March 29th, 2019

carole lombard 05
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To Carole and Clark, a happy 80th anniversary

Today marks the 80th anniversary of Carole Lombard's second marriage, to iconic leading man Clark Gable. (They're shown the following day at their soon-to-be home in Encino, where they met a huge corps of reporters.)

This was a big deal to the moviegoing public, arguably the biggest marriage of Hollywood stars since Mary Pickford wed Douglas Fairbanks. Over the years, so much nonsense has spread about what actually happened that day and how it came to be.

Fortunately, not long thereafter Gable gave an account of it in an interview, which ran today at the fine site Here's Clark, in his own words:

Otto Winkler was Gable's publicist at MGM and a longtime friend of the actor. He, Lombard and her mother were among the victims of the Jan. 16, 1942 air crash.

So throw the malarkey about the Oatman Hotel honeymoon straight out the window; it never happened. The couple, plus Winkler (who presumably drove much of the way while the newlyweds celebrated in the back seat), hurried home that night and met the press the next day.

Clark and Carole could partially thank the now-defunct 20th Century-Fox film studio for throwing Hollywood a curve. Much of the press corps was in San Francisco for the premiere of Fox's "The Story Of Alexander Graham Bell" starring Don Ameche, enabling the couple to skip town while no one was looking.

And many thanks to David O. Selznick for giving Gable an additional day off in the wake of his wedding.

To close, a few more pics of the happy couple the day after the nuptuals:

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