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Clark Gable

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  672 ratings  ·  52 reviews
"There really was a Hollywood, a place of fashionable men and gorgeous women and the all-powerful studio system that allowed them to defy the conventions that governed the rest of the country. Clark Gable arrived there after a rough-and-tumble youth, and his breezy, big- boned, everyman persona quickly made him the town's "King." He was a gambler among gamblers, a heavy dr ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published February 27th 2003 by Aurum Press Ltd (first published 2002)
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really liked it 4.00  · 
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 ·  672 ratings  ·  52 reviews

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Feb 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been a huge fan of Clark Gable ever since I saw "Gone With the Wind" back when I was 17. This book filled me in on everything I ever wanted to know about him.
Jun 18, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Clark Gable: A Biography" isn't a terrible book, but it's not a great one either.
While Harris does an able job reporting on Gable's childhood and acting career and ascent in Hollywood, it seems just that - - reporting, and not a true in-depth examination of the man. Gable, as the King of Hollywood, reigned for thirty years as a celebrated actor, movie star and idol, and yet we don't get much insight into the man. It was refreshing to read of Gable's insecurities as an actor (he hardly considere
Liz Estrada
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
OK, let me start by saying that if this biography were about anyone else besides Gable, I would have rated it 3 stars, for the writer is not what I would call prolific. Having said that, Clark Gable is such a likeable everyday fellow, that just for that he gets an extra star, since he was THE star of the Golden Age of Hollywood.

"Stars" of today could learn a lesson or two from the King. Graceful, kind to his costars, and always humble, he never thought he deserved all this hoopla surrounding him
Feb 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got about 70 pages into it before it had to go back to the far, so good. It's only up to the beginning of Clark's MGM movie career.

I'll be grabbing this one from the library soon so I can finish it.

Update 4-16-08: got it back from the library and will try to get it finished before it has to go back in 4 weeks.

Update 5-20-08: finally finished it. Very good read on Clark Gable's life. It didn't gloss over details like a super-fan's bio might, but yet it didn't trash him to pieces li
Kirstin Dobson
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although it was heavy on movie after movie details and romance after romance details I couldn't help keep reading. It was intriguing enough and paced well enough I couldn't even skim. My only true complaint was how the big events were just weaved into sequence of the smaller minute facts and thus difficult to separate them
Nov 21, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Gable fans
Shelves: biography
I read Mr. Harris' book on Marilyn Miller, "The Other Marilyn," and found it interesting and enjoyable. I was thus encouraged when I found that he had written a book on Clark Gable, and hoped that it would provide a similar level of scholarship.

In some ways, this biography does indeed cover Mr. Gable's life in an even-handed and informative way. We learn about his rough and tumble early years (which makes his later miserliness easy to understand), and his early marriages, which seem to have bee
Dec 23, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Harris does a solid job of compressing Gable's life and extensive career into under 400 pages. The writing is clean and articulate though riddled with gossip. I honestly felt like I contracted a venereal disease reading this book. Some insights though (for example - the major studios, contracts versus freelancing) were super interesting. These parts could've been better developed in lieu of the gossip.
Apr 14, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As expected and hoped for, I found out tons of stuff about Gable that I didn't know. There is tons of information in this book and much of it is discussed as fact and not opinion. There was maybe too much about Hollywood that I either knew, or didn't care about, but overall if you want to know the King of Hollywood this is an easy and comprehensive biography.
Mar 10, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the subject matter... Clark Gable is a fascinating man. But sometimes the book felt like a list of names, movie titles and dates that added too little to the story. I wanted to know more of the tidbits and the quirks and moments that contributed to his life and a little less of the filmography. I also wish more photos had been included in the book.
May 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This biography about Clark Gable provided a look into Hollywood during the time the legendary Clark Gable graced the silver screen. Gable was the biggest male actor of his time, earning him the title "king of Hollywood". Although the magnetic actor started a catch phrase, "Who do you think you are, Clark Gable?", I was intrigued that Clark himself had no idea what everyone found so appealing about him.

Like so many big stars, several decision makers in Hollywood initially passed on Gable because
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With regard to his book Clark Gable: A Biography, Warren Harris obviously conducted an immense amount of research, including having first hand interviews with those that knew Clark Gable. First and foremost, for anyone that has an interest in the golden age of the motion picture industry, this book is very hard to put down. The author details most of the aspects of Gable's life including his childhood, his time on Broadway, his life in the motion picture industry, his marriages and his romances ...more
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Clark Gable was exactly who I perceived him to be. The man's man. The guy next door. He was everything real and fantastical put together.

Born into poverty and never knowing his mother had to have an effect on this very private elusive man. His father was always hard on him, never accepting Clark's decision to go into a " sissy" profession such as acting. Gable never let that deter him. He never let any obstacle or person sway him from his goal.

I knew he was a lady's man but I never knew how mu
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was an excellent book. I disagree with those who said it merely touched on incidents in his life. It would be impossible to include a HIStory of anyone's life in a book that's readable. I am a fan of Old Hollywood. I grew up watching films on television, and now I watch TMC, even the silent films on Sunday night. I have uncovered many film jewels. I saw Gable and Colbert in IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT, and the only reason I can think of why this won the Oscar was Gable's charisma. Mr. H ...more
Lori Weyrick
The King of Hollywood

A biography of Clark Gable from poverty to the undisputed King of Hollywood. Detailed expose of the early days of film with back stories on the stars, directors, producers and the underbelly of the film industry..Wish that I had left Clark Gable as a fond memory of his role as Rhett Butler in "Gone With the Wind". Although he was affable, fun-loving sportsman....he was also self-centered, womanizing, miserly and a drunk. He refused to acknowledge his daughter, Judy (by Loret
Phillip Oliver
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This biography of Clark Gable is very well written and admirably researched. The author does a good job of balancing Gable's good traits along with his bad. The "bad" are pretty considerable - he was a womanizer, a homophobe, drank excessively and ignored the fact that he had fathered a child with Loretta Young (who had to have been the biggest hypocrite in Hollywood). On the other hand, he was well-loved by his friends and family and although he fought tooth and nail to get the biggest salary h ...more
Why do women love the bad men? Why do we love that wicked look that they can give? I think that Anne of Green Gables said it best, “I wouldn't want to marry anybody who was wicked, but I think I'd like it if he could be wicked."
Clark Gable was wicked. I learned more about his lack of control with women than I cared to really want to know. But there was still a sensitive person that shone through all that charisma that the camera captured. I still agree with Anne. I wouldn't truly want to meet Mr
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When you think of Clark Gable, what movie immediately pops into your mind?

Yes, GWTW. The greatest movie ever made.

My only quibble is that I wanted a LOT of dish on GWTW....and got very little. The author gave e more info than I wanted on various directors, but not even a paragraph on working with Leigh.


Anyway, well worth the 437 page read, if you’re a big Gable fan and you want facts and not guesses and hyperbole. Meticulous research and lots of detail.
Pat Wade
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Author did a great job of describing the life of a great actor and life as it was in the entertaining world of stage and movies in the 30's and up to when Clark Gable died. I have been a fan of his all my life. Saw Gone with Wind as a young woman and have my own copy now. Read the book several times. Would think anyone that is interested the way of life in the making of movies and the politics that rule.
Carolyn Swafford
Eye Opening

Growing up as one of the fans of Rhett Butler I was fairly in a row me dimensional groove as to who Clark Gable really was. This book served to enlighten me on him as a life and blood man as opposed to a good looking suave character from the big screen. It allowed me to see the frailties, excesses, and sometimes, as in the case of his daughter, the self preserving nature of the man as he truly was.
Meredith Deaton
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well done biography

Well written and researched biography of The King - Clark Gable. Contains lots of anecdotes about his movie-making and his love affairs. Covers his ups and downs and how he dealt with aging out of the Rhett Butler-type roles.
I think anyone who is interested in the golden years of Hollywood or who is a Gable fan would enjoy this book
Mark Myers
Well paced story about the King of Hollywood. I've always been interested in the studio era and Clark Gable was the epitome of a studio star. Mr. Harris writes a easy to follow story that flows well, he leaves out all the boring details so many autobiographies are guilty of. Any fan of Clark Gable must read this book.
Mary Hayes
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maybe you have to be a woman of a certain age to really enjoy this book. I was a big fan of Gable so I was familiar with the highlights of his life,so this filled in some of the questions I had. If you wondered how he transformed his personality, voice and mannerisms into one of the most masculine and sought after men in the world, this is a good book for you.
Peter C
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Informative and educational

Although The King passed away before I was born, the early days in the movie industry and all the up and coming stars is an interesting tale.

I would have given a five star rating, but the story is very detailed and to those under a certain age not memorable.
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this biography.. First I have loved Clark Gable since Gone With the Wind..One of my favorite movies..I really enjoyed and learned so much about him as a person and movie star..I also learned a bit about the old Hollywood and studio driven stars.. It was really enlightening..nice read ..about what seemed to be just as nice of a man..😊
Catherine Wetzel
I have read many biographies about Clark Gable. This by far was the most in-depth ever of all. They never mentioned about his daughter with Loretta Young. Nor most of his earlier marriages,(with the exception of his to Carole Lombard). Have never been discussed. If you are a Clark Gable fan, this is a MUST READ for you
Robert McKinley
Good Gable Bio Read

Disappointed to learn Claudette Coburn was apparently a lesbian according to the author. Too bad Carole Lombard didn't live longer. Gable clearly drank himself to an earlier grave than if she had been around to care for him.
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Slightly salacious in the romantic details, but quite clear on the veracity of those details, thid book is an adequate bio of a man who tended to keep his private life as privte as he possibly could. A smattering of period photos add to the narrative.
Jim Cullison
A reasonably solid bio of one of the all-time icons of the big screen. Frequently too gossipy and prurient in lieu of furnishing insight, but overall, serviceable. Made me want to check out his movies, so that's in its favor.
I'm a sucker for Hollywood bios, & this was a satisfying one. It wasn't as compelling as others I've read (Ava Gardner, Robert Mitchum, etc.) but it was fun & informative. I"m looking forward to seeing some Gable movies when I can.
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting. Specifically thorough without being overly graphic. He was considered by as friends as a very good man. I guess that would depend on how you define “a good man.”
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“Adela Rogers St. Johns, always the journalist closest to Gable, wrote that “The King is dead. Long live the King. There has been no successor, nor will be. The title died with him.” She recalled that Gable once told her, “I don’t believe I’m king of anything, but I know why they like to think I am. I’m not much of an actor, but I’m not bad unless it’s one of those things outside my comprehension. I work hard. I’m no Adonis, and I’m as American as the telephone poles I used to climb to make a living. So men don’t get sore if their women folks like me on the screen. I’m one of them, they know it, so it’s a compliment to them. They see me broke, in trouble, scared of things that go bump in the night, but I come out fighting. They see me making love to Jean Harlow or Claudette Colbert, and they say, ‘If he can do it, I can do it,’ and figure it’ll be fun to go home and to make love to their wives.” 0 likes
“In an editorial headlined “The King Is Dead,” The New York Times noted, “Even among the hierarchy of great motion-picture stars, of whom there were many in the happy years of his ascendance, he was acknowledged supreme. Perhaps he was not the most skillful and subtle in the way of technique. Perhaps he did not possess the polish of some of the latterly imported British stars. But what Gable had in a measure that no other star quite matched—or projected as ferociously as he did—was a true masculine personality. Whatever the role, Gable was as certain as the sunrise. He was consistently and stubbornly all Man….People everywhere—men, women and small boys—admired Clark Gable. He was a conspicuous symbol of the rugged American throughout the world.” 0 likes
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