November 25th, 2008

carole lombard 02
  • vp19

Clark Gable...henpecked?

Yes, almost certainly. And while he was married to Carole Lombard, to boot.

Wait, you say -- that doesn't sound like a description of their marriage. Sure, they had their disagreements, but from all accounts, it was Lombard who adapted her lifestyle to Gable's more than the other way around.

But from the evidence I can gather, I sense that the tall, strapping, lordly "king of Hollywood" was indeed henpecked. And here's proof...

Yes, and one guesses that Lombard was literally henpecked, too.

It's August 1939. Europe is still at peace, albeit an uneasy one. Swing bands of the likes of Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller and Artie Shaw dominate the radio. And in the San Fernando Valley, a pair of newlyweds try to convince the world that they're not a screen god and goddess, but merely husband-and-wife farmers. (And the world replies, "Sure.")

It's a charming photo, with a wonderful smile on Lombard, as if she knows we know it's a scam. One wishes the original caption was on the back; this is one time we'd love to see what it read.

Several months earlier, the smiles were more genuine:

Clark and Carole have just returned from their wedding in Kingman, Ariz., held there to throw the Hollywood press off. (Many were in San Francisco that weekend for the premiere of "The Story of Alexander Graham Bell.") It's March 30, 1939, and their three-year dream to get married has finally been achieved. Fate would make the pursuit of marriage last longer than the actual marriage itself.

Both pictures are from the San Francisco Examiner phot archive, and both are now available for auction. The chicken photo is at the post-marriage photo is at Both have starting bids of $14.97, both have one bid as of this writing, and bidding on both closes a few minutes before 8 p.m. (Eastern) Thursday (Thanksgiving night in the U.S.).

Thanksgiving...maybe Clark and Carole should have raised turkeys.
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