Sunday, 9 September 2012

1960, Film: The King of Hollywood Dies

Clark Gable, born on February 1, 1901 in Cadiz, Ohio, died on November 16, 1960 in Los Angeles, at the age of 59. Gable died at the Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital in Los Angeles from a coronary thrombosis ten days after suffering a severe heart attack.
 
On Saturday November 5th Gable played around his ranch with his stepchildren and his hunting dog. Later that day he decided to change a tire on his Jeep. As he bent down to remove it from the vehicle, he suffered almost unbearable chest pains. When the pains subsided, he staggered into the house where his wife Kay Williams, suggested Clark to take an early supper and go to bed. He did, only to awake later with a splitting headache and what he believed to be indigestion. Kay gave him some seltzer and an aspirin. He slept uneasily until 7:15 the next morning, Sunday November 6th.
Clark Gable with first wife Josephine Dillon
When he awoke and tried to dress himself he collapsed, the vicious pain had returned. This time he knew things were very serious. Kay called his doctor then the Encino fire department for some emergency oxygen.
 
While he waited for the ambulance Gable indicated that he didn’t want his three months pregnant wife to upset herself over him. But she rode with him anyway in the ambulance to the Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital. Tests conducted there confirmed Gable had had a coronary. He was given sedatives and anticoagulants and was observed by 24-hour nursing staff. His wife took a bed in an adjoining room.
Clark Gable with second wife Maria "Ria" Franklin Prentiss Lucas Langham
Extraordinarily in the following ten days Gable appeared to be recovering. On the night of Friday November 16th at 10-50pm Clark Gable was still leafing through a magazine article when he laid his head back on his pillow and slipped away.
Clark Gable with third wife Carole Lombard
All the years of crash dieting, drinking, daily smoking of three packs and a dozen cigars had finally caught up with him. There were speculations that Gable's physically demanding role in “The Misfits” contributed to his sudden death soon after filming was completed. The long waiting hours, the stunts and the crash diet he followed were some of the rumours.
Clark Gable with fourth wife Sylvia Ashley
On Saturday November 20th Clark Gable’s private service was attended by 200 mourners in the Church of the Recessional in Forest Lawn Memorial Park. Among the mourners were Spencer Tracy, James Stewart, Robert Taylor, Norma Shearer, Ann Sothern and Marion Davies, Frank Capra, Robert Stack, Jack Oakie, Roy and Dale Rogers, Van Johnson, and Howard Strickling. He was interred in the Sanctuary of Trust alongside the crypt of his third wife, Carole Lombard who had died in a 1942 air crash.
Clar Gable with fifth wife Kay Williams
Gable was most famous for his role as Rhett Butler in the 1939 film “Gone with the Wind”, in which he starred with Vivien Leigh. His performance earned him his third nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor; he won for “It Happened One Night” (1934) and was also nominated for “Mutiny on the Bounty” (1935). Later films included “Run Silent, Run Deep” (1958), and his final film, “The Misfits” (1961), which paired Gable with Marilyn Monroe, also in her last screen appearance.
Clark Gable with Vivien Leigh in “Gone with the Wind” (1939)
Clark Gable was married 5 times:
  • Josephine Dillon (1924–1930; divorced)
  • Maria Franklin Prentiss Lucas Langham (1931–1939; divorced)
  • Carole Lombard (1939–1942; her death)
  • Sylvia Ashley (1949–1952; divorced)
  • Kay Williams (1955–1960; his death)
Clark Gable with Marilyn Monroe in “The Misfits” (1960)
He had 2 children:
  • Judy Lewis (November 6, 1935 - November 25, 2011, affair with Loretta Young)
  • John Gable (born March 20, 1961, four months after Gable's death, with 5th wife Kay Williams)

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