDaniel talked him off the ledge.
#1: He Revolutionized the Men?s Undershirt Business
In 1934, Gable appeared alongside Claudette Colbert in It Happened One Night: a film neither wanted to make and would, ironically, bring them the only competitive Oscars of their careers. In the scene where Gable is changing his clothes in front of a shocked Colbert, men in American audiences everywhere gasped: Gable wore no undershirt under his button-up! While tales of the undershirt business tanking is the stuff of legend, it?s no tall tale that men were highly influenced by it.
Catch Clark Gable in Boom Town and Lone Star here at the newly revamped and available on desktop as well as Roku, Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, and Android, Warner Archive is the perfect streaming service for anyone who loves classic movies and TV. Explore the archive and get a *free* Roku Streaming Stick with your annual subscription: