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December 21, 2019

Charming Photos of a Devastatingly Handsome Clark Gable During the 1930s

After a string of villainous roles, Clark Gable managed to land two of the most important roles throughout his acting career: a gangster who shoved Norma Shearer in A Free Soul (1931), and a plantation manager whose “unshaven love-making” with braless Jean Harlow in Red Dust (1932). These roles not only insured that Gable never played a supporting role again but also made him the biggest male star of MGM. He won his first Oscar Best Actor for It Happened One Night in 1935, which made Gable a bigger star more than ever. He received two more Academy Awards nominations for Best Actor for Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) and Gone With the Wind (1939). Rhett Butler remains Gable’s best-known role, and always successfully revived his popularity whenever his career would start to fade.

Below are 29 photographs capture “the King of Hollywood” during the 1930s:

Clark Gable smoking pipe, 1930s. Photo by Bettmann.

Clark Gable, circa 1930. Photo by George Hurrell.

Clark Gable and Jean Harlow chatting between scenes for 'Hold Your Man,' circa 1930. Photo by Keystone-France.

Joan Crawford sits on a stool while Clark Gable smokes a cigarette on the set the film 'Possessed,' 1931. Photo by Hulton Archive.

Clark Gable, 1931. Photo by George Hurrell.
Clark Gable sitting, lit from the side, smiling and looking to the side, 1931. Photo by Edward Steichen for Vanity Fair.

Clark Gable smoking a pipe at the foot of a tree, August 1931. Photo via John Kobal Foundation.

Clark Gable in overcoat and trilby, October 1931. Photo by Clarence Sinclair Bull.

Clark Gable strikes an elegant pose, 1932. Photo by George Hurrell.

Clark Gable relaxing on a staircase, August 1932. Photo by Clarence Sinclair Bull.

Clark Gable poses halfway up a staircase in a pair of jodhpurs, October 1932. Photo by Clarence Sinclair Bull.

Clark Gable starts the new year on a skiing and sleighing jaunt in the snow-covered mountains at Lake Arrowhead, California, 1933. Photo by Bettmann.

Clark Gable wearing a dinner jacket and looking through a directory, circa 1933. Photo via John Kobal Foundation.

Clark Gable with his Best Actor Oscar for 'It Happened One Night' at the Academy Awards, Los Angeles, California, February 1935. Photo by Imagno.

Clark Gable takes a break from his role as ship's captain, Alan Gaskell in 'China Seas,' April 1935. Photo by Virgil Apger.

Clark Gable wearing a top hat and dinner jacket, October 1934. Photo by Russell Ball.

Clark Gable wearing a monogrammed blazer and white scarf, circa 1935. Photo by Silver Screen Collection.

Clark Gable relaxing on set, April 1936. Photo by Clarence Sinclair Bull.

Clark Gable relaxing between scenes on the set of the film 'Love on the Run,' 1936. Photo by Hulton Archive.

Clark Gable in a scene from the film 'Love on the Run,' 1936. Photo by John Springer Collection.

Clark Gable in costume on the set of the film 'San Francisco,' California, 1936. Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt-LIFE.

Clark Gable boxing with Spencer Tracy in 'San Francisco,' August 1936. Photo by Keystone-France.

Clark Gable enjoys a day out on actor Allan Jones' schooner, the 'Alrene,' circa 1936. Photo by Hulton Archive.

Clark Gable on board a yacht, September 1936. Photo by Clarence Sinclair Bull.

Clark Gable and newspaper reporters in a mutually enjoyable interview during recess in Los Angeles Court, at the trial of Mrs. Violet Wells Norton, April 1937. Photo by Bettmann.

Clark Gable, 1938. Photo by New York Daily News.

Clark Gable going hunting, June 1938. Photo by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Clark Gable in costume for his role as Rhett Butler in 'Gone With the Wind,' June 1939. Photo by Clarence Sinclair Bull.

Clark Gable for CBS Radio program, Silver Theater, and the performance of 'For Richer, For Richer,' December 1939. Photo by CBS.


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