Icons of the Century
Undershirt sales crashed after he appeared without one as a tart-tongued newspaperman in 1934’s “It Happened One Night” and his “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn” dismissal of Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone With the Wind” is one of cinema’s immortal moments.Clark Gable radiated a jaunty self-assurance and roguish masculinity that helped build the confidence of a struggling nation. He was dubbed “The King” during Hollywood’s Golden Age. Under contract for 27 years at MGM, the 6-foot-one, barrel-chested actor with the dapper mustache served as a broad-shouldered projection screen for the fantasies of women and men. Appearing with Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift in John Huston’s 1961 “The Misfits,” Gable received the highest salary yet granted any star, then died of a heart attack at 59, shortly after filming concluded.