Clark Gable facts

Facts: Clark Gable

Read facts you never knew about Clark Gable:

Clark was accidentally listed as female on his birth certificate.

Clark changed his appearance to succeed in Hollywood. He did not just buy a new wardrobe, but he also underwent cosmetic surgery on his ears and teeth.

His father was never happy with his decision to become an actor, even after Clark became a major star he still denounced acting as a ‘sissy’ occupation.

Clark Gable and his father

Clark was obsessed with cleanliness. He showered several times a day and he never took a bath because he was disgusted by the thought of sitting in dirty water. He also had his sheets changed daily.

He was a serious contender for the role of Tarzan in Tarzan the Ape Man (1932), but was eventually considered to be too unknown and Johnny Weismuller was chosen instead.

Although he was known for his deep voice, his voice was naturally high-pitched. He had to take vocal training to lower it.

Clark and Jean Harlow were so close, that he called her ‘Sis’ as in ‘Sister’. He also served as a pallbearer and usher at Jean Harlow’s funeral.

Clark Gable and Jean Harlow

He regarded his most famous film Gone With The Wind as ‘a woman’s picture’.

Clark’s friend and colleague Hattie McDaniels was banned from the premiere of Gone With The Wind in Atlanta, because of the state’s segregation laws. Clark was so furious about this, that he planned on boycotting the event, but Hattie convinced him to go.

Clark’s nickname was ‘The King of Hollywood’. This came from a poll that was taken in 1938 in which readers overwhelmingly selected him as ‘The King of Hollywood’ and he was officially crowned by Ed Sullivan.

Adolf Hitler was a big fan of Clark Gable and considered him to be above any other actor. So he offered a sizable reward during the war to anyone who could capture and return Clark, who was enlisted in the army, to him unscathed.

Clark gave his Oscar for It Happened One Night to a child who admired it. He told the child that it was the winning that had mattered, not owning the statue. The Oscar was returned to the Gable family after Clark’s death.

Clark was dyslexic, a fact which didn’t emerge until after his death.

Clark gable reading

His first wife and acting coach, Josephine Dillon, spoke very bitterly about Clark in interviews after their divorce. However, she did not mention that Clark owned her house, let her live in it rent-free and left it to her in his will after he died.

Clark was the inspiration for two famous fictional characters. Bugs Bunny’s nonchalant carrot-chewing standing position was inspired by a scene in the film It Happened One Night, in which Clark Gable’s character leans against a fence, eating carrots rapidly and talking with his mouth full. Clark’s name was used as the first name of DC Comics icon Superman’s civilian identity, ‘Clark Kent’.

Read more about Clark Gable’s life.

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  1. omg!! im a big fan of him after watching gone with the wind.. i love his voice and his appearance.

    1. Clark fan says:

      That movie sucks compared to Comrade X or Honky Tonk!

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  3. Clark fan says:

    Holy crap! Have you seen his pre-surgeries pix? I thought he only had those monstrous cheek implants but he also had a nose job and brow lift, among many other surgeries, teeth fixing notwithstanding!!! YIKES, THE MAN WAS FUGS!!!! I doubt I’d have been a fan if he’d kept his original monkey face !!! And you too,lol

    1. Yessum says:

      You are correct. When he curls his lips like he’s annoyed, which he did several times per scene in every movie, you can see the outline of his cheekbones implants. They had better plastic surgeons back in the early 30’s than now!

    2. marjiscott says:

      To ClarkFan and Yessum,
      No, Clark Gable didn’t have cheek implants.They actually were not done back then.
      I’ve seen that early studio picture you are talking about though. Louis B. Mayer pronounced “He looks like a ape! ” He certainly did! The teeth had to be extracted (rotten) and dentures were put in. That alone is what made his cheeks so prominent. The ears were glued back for the first silent films, and usually they would pop out with the hot kleig lights back then. He had ear surgery finally to permanently fix them, sometime in the early Thirties.
      How Clark achieved his signature “look” was NOT a brow lift. What MGM make-up artists (the best in the world) was to raise his hairline several inches by electrolosis. This was done often to both male and female stars back then.
      But all of that wouldn’t have really made him the King of Hollywood if he didn’t have the voice and the personality that Josephine Dillon had lovingly trained into him.

  4. Dallas says:

    I agree Clark had his teeth fixed, but no way did he have cheek implants. The shape of his face did not change from his younger pictures. Also, his daughter by Loretta Young, has the exact same face shape including the strong cheek bones.

    1. marjiscott says:

      Also his child, Clark Gable Jr, and his Grandchild, Clark Gable lll. None of them had that incredible talent he had though.

  5. Wiley Tinker says:

    He was almost killed in a car accident and had to have surgery to remove his teeth. He was filming a movie at the time and it was delayed about two months while he recovered from his injury. He wore dentures after that.

    I have also read that he had bad breath from his dentures which probably makes sense due to products available for cleaning dentures at that time. his female costars did not like to kiss him because of this problem.

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