02 July, 2008

Clark Gable

Clark Gable was an iconic American actor nicknamed "The King of Hollywood" in his heyday. His most famous role was Rhett Butler in the 1939 epic film Gone with the Wind, in which he starred with Vivien Leigh. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for three films that include Mutiny on the Bounty ; he won for It Happened One Night. Another memorable performance was his last film The Misfits.

In 1942 Gable joined the U.S. Army Air Forces. With the rank of Captain, Gable trained with and accompanied the 351st Heavy Bomb Group as head of a 6-man motion picture unit making a gunnery training film. Gable spent most of the war in the UK at Wetherby and Polebrook. While at RAF Polebrook, England, Gable flew five combat missions, including one to Germany, as an observer-gunner in B-17 Flying Fortresses between May 4 and September 23, 1943, earning the Air Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross for his efforts. Adolf Hitler esteemed Gable above all other actors; during the Second World War he offered a sizable reward to anyone who could capture and bring Gable unscathed to him. Gable left the Army Air Forces with the rank of major.

Gable died in Los Angeles, California on November 16, 1960, the result of a fourth heart attack. Gable was in poor health from years of heavy smoking three packs of unfiltered cigarettes a day over thirty years, as well as cigars and at least two bowlfuls of pipe tobacco a day.

Gable is interred in Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.

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