The Romance of Gable and Lombard

Clark Gable, was a dashing leading man in Hollywood in the 1930’s and 1940’s, and Carole Lombard was a beautiful comedienne at the same time. Each had outstanding careers, and were among the most talked about stars. While individually they achieved fame, together they became one of the more perfect relationships in Hollywood.

Clark Gable was born on February 1, 1901 in Cadiz, Ohio. After a start in silent movies, Gable became one of the most popular actors in the movie history. Gable had starring roles in such hits as “It Happened One Night”, “Mutiny on the Bounty”, “The Hucksters” and probably his most famous role as Rhett Butler in “Gone with the Wind.”

Carole Lombard was born on October 6, 1908 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Lombard got her start at the age of 12 in movies, and steadily began to create a career. Lombard was in several notable movies in the 30’s and 40’s including hits such as “Bolero”, “Now and Forever”, “My Man Godfrey” and “Mr. & Mrs. Smith”.

While filming the movie “No Man of Her Own” in 1932, Gable and Lombard first met. Gable and Lombard were both starting to make some headway in their careers, but because both were married at the time, there was not any romantic interest shown by either.

However, the next time Gable and Lombard met was in 1935 at a party given by a mutual friend. In 1935, Lombard was divorced and Gable was separated from his wife. They were very attracted to each other and spent the entire evening dancing with each other. This was the start of a beautiful relationship.

However, because Clark Gable was still married, the couple needed to remain secretive about the relationship. They spent the time together in secret until Gable’s divorce was final in 1938. During a break in filming “Gone with the Wind” in 1939, Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, who playfully referred to each other as “Ma and Pa” were married.

The couple continued to work in movies, but spent as much time together as possible. They were a loving couple who bought each other moving gifts and presents, in the grand Hollywood style, including hams with Gables picture painted on them, and a fire truck for her!

However, the ideal relationship was brought down to earth on January 26, 1942. Lombard was in the middle of a cross country tour to raise money by the sale of war bonds for the U.S. military effort in World War II. She was in Indianapolis, Indiana and wanted to go home and be with Gable. So, instead of staying over in Indianapolis for the evening and flying out the next day, they boarded the 4 a.m. flight. The next day, the plane landed in Albuquerque, New Mexico to refuel and pick up passengers. The flight took off again at 7:07 p.m. However, the plane never made it. At around 7:30 p.m. the plane crashed in the Nevada Mountains, killing all the passengers on board, including Carole Lombard.

The news of Lombard’s death came as a shock to Gable, and the world. The love that Gable and Lombard worked so hard to attain was taken away in a brief moment.

The world has had many memorable couples, however, the pairing of Gable and Lombard was one of the most perfect couples in memory, but like many love stories, had a tragic ending. Here are a collection of resources on the life and love of Clark Gable and Carole Lombard:

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