Beyond the Screen: Clark Gable's Personal Struggles

Clark Gable was a highly popular actor in Hollywood, especially known for his iconic role in "Gone with the Wind."

by Sead Dedovic
Beyond the Screen: Clark Gable's Personal Struggles
© Hulton Archive / Hulton Archive

Clark Gable, a famous American actor, left a big mark in the world of movies and will always be remembered as one of the greatest actors ever. Although many recognize him for his success, his life wasn't always filled with happiness and positive things. This fantastic actor faced many challenges in his acting career and life, striving to be cheerful and brave. But behind the strong facade, there was a man who went through tough times and simply wanted love.

Clark Gable was a highly popular actor in Hollywood, especially known for his iconic role in "Gone with the Wind." His charisma and charm made him a favorite among women. Born in 1901 in Ohio, Gable faced a challenging childhood. His mother passed away when he was a baby, and after his father remarried, his stepmother, Jenny, played an important role in his upbringing.

Despite early hardships, Gable developed an interest in acting and dreamed of a career on the stage. He worked various jobs, including as a lumberjack and a tire salesman, before getting his first acting role at 20. However, initial setbacks didn't discourage him, and he continued to pursue his dream. 

Since day one, this famous actor had a special philosophy for living. His secret weapon was determination. Even when he faced rejections and tough challenges, he never thought about giving up. Gable had a special life philosophy that he followed from the first day of his career.

Gable's breakthrough came when he met actress Josephine Dillon, who became his wife and manager. Clark and Josephine lived together for 6 years, and they divorced in 1931, when he married Maria Langham, the daughter of a well-known oil tycoon at the time. Maria wanted her husband to be a successful and famous actor, and she invested a large sum of money in his career. During 1931, he played in 12 films, and in 1934 he got a role in the famous film "It Happened One Night", which made him famous. He received his first and only Oscar for the role of journalist Peter Warne.

Gable was a super popular actor known for his tough and brave roles on-screen. His love life was kind of a big deal, and he had some romantic relationships, especially with Maria, which got pretty complicated, and she ended up suing him and getting some of his money.

Then, there's this iconic love story with Gable and Carole Lombard, who he married in 1939.

Clark Gable and Carol Lombard
Clark Gable and Carol Lombard© Keystone / Hulton Archive

Their life together was different from the usual Hollywood glam; simple and happy. Sadly, Carole died in a plane crash during World War II, which affected Gable a lot.

Clark Gable and his wife after Carole's death

Even after Carole's death, Gable kept on acting, but people thought he wasn't the same. He had a few more marriages, but none were as special as what he had with Carol. In 1960, he passed away, leaving a legacy as the "King of Hollywood."

During 1943 he stayed in England participating in the war. Already in 1944, he returned home, and the MGM company helped him in this. He continued to drink, date and act, and a little later he married Silvia Ashley. After only 3 years of living together, the couple divorced in 1952, because there was no love between them. Gable seems to be having a hard time after all he's been through. Although he had money and fame, the loss he suffered took its toll on him. This popular actor seems to have never been the same.

After the divorce, he had numerous romances, including with well-known Hollywood names. In 1955, Clark married for the fifth time to young actress Kay Williams.

Clarke proposed to her because she reminded him of his wife Carol Lombard. Unfortunately, the actor could not find the love and happiness with Kay that he had with Carol.

Clark Gable was a smart and brave person. He's famous for saying things about how it's crucial for someone to be courageous, loyal, and honorable. Gable had these qualities himself. He always liked people who were honest and brave. When he talked about a person and their confidence, Gable knew how to get what makes a person tick.

"The things a man has to have are hope and confidence in himself against odds, and sometimes he needs somebody, his pal or his mother or his wife or God, to give him that confidence. He's got to have some inner standards worth fighting for or there won't be any way to bring him into conflict. And he must be ready to choose death before dishonor without making too much song and dance about it. That's all there is to it."- Clark Gable said.