About this Famous Person
American film actor
Gable was born in Cadiz, Ohio, to William Henry "Bill" Gable, an oil-well driller, and Adeline (née Hershelman), who was of German and Irish descent. He was mistakenly listed as a female on his birth certificate. His original last name was Goebel, but this was considered too German during World War I because of anti-German sentiment. Birth registrations, school records and other documents contradict one another. "William" would have been in honor of his father. "Clark" was the maiden name of his maternal grandmother. In childhood he was almost always called "Clark"; some friends called him "Clarkie," "Billy," or "Gabe".
When he was six months old, his sickly mother had him baptized Roman Catholic. She died when he was ten months old, probably of an aggressive brain tumor. Following her death, Gable's father's family refused to raise him as a Catholic, provoking enmity with his mother's side of the family. The dispute was resolved when his father's family agreed to allow Gable to spend time with his mother's Catholic brother, Charles Hershelman, and his wife on their farm in Vernon, Pennsylvania.
In April 1903, Gable's father Will married Jennie Dunlap, whose family came from the small neighboring town of Hopedale. Gable was a tall shy child with a loud voice. After his father purchased some land and built a house, the new family settled in. Jennie played the piano and gave her stepson lessons at home; later he took up brass instruments. She raised Gable to be well-dressed and well-groomed; he stood out from the other kids. Gable was very mechanically inclined and loved to strip down and repair cars with his father. At thirteen, he was the only boy in the men's town band. Even though his father insisted on Gable doing "manly" things, like hunting and hard physical work, Gable loved language. Among trusted company, he would recite Shakespeare, particularly the sonnets. Will Gable did agree to buy a seventy-two volume set of The World's Greatest Literature to improve his son's education, but claimed he never saw his son use it. In 1917, when Gable was in high school, his father had financial difficulties. Will decided to settle his debts and try his hand at farming and the family moved to Ravenna, just outside of Akron. Gable had trouble settling down in the area. Despite his father's insistence that he work the farm, Gable soon left to work in Akron's B.F. Goodrich tire factory.
At seventeen, Gable was inspired to be an actor after seeing the play The Bird of Paradise, but he was not able to make a real start until he turned 21 and inherited money. By then, his stepmother Jennie had died and his father moved to Tulsa to go back to the oil business. He toured in stock companies and worked the oil fields and as a horse manager. Gable found work with several second-class theater companies and worked his way across the Midwest to Portland, Oregon, where he found work as a necktie salesman in the Meier & Frank department store. While there, he met actress Laura Hope Crews, who encouraged him to go back to the stage and into another theater company. His acting coach was a theater manager in Portland, Oregon, Josephine Dillon (seventeen years his senior). Dillon paid to have his teeth repaired and his hair styled. She guided him in building up his chronically undernourished body, and taught him better body control and posture. She spent considerable time training his naturally high-pitched voice, which Gable slowly managed to lower, and he gained better resonance and tone. As his speech habits improved, Gable's facial expressions became more natural and convincing. After the long period of rigorous training, she eventually considered him ready to attempt a film career.
Source : http://www.wikipedia.org/
- Category Actor