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|Named Person:||Clark Gable; Clark Gable|
|All Authors / Contributors:||
Jane Ellen Wayne
|Notes:||"First published in Great Britain by Robson Books Ltd."--T.p. verso.|
|Description:||xi, 319 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.|
|Responsibility:||Jane Ellen Wayne.|
From the beginning it was Clark Gable as Gable who caught the eye of movie- and theatergoers around the world. On stage in Houston and New York in the late twenties, he was noted for his commanding stage presence and roguish charm. On screen in the 1931 film A Free Soul, he shocked audiences by roughing up the delicate and captivating Norma Shearer, something that was previously unheard of in movies. Audiences, both men and women, loved it and Gable was catapulted into the big league. From there he rose swiftly to near idol stature, making close to one hundred films in his lifetime and achieving immortalization in the timeless epic, Gone With the Wind, where, again, he gave audiences exactly what they wanted: Gable. For more than any other role, the character of Rhett Butler epitomized that of its creator: The cunning, manipulative, and devastatingly good-looking gunrunner was a Civil War era incarnation of Gable himself.
The man who finally won the indomitable Scarlett O'Hara onscreen was even more of a lady's man offscreen. He seduced, and, in several cases, married women of immense wealth and ambition who could sustain his extravagant lifestyle and further his career. His marriages to the dowdy, middle-aged Josephine Dillon and, later, to Houston socialite Ria Langham, for instance, were clearly little more than financial arrangements and Gable maintained extramarital relations throughout both. Among his most famous lovers were Hollywood stars Grace Kelly, Ava Gardner, and the incomparable Joan Crawford. But only Carole Lombard, with her stunning blonde looks and baudy sense of humor, captured his heart and taught him how to love. Her death nearly destroyed him. Yet he struggled on, eventually finding happiness with this last wife, heiress Kay Spreckles, who gave him an only son he never lived to see.
Clark Gable: Portrait of a Misfit is an unforgettable glimpse into the personal and cinematic life of the man who seduced millions with his sexual charisma and charm.