William Clark Gable (February 1, 1901 – November 16, 1960) was an American film actor and military officer, often referred to as "The King of Hollywood" or just simply as "The King". He began his career as a stage actor and appeared as an extra in silent films between 1924 and 1926, and progressed to supporting roles with a few films for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1931. The next year, he landed his first leading Hollywood role and over the next three decades he became a leading man in more than 60 motion pictures.
Gable won an Academy Award for Best Actor for It Happened One Night (1934), and was nominated for leading roles in Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) and for his best-known role as Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind (1939).
Gable also found success commercially and critically with films such as Red Dust (1932), Manhattan Melodrama (1934), San Francisco (1936), Saratoga (1937) Boom Town (1940), The Hucksters (1947), Homecoming (1948), and The Misfits (1961), which was his final screen appearance.
Gable appeared opposite some of the most popular actresses of the time. Joan Crawford was his favorite actress to work with, and she was partnered with Gable in eight films. Myrna Loy worked with him seven times, and he was paired with Jean Harlow in six productions. He also starred with Lana Turner in four features, and with Norma Shearer and Ava Gardner in three each. Gable's final film, The Misfits (1961), united him with Marilyn Monroe (also in her last completed screen appearance).
Gable is considered one of the most consistent box-office performers in history, appearing on Quigley Publishing's annual Top Ten Money Making Stars Poll 16 times. He was named the seventh-greatest male star of classic American cinema by the American Film Institute.
He is also known as The King, The King of Hollywood and William Clark Gable.
On November 6, 1960, Gable was sent to Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, where doctors found that he had suffered a heart attack. Newspaper reports the following day listed his condition as satisfactory. By the morning of November 16 he seemed to be improving. But he died that evening at age 59 from an arterial blood clot. Medical staff did not perform CPR for fear that the procedure would rupture Gable's heart, and a defibrillator was not available.
There was speculation that Gable's physically demanding role in The Misfits contributed to his sudden death soon after filming was completed. In an interview with Louella Parsons, published soon after Gable's death, Kay Gable said, "It wasn't the physical exertion that killed him. It was the horrible tension, the eternal waiting, waiting, waiting. He waited around forever, for everybody. He'd get so angry that he'd just go ahead and do anything to keep occupied." Monroe said that she and Kay had become close during the filming and would refer to Clark as "Our Man", while Arthur Miller, observing Gable on location, noted, "no hint of affront ever showed on his face".
On March 20, 1961, Kay Gable gave birth to Gable's only son, John Clark Gable, at the same hospital in which her husband had died four months earlier. Marilyn Monroe attended his son's baptism.